ICS Magazine

10 Factors in Hiring and Retaining Employees

July 2, 2012
business meeting stock image

If your desire is to one day have the ultimate American dream, a turn-key business, you will need employees. Although this task may seem overwhelming to you, it is not all that difficult. Too many people have given up on this dream because of the misguided notion that good employees don’t exist. That thought is a lie and if you think that, then it is imperative to change your thinking and realize there are plenty of great people wanting to work for a good company. Here are 10 important factors in hiring and keeping fabulous employees that will be an integral part of your turn-key business:

  1. Believe that great people exist who can work for you. If you think everyone in the talent pool is worthless, lazy and sub-par, guess who probably will be working for you. That’s right - worthless, lazy and sub-par people. There is something to say about the Law of Attraction and it is very true that “What you think about, you bring about.” I will be listing some very practical ways to find great people but you must have the right attitude about this aspect of your business, too.
     
  2. Don’t allow low performers to work for you. Don’t allow low performers to work for you. Don’t allow low performers to work for you. No, that’s not a typo - I wanted to say this three times because of the utmost importance of this point. Too many business owners are held hostage by low-performing employees. These people not only ruin your business, they ruin your life. Get rid of them, please! You know who they are, don’t you? Who came to mind when you were reading this? To deal with them, bring them into the office, point out their mistakes, give examples of the mistakes and tell them that you are going to watch them like a hawk for the next 30 days. As you keep an eye on them, 1/3 will quit, 1/3 will move up and 1/3 you will fire. The online shoe company, Zappos, offers all their employees $2,000 to quit after 90 days of working for them. They figure that money is well spent to eliminate the people who really don’t want to be there. Genius.
     
  3. A turn-key business does not have employees who need babysitting. Hire people of character. I know what you are thinking, “How do you know they have good character?” Of course, there is no 100% sure-fire method, but there are some ways to tell. For instance, how long did they work at previous jobs? If they bounce around from job to job, guess what? If they stay at their jobs for years, that’s a very good sign. Personal grooming and nice clothes also make a difference. Furthermore, consider having them write an essay about why you should hire them and why this job is a good fit for them. You will get into their thinking and also discover their spelling and grammar abilities. My friend Ellen Rohr asks interviewees to sing “Happy Birthday” to her. The idea behind that is you find out how willing they are to obey your instructions.
     
  4. Be a great business. If your business is doing well and has a good reputation, people will come to your door asking for work. I have hired many great people because they approached us and really wanted to work for our company. When someone outstanding comes along and you don’t have a position available, you may want to hire them anyways. Bite the bullet, work hard and be determined to grow your business in order to keep this great person on board.
     
  5. Be aware that the first day on the job for a new hire is very important. At my business, all new hires get at least $100 on their first day of work. Why would I do that? The first day of a new job plants an impression in the person’s mind about their perception of the job, forever! I have given up to $1,000 for management positions to new hires on day one because I want them to think that this is the greatest job and company ever. Have I ever been burned and fired the new hire a few days later? Sure, but so what? The vast majority stays and love working for our company. You’ve got to believe in what you are doing and a few failures are no big deal.
     
  6. Your employees are a great source for finding new hires. When your employees love working for you, they would like their friends to get in on the fun. When a new position becomes available, tell your employees because there is a good chance they know someone who is good. You can reward them monetarily, too, for finding a good hire.
     
  7. Please be careful about hiring relatives. If you are going to hire a relative, be very upfront about the fact that they could be fired one day. Emphasize that if that day ever occurs, you will still be friends and, in the words of Don Corleone, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” Also, if you presently have a relative that is a low performer and needs to go, fire them! Again Don’s words ring true and if it is a very difficult situation, give them a nice chunk of change as you say, “Adios amigo.”
     
  8. Craigslist and other such services can be a great source for employees. The key here is to have a game plan that includes a great ad, a process that weeds out the undesirables and a thorough follow-through. Talk to your top candidates on the phone first. If they have a pleasant voice and are well spoken, have them come in for an interview. Also, refer to point one, hire people of character, to make this idea work.
     
  9. Have the top choices take an online test. These tests can be tailor-made to fit the job description and they are very accurate at describing the person’s abilities. The cost is around $150 per person but well worth it. You can contact me via my website, www.davedeblander.com for more info.
     
  10. Hire only great people and then keep them around. Pay them well (pay them with incentives and commissions so the best get paid well), praise high performers, coach the middle performers, be generous with your vacation program (it’s great to have happy, refreshed employees), keep the lines of communication open and give your great performers responsibilities. Great performers love challenges and responsibilities almost as much as they love being paid well. Learn to delegate.

 

In conclusion, especially in today’s economy, there are plenty of great people who need a good job, so be determined that those folks will be working for you. No more stinkin’ thinkin’ about employees. Got it? Good!