Review Your Hiring Process

Independent retailers hope to hire employees that are dedicated and customer friendly. Unfortunately, two out of three new hires will disappoint you, as 95 out of 100 of them exaggerate during the interview process. Tom Harnish, writer for American Express Open Forum, recently published his advice on four avoidable mistakes frequently made during the hiring process. Your employees will be handling two of the most important elements of your business, customers and cash, and you need to ensure that they will work with care.

1) Interviews don’t tell all. An interview is generally about employer and employee chemistry.  But what does that tell you about their performance level? As recommended by Harnish, “You need to use a structured interview, with questions that have been validated as good predictors of performance.”

2) Comparisons can’t be made to your model employee. Everyone wants a staff of superstars, but you can’t mirror your best employees by matching characteristics. Harnish’s advice, “You can avoid the mistake of trying to clone your superstars by finding someone who has done the work to validate the critical skills for success.” The proof of a superstar is in the experience.

3) A position isn’t all personality. Don’t assume that a certain personality type is built for a certain position, especially when an interviewee is putting on their best face and best manners. You are better off basing your decision on skills or job knowledge tests.

4) Take a close look into their past. Prescreening is essential. According to Harnish, “As many as one in three resumes leave out important information, and some estimates suggest as much as 40 percent of all information on resumes is false or misleading.” If your interviewee is taking great effort to hide a history, how trustworthy can they be on the job?

Hopefully, with the consideration of the above hiring guidelines, retailers can avoid common mistakes and make the best decision for their store and customers. To ensure the desired employee has been hired, there must be continued investment on the retailer’s or business owner’s part. No one is perfect, but with a little guidance, a dynamic staff of superstars can be built by investing in things like on the job training, instruction on customer service, security, policies and procedures, and cash register operation.