Monday, September 26, 2011

Building Your Business. . One employee at a time!

imageThis article was written by Barry McKinley, SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

The most important asset of your business will be your employees. Whether you have one employee or 100 they represent your company and are the first ones that will project your company image. You can have the most beautiful offices but if your employee does not make a good first impression, your beautiful offices mean nothing! Remember first impressions!

In a previous newsletter article, I discussed hiring practices and the importance of asking good probing questions. I have found in counseling over 1,900 clients that many are no better prepared to interview a perspective employee then the employee is prepared to be interviewed. It is virtually impossible to evaluate a potential employee for preparedness when the interviewer is not prepared!

A key ingredient in the interview process is listening to the potential candidate’s questions. Their questions will give you a much better idea of their:

Communication skills

Interest in the job

Long term goals

Confidence level

Ability to grasp new concepts

Interest in the field

Intelligence level

Hot buttons

As the interviewer, you need to watch how the candidate handles themselves in the interview. Are they constantly moving around, sneaking peeks at their cell phone, not paying attention, or asking unimportant questions. Some of the most common mistakes that potential candidates make are:

Not being prepared

Knowing little or nothing about the company or industry

Not able to communicate well

Too wordy- or short abrupt answers

Not being on time

Having lack of eye contact

Unaware of surroundings

Not showing much, if any, excitement

Chewing gum

Poor body language

Not asking what the next step is

In a recent article written by Brad Remillard, he quoted the VP of Human Resources at Rockwell International as saying he always looks for the four A's:

Appearance: This does not just refer to their clothes or style but body language, handshake, the appearance of the cover letter and resume, presentation skills and, unfortunately, physical appearance.

Assertive: This will measure how they handle their self during the interview. There is a big difference between being assertive and aggressive. Aggressive can be offensive to most interviewers and many times will shorten the interview and interest.

Affable: Is the applicant outgoing, do they seem relaxed in the interview? Are they interesting and easy to communicate with?

Articulate: Is the candidate a good listener? Are their answers clear and to the point? Does the candidate speak well and clearly? Does the candidate ramble-on trying to cover every point?

Investing time in the interview process will reward the business owner with staff members that fit in and will project a favorable company image. You will know with proper training, support and motivation that each new hire will quickly grow to their potential in creating a career rather than a job! In simple Business Terms: Good Hires - - Increase Bottom Line Profits!