BY ANDI GRAYDilemma: We need to add to our staff. How can we be sure that our potential employees will be not only here for the long term but also a good fit?
Thoughts of the Day: When searching for new hires, lead with what your business is all about. Find job candidates who are already passionate about what your company does. Stop looking for last-minute job fillers. Make sure that current employees are good role models and start new hires on the right foot.
In chauffeured transportation, like many other smaller businesses, hiring is a constant task. When looking for new hires, advertise your company as well as the position. Make what your company does stand out, and look for people who want to learn more about that. Be aware that candidates who come in looking for a job are different from those who are on a mission to apply themselves to specific kinds of work and market needs.
Look carefully at candidates’ backgrounds. Have they gone out of their way to learn about your company’s field of interest? If there is no connection, suggest that candidates seek out opportunities to learn about what your company and industry do. Wait to see if they will. It’s okay to give out specific suggestions on ways to learn more about what you do. Offer to stay in touch, but take a pass on hiring until they show interest.
Most hiring mistakes happen when the company is desperate to fill a position without ready candidates. This is one of the biggest issues when facing chauffeur recruitment. Look realistically at who might be with you a year from now and who might be gone. Also consider expanding your pool of temporary chauffeurs to accommodate big events and busy periods. Be thinking about this before you are slammed.
Always be on the lookout for people who are passionate about the work you care about. Build a list of people to keep an eye on, from entry level to senior management. Go to industry conferences. Ask for referrals. Look for people who demonstrate drive and dedication, and who take pride in what they do.
Look at the network of young professionals within the industry. Line up candidates who are just getting their careers off the ground. Offer internships to find entry-level candidates who might want to grab onto your company’s dreams. Focus on people who want to know more about the mission and the opportunity that goes along with taking a job at your company.
Look for people who:
• See challenges as having had a positive effect on their lives;
• Can face adversity and turn it into opportunity;
• Find a way to win, even in difficult circumstances;
• Know what it is to be appreciated; and
• Generally perform at a higher level because they expect more of themselves.
Once you’ve hired the right candidates, create an environment in which they can thrive. Have someone in charge of being the primary mentor for each new employee, and make him your brand ambassador. Have him build a positive working and coaching relationship with each of his mentees.
Make sure you, your employees, and managers continuously pay attention to the needs of others. Provide tough feedback when warranted. At the same time, express reassurance and concern for each person’s well-being.
Give your staff the time and opportunity to learn more about your company’s objectives and culture. Nurture their curiosity. Intersperse learning with doing. A happy employee is as important as a happy customer.
Send employees to classes, industry conferences, and workshops so they can grow their skills. Encourage them to practice and expand their talents beyond their current position, if possible. Look for people who readily engage and who use a schedule to get in enough practice hours. Look for people who seek out opportunity to improve. Reward by increasing their knowledge so that they can contribute more and have a greater role in the future.
Encourage downtime. People need to get away to recharge. Look for those who value time away, but also can’t wait to get back after recharging. Start, in interviews, to look for this pattern of downtime and re-engagement, accompanied by a long-term commitment to seeing things through. [CD0116]
Andi Gray is the Founder of the business consulting firm Strategy Leaders. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.