Job details necessary for potential employees

score Question:
Can you give me some advice on recruiting employees? I seem to be doing something wrong because my batting average of hiring and retaining employees is poor.

Recruiting, screening, selecting and retaining good employees can be a hassle, if you let it.

Let's start with a detailed job description of the position. When the type of candidate is identified, let the recruiting begin.

At first you can start with a standard employment application form. These are available at most business-supply stores. You could use a more detailed form if you are looking to fill a technical position, such as in research or engineering. But as you gain experience, you really need an employment application suited to your business that will satisfy each job description.

It is imperative that you do not discriminate by gender, religion, national origin, age or sexual preference. Asking background questions can be a delicate matter, so how you ask is important.

Before interviewing, a major question must be answered: Does this position require a person with experience in this work or could a novice suffice? If you decide on the latter, who is going to train your employee if your background is in another field?

Applying a product learning curve can be one thing, but if you pile on the job-skill requirement, you could be headed for a disaster.

Successful retention is a combination of good interviewing, proper indoctrination and continued motivation.

During the interview, cover all aspects of the job: What is expected, what are the responsibilities and matching authority, compensation and growth opportunities. Most prospects are interested in compensation and employee benefits, such as medical insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation time. This is normal. Few are primarily interested in opportunities for growth. If sincere, such a person could turn out to be one of your key personnel.

You might not be able to afford some candidates because of the job market. It is best to establish this early in the interview by asking the range of expected compensation. Many applicants have asked for and received more base income than ever. This is a matter of concern if it doesn't fit into your budget, which brings up another point - your budget is a necessary part of your business plan, you are in trouble from the start.

Other tools can be used in the hiring process, such as tests, profile analysis and multiple interviews.

The most valuable quality you want to uncover is attitude. A positive attitude is a basic key to success, and it is almost impossible to make the grade without it. Asking a few simple questions can bring out the prospective employee's attitude: What did you like about your last job? What didn't you like and how would you change it? These questions will not violate the candidate's rights nor be discriminatory. Neither would questions on civic or community involvement. The answers could give you a good insight into the job-seeker.

Now the job is up to you. Good luck.

Bill Bryan is a counselor with the Service Corps of Retired Executives. SCORE offers counseling, workshops and seminars on small business operations. You can reach Bryan through SCORE, 515 N Court St. 815-962-0122, for information and appointments.

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