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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

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The life blood of most businesses is its people. All service businesses depend on their people to perform their service. Poor quality people produce poor quality service. It is also true in manufacturing. The better quality workforce you have the better quality products you can produce and the better your profit will be.

In today’s economy, many people are willing to take jobs below their skill level. They simply want to get back to work. Now is the time to hire top talent to build a team that is ready to produce when the economy ticks up again. At the same point in time, you want to treat these new hires very well and compensate them as much as is possible. If a company treats people poorly now, when the economy begins to grow again there is a high likelihood that these people will move on to greener pastures.
One important thing to remember when hiring people is that very few are trained specifically for the job you have available. They may have worked in similar jobs, but times and technology are changing constantly. You need to look for the proper attitude and the proper ability to learn.

A service company should look for people who have a professional attitude about them. Remember, to the customer this employee IS the company. When potential employees arrive for their interview, they should be dressed appropriately for the job they are applying for. If you are seeking to hire a cashier for a family-oriented business, then the applicant that shows up looking like he just crawled out of bed after a week-long drinking binge is probably not the right fit for the job.

Once you have hired the right staff, you need to over train them for their jobs. Make sure they have the proper information to be able to perform the job above their level as soon as possible. This will provide the company a pool of potential managers ripe for advancement so that, when the economy improves, the company can expand to fill those needs. In the meantime, you will want to cross-train all employees to handle other jobs in the organization. This will allow you to service your customers better. It will provide an understanding between employees of what is involved in all facets of the organization.

Treat your employees with respect and share with them how the business is doing. It is possible that knowing there are concerns with the economy and how the business is performing will help employees to seek opportunities to grow the business. It will also allow them to prepare for possible lay-offs.
As part of your reading, all potential employers or managers should read The One Minute Manager and In Search of Excellence.

The opinions or advice listed in this blog or website should be used as a place to start only. It is not a substitute for the use of a professional.
Please be sure to consult your attorney and/or accountant with any specific questions.
There is no one right answer to any business question that will cover all circumstances.
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