Hiring The Best Employees

Employee retention and turnover can be an independent retailer’s constant headache. However, it doesn’t have to be, if you take some careful steps when looking for new staff, and make sure you hire the best person for the job. “The best employees don’t just walk in and ask for a job, usually because they’re already working,” says Mel Kleinman, internationally known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. “If you want the best, you have to know what you need, where to look, and how to recruit them.” Kleinman was recently quoted in, “Creating the Workforce and Results You Seek: A Thought Leadership Anthology on Workforce Management.”

Kleinman is not the only one to hold the opinion that the best workers are scarce. A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, notes that people paid by the hour exhibit a stronger relationship between income and happiness. Researchers explored that relationship by focusing on the organizational arrangements that make the connection between time and money. They found that the way in which an employee is paid is tied to their feelings of happiness. “Much of our day to day lives are subject to various organizational practices of payment that can prime different ways of thinking, such as the monetary value of one’s time,” authors Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto and Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University say. “It is important to consider the broader context in which people live and work, in order to gain a better understanding of the determinants of happiness.”

Still, hiring and keeping the best employees can be achieved, Kleinman says, especially if you study the demographics of the hiring pool. For example, he notes, if you’re just targeting young people, you are overlooking responsible adults who are seeking hourly work. If you’re just recruiting for full time positions, you overlook a large population of workers who prefer part time employment. It also matters where you look for your staffers as well. The Baltimore Business Journal says online job boards have surpassed traditional media as tools for hiring at small and mid sized organizations, according to a recent study by the Inavero Institute for Service Research. The Institute notes that more than half of the survey respondents said they had used an online job board in the past year. Yet local newspapers still remain a leading recruiting tool, with 47 percent of hiring managers employing the medium during the same period.

So what can you do to assure the best hire for a position? Kleinman offers these suggestions:

1) Create a solid job description. Recruiting hourly employees is easier and more efficient when you have a job description that specifies the key attributes the ideal jobholder will possess.
2) Create a job analysis. This document directly reflects the job today, and its potential for the future.
3) Factor in attitude. By defining the attitudes that are most important for a jobholder’s success, you can gear your hiring efforts toward those desirable qualities.

“Looking for an employee without knowing exactly what you need is like going grocery shopping without a list,” Kleinman says. “You spend more time and money than you should, you don’t get everything that you need, and you usually have to go back and do it again.”  For a look at Kleinman’s complete analysis, go to http://tinyurl.com/232km2z.

This piece was adapted from,”Creating the Workforce and Results You Seek: A Thought Leadership Anthology on Workforce Management,” presented by the Workforce Institute at Kronos Management, a leading company in global workforce management solutions.