Are You Using Reference Checks to Hire the Best People for Your Business?

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

I am amazed at the number of people who think that reference checks are a waste of time. Done right, they are the single greatest source of information about the person you are thinking about hiring. Who better to tell you about the candidate, then people who have actually worked with him/her.

You should do at least four references: two with their former managers and two with colleagues. If the person you are hiring is going to be a manager, then also conduct reference checks with at least two prior direct reports.

Be sure to ask reference check questions that will help you determine if the candidate not only has the skills and experience for the position, but if he/she will be a strong fit with your company’s culture and values. Questions to ask include:

  • In what context did you work with this person?
  • What were the person’s biggest strengths?
  • Questions related to specific job requirements. For example:
    • Tell me about the candidate’s ability to meet deadlines.
    • Tell me about their ability to use Word.
    • Tell me about their customer service skills.
    • Tell me about their management style.
  • How would you rate the person’s performance on a scale of 1 to 10 and why?
  • What were the person’s biggest areas for improvement back then?
  • Would you want to work with him/her again?

Some of the above reference questions are taken from the “Topgrading Interview Guide” in “Who” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. I highly recommend this book. it will help you hire A+ employees.

Remember, your business is whom you hire! So take the time to conduct thorough reference checks. It will save you time, money, and stress!

Want to learn more about reference checks? Email us  or give us a call at 571-587-5615. We work with our clients every day to ensure they are hiring the best candidates for the job.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To learn more, please visit the PeopleTactics website.

Do You Know How to Write a Job Posting that Will Attract the Right Candidates?

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

Job postings are an advertisement and like any other advertisement their purpose is to get someone interested and to take action. Job postings should 1.) spur a candidate’s interest, 2.) help the candidate determine if they are a good fit in terms of the position’s responsibilities and qualifications as well as your company’s culture and values, and 3.) encourage the qualified candidates to send their resume.

Some elements of well-written job postings include:

  • A brief summary of the position.
  • A summary of your company and what makes it special. Include a description of your company’s services/products, clients, and core values.
  • Information about the ideal candidate in terms of their qualifications (e.g., skills, knowledge, experience and education) as they relate to the position and your company. This could be in the form of an “about you” section of the job description. For example:
    • You are friendly and outgoing.
    • You are able to manage your time effectively.
    • You enjoy working independently.
    • You have experience in and enjoy giving presentations to small groups.
    • You have a degree in information technology.
    • You have at least 5 years of experience as a graphic designer.
  • Key job roles and responsibilities.
  • The benefits offered…be sure to include things that are unique to your company and its culture. For example,
    • Job satisfaction they will receive from helping service your clients,
    • The fun they will have working in your office, and/or
    • Job skills they will develop through your training programs.Your website address.
  • If you are a Government contractor or sub-contractor, the required Equal Opportunity Employer clause (see the OFCCP website for more information as requirements differ based on your affirmative action obligations). As a matter of standard practice, many companies who are not contractors often include the clause “Equal Opportunity Employer” in their postings.
  • Instructions for applying for the position.

After you have drafted your job posting, re-read it to be sure it paints a realistic preview of the position, is free of typos, and professional looking. After all, the job posting is often one of the first introductions a candidate will have to your company and you don’t want the ideal candidate to bypass it!

If you need help writing a GREAT job posting, email us or give us a call at 571-587-5615.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To learn more, please visit PeoopleTactics website.

Finding the Right People to Meet Your Business Needs

By Jennifer Brown, Founder and CEO of PeopleTactics

For many business owners, when you need someone to edit your blogs, book your travel arrangements, or manage your bookkeeping, the traditional route is to hire a full time employee. However, for small businesses, this can often be very costly. Hiring a full time employee constitutes paying a full time salary plus benefits, and even if you have the resources to pay this individual, oftentimes you don’t have the work to support a full time person.

While there is never a shortage of tasks to accomplish, many of these needs fall outside of the business owner’s primary skill set. In reality, these tasks are distracting and sap energy that is needed elsewhere. Business owners should be focusing their talents on the things that are their strengths and the things that help to move the business forward.

In recent years, the term “assistant” has broadened. While most people once thought of an assistant as the person who handles administration, there are now many other tasks that assistants perform for their clients. Of course, you can still hire an assistant to perform more traditional administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, making travel arrangements, and maintaining office supplies. But now, you can also hire someone to perform tasks such as blogging, following up with clients, creating and formatting documents, and bookkeeping. And, you could hire someone to handle and maintain your social media, including your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other pages.

Instead of hiring full time employees, small business owners need to be creative in how they find the right people to meet their business needs. These non-traditional sources are the individuals who want more flexibility in their schedules and include part time employees, college students, interns, companies you can pay by the hour to do this work, as well as virtual assistants and stay at home parents.

By taking advantage of these skilled workers, business owners will discover some truly talented individuals and save money at the same time. These types of workers are highly specialized and tend to be very good at those things for which they are hired. And by hiring these individuals on a contractual basis, a full time salary and benefits are no longer necessary. Additionally, if the arrangement isn’t working out, it’s much easier to end it.

To be perfectly honest, there aren’t many cons to these non-traditional sources. While there is the concern of contractual workers not feeling loyal to your company, hiring someone based on referrals will help to ensure that the individual you hire is trustworthy and reliable. Talk to trusted colleagues and don’t forget to utilize your social media community, to find someone great.

Looking to tap a non-traditional source to find an employee? We can help. Email us or give us a call at 571-587-5615.

PeopleTactics works with small business owners to prevent and solve Human Resources problems that can drain them of their time, money and energy.

To learn more, please visit our website.