Hiring Great Employees

Pre-Screen Applicants


Effective hiring is critical to any manager’s success in business. Hiring an unproductive or negative employee reflects as poorly on a manager as hiring a superstar reflects positively on the same manager. Check out these easy hiring tips to build a great team.

Depending on your current position, hiring may mean reviewing resumes or it may mean interviewing people right off the street. Regardless of the circumstances a few key items will help to sift through the wrong people and find the gems that every manager is hoping for.

Businesswomen shaking hands.

It is extremely helpful to pre-filter your applicants by requiring a drug test and performing a background check. Most businesses need drug-free, non-violent employees. Work with your HR department (if you have one) to help with this aspect.

Whether you are hiring front-line employees or office executives, employment agencies (temp agencies) are a great place to start. You’ll pay a premium for a while, but they perform a lot of services up front like the drug testing and background checks. Also, if things don’t work out, you can call them up and have them send a replacement.  

The Interview

In regards to interviewing, the most critical thing to have at your command is the knowledge of the position for which you are hiring. Some managers came up through the ranks and know everything about every position. If they have any interviewing skills at all, they can pick out the right type of person to fit the job.

If you’re interviewing for a position that you know very little about, the answer is research, research, research. Find out everything you can about the position and the folks that do the job. Find out what makes them good at it! Compose a list (with their help) of the most important qualities that are necessary for their job so you know what to look for.

Once you know as much as possible about the position that is being filled, come up with a list of questions appropriate to the job. This is useful for several reasons. For one, some interviewers get nervous with applicants and a set list of questions helps to keep the conversation moving. Additionally it ensures that every applicant answers the same questions and makes it possible to compare applicants.  

Its A Numbers Game

Interview lots and lots of people and keep notes on each one! The only way to get really good at interviewing hopeful applicants is to do a lot of them to get a feel for how they act and what sorts of answers you’re looking for. Eventually you’ll be able to whittle down the number of questions you ask since you’ll realize bad answers immediately and cut short an interview that is going nowhere.

Be careful about deciding too quickly about an applicant. At some point you’ll get really good at it and think you can pick them strictly based on their clothes, or hairstyle, or piercings.

While these are not protected groups (like age, gender, race, etc.), today’s eclectic workforce is often surprising. Intelligent, hardworking, productive people come in more varied packages these days. You could pass up a star if you aren’t careful. Pay more attention to the content of their answers and their demeanor than their appearance.

Strong hiring skills reflects very positively on a manager and building yourself a strong team will make your job easier in the long run.