Hiring Effectively for Growth


Group of employees workingOne of the biggest parts of Grade A’s success in my opinion over the years was being able to find, hire and engage some of the best and brightest customer focused staff in the business. We knew early on that we would be facing competitors with more funds, better processes and more comprehensive tools but what really mattered was employee satisfaction.

Happy staff = Customer Service Excellence = References = Customers willing to spend more for quality = $$$

Fairly straightforward but often forgotten by larger organizations. We believe in it so much that employee satisfaction has become one of the four core values we live by today. One of the key factors with keeping people happy at work is ensuring everyone on the team has the same set of values and work ethic. The old adage of a bad apple souring the bunch is very applicable when managing a team.

With that in mind, we developed a simple and easy to follow set of rules for our hiring process:

Hire slow and fire fast: This was one of the best lessons I had learned from one of our first mentors Bruce Firestone. Never skip your hiring process no matter how well you think you know the candidate. We trained ourselves in a hiring process called Top Grading. I highly recommended it. The main principles are to ask precise questions and keep digging for the truth. One, two and three hour interviews will get you more insight on an individual’s personality and the reality behind their answers.

Build a bench: A friend of ours named Nick Bock, CEO of Five Nines had given us this idea originally. When you’re interviewing many candidates and have more than one potential for the position, go through the complete hiring process with them and let them know they’ve made the hiring list. Similarly, if you know of people you would love to bring aboard but don’t have a position for, run them through the hiring process to get the interviews, questions and paperwork out of the way. That way when a position opens up you’ve got a list of candidates pre-qualified and ready to join the team cutting the lead time.

Profile for the position:  I was a big fan of psychology in University. One thing I took away from the experience was that most people’s personalities can be put into a pattern. Once you know a person’s pattern, you can more accurately determine what motivates them, how they will react under pressure and what positions may fit them best. We took training sessions on how to perform DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness – see http://www.discusonline.com/udisc/about.html for more information) profiling and created a simplified version. This type of profiling provides an easy way to get a general sense of a person’s personality and if they will fit with your team and the position they are applying for.

Fill out the form below to receive a free copy of our DISC questionnaire and compare it to a few of the classical patterns (http://www.discprofiles4u.com/blog/2012/disc-profile-test-15-classical-patterns-1-of-20/). Your hiring process is usually the first thing to drop when you’re busy and looking for a resource. Keep in mind a miss hire typically costs 1.5 times their annual salary. Ouch!

Post by Mathew Lafrance, President, Grade A

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