Volume 11, Issue 6 - November/December 2007

IWFA Update
Hiring the Right Person

According to many human resources professionals, it’s a “seller’s market” right now. That means the person looking for a job is holding the proverbial cards. For many companies, finding the right candidate and then “selling” the person on the position can be a daunting task. And what do companies often do when they face such a challenge? They default to the familiar. 

When it comes to personnel, “defaulting to the familiar” often means hiring people with a similar background and experiences to others within the organization. This “safe” approach can often prove disastrous, because companies—even entire industries—need new ideas to grow. Without fresh perspectives, product and service quality would flat-line faster than an EKG reading in an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” 

To maximize the likelihood of finding and hiring the right candidate, it helps to follow a series of well defined steps. I have found the following approach to be most effective: identify what needs you are trying to meet with the position; attract candidates with skills (not necessarily experience) consistent with those needs; conduct a professional interview (avoid the temptation to simply engage in a conversation); and negotiate in good faith. 

It’s important to have a clear goal and job description. Before buying a car, you would likely consider the size of your family, the purpose of the vehicle, the activities you enjoy and your budget, right? Well, writing a job description isn’t all that different. Ask yourself: Why am I hiring someone new? Is this an opportunity to not only improve business performance, but also enhance corporate culture? Is this a new position, or am I replacing someone who has moved on? 

Start Recruiting
Advertising in the local paper is no longer sufficient, particularly for skilled positions such as installers. Far reaching websites, such as monster.com™ and careerbuilder.com™, are excellent places to post your description. If you are looking to hire someone energetic and ready to learn, you may consider posting your position with employment officers at college campuses and trade schools. Personal networking, however, remains the most effective of all recruiting techniques. Talk to your suppliers and distributors. They may have received a resume that was perfect—if only they had an open position. What about affiliated suppliers or business partners, such as replacement glass or window treatment businesses? Sometimes a little “co-ompetition” can be healthy. Don’t forget that industry press like Window Film magazine and the trade shows they sponsor are also rich sources of information that could jumpstart your recruiting efforts. 

Conduct the Interview
Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. Doing so will not only help ensure you pick the right applicant, but it will also allow the candidate to better evaluate the position. When probing for evidence of creativity or conflict resolution, it’s best to ask behavioral questions. If the answers are vague, it’s your job to dig deeper. Make sure you get the specific information you need and be on the lookout for overly scripted answers. If the position allows for a broader skill set, remain open to candidates seeking a career change. These individuals may bring with them diverse experiences that can help reinvigorate an office.

Make an Offer
Congratulations! You found the right person for the job. Now it’s time to convince the candidate that your company is right for them. Provide the individual with recent press clippings about your business; offer to schedule a peer lunch to help the person get to know others in the organization; volunteer a call or meeting with the vice president or even the chief executive officer. Transparent companies are trusted companies. Open as many doors as possible, and the right person will walk through one. 

Tom Niziolek is director of sales and marketing for Madico Inc. and president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA). Mr. Niziolek’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.