Hiring the right people

I grew up on farms in southern Indiana. We milked cows, raised corn, soybeans, tobacco and hay. One summer we had hay in the field to be put in the barn. Dad was working off the farm at the time and left it to me to get the hay. I was about 15 years old at the time. He told me to call a new youth employment service in our county to hire some help which I did. I requested two people and stressed they needed to have worked in hay fields before. I waited an hour for them to show, and when they did I knew I couldn’t use them.

As they walked down the gravel road to our place I noticed they both wore shorts, tennis shoes with no socks, no hats, and their pace hardly inspired confidence they would last a hot summer day putting hay in the barn. When they got to the barn I told them to go back home because I couldn’t use them. They were not dressed for the hay field, and the hay would eat their arms and legs up. They weren’t happy with me but finally left. I spent the day loading hay on the wagon by myself, putting it up in the barn loft and then stacking it before going back in the field for another load. My Dad wasn’t happy with the progress I made until I explained I had to do it by myself.

How much time and expense do we lose by hiring the wrong people? I could have put those two teens to work, but they probably would not have lasted until lunch and most likely would have slowed me down more than doing it myself. Plus I lost an hour of the day waiting on them to show up.

Many companies are struggling to find quality people to hire for their open positions, but the biggest mistake they can make is to hire the wrong person just to fill a position. The wrong person is looking for a paycheck and isn’t interested in long-term employment or even doing a good job while he or she works for you. You know you’ve hired the wrong person if you find yourself wishing that person would quit. For your own piece of mind and for the sake of the company you probably should make that decision for the person and give them the opportunity to find a job they will want to do.

Some companies are now requiring a lengthy hiring process. It can take months and several interviews to get a position at Dave Ramsey’s organization. I was talking with an individual today who went through two interviews with one company before he was eliminated from consideration. Another person I know recently interviewed for a police position and has gone through several interviews and skills testing. He’s still waiting on an answer. Each of these organizations want to be sure they hire the best person for the positions.

These organizations know the value of identifying the right person for the position, and it’s not someone who has a pulse. They want people with the skills and temperament for the position and someone who will work well in a team environment. These qualities cannot be discovered from a resume or a half-hour interview.

If your company or organization has a high level of turnover you might want to look at your hiring techniques. Chances are you are making the mistake of hiring the wrong people. Improve your hiring process and you will probably be much happier with the results.

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