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Just as important as acknowledging that 'all men are created equal' is acknowledging that all employees are not, or, at least, not where skills and job performance are concerned. As job success relies largely upon the success of technology and equipment provided by people seeking to customize for the individual yet diversify for the majority, ‘accomplishing’ can be a test more often than a task. Anyone who works with equipment where the word 'leads' actually refers to that which connects them to the ability to do the job knows both, the good and bad of the meaning of the term 'hi-tech'. Whether perched in front of a sewing machine or a computer monitor, today’s employee is either, directly or indirectly plugged into hi-tech maneuvering somehow. It’s no wonder the frustration for both employers and job seekers trying to find the perfect fit.

It’s been said that employees are like street cars..... if one doesn’t work out, just wait a few minutes and another will be along shortly. I say that good employees ARE the streetcars carrying the rest of the employees who are mis-matched for the job.

Choosing and placing the right person for the job will always be a great challenge but can and must be done. If your ‘search in progress’ has you butting your head against the wall, don’t give up so easy. Refine your focus to easier separate 'qualified' from ‘not’.

Remember to always have minimum production goals and expectations for every position. Be sure to explain their detail to your applicant BEFORE you do the hiring. This helps eliminate disappointments from poor performance that you might otherwise have.


RULE #1 Don’t allow desperation to force you to hire the first 'warm body off the street'. Desperation must always give way to the greater priority, finding good help!

Yes, with costs in training and paying for mistakes that can happen with new personnel, we’d all like to score the best person for the job the first time around. But, those chances are slim. Just like building quality into anything, it takes time to build a good, workable team. Rely on your patience and take the time needed to make right choices. Hits and misses are a natural step in the process but be patient-your team will come together.

RULE #2 You should always be recruiting qualified employees, always looking to replace the weakest performer in your business. Remember, the right person comes along rarely, in fact, usually when you’re not looking. Don’t let the right employee leave.

RULE #3 Keep the interview process in balance, neither rushed nor lengthy. Review the application thoughtfully, considering several issues:

A) Was the app filled out completely and, if information is missing, why?

B) Did anyone witness prospective employee filling out the application or was it ready in advance, just submitted? It’s important that the applicant be able to read and write and this is one way of knowing.

C) Are there gaps in their employment history and, if so, what is the explanation?

RULE #4 Don’t be afraid to want to know what you need to know about the person. Keep in mind that priority is to employ someone qualified to help maintain and grow your business to the fulfillment of your goals.

A) Because particular questions cannot be asked of neither, applicant nor former employee, have a list of questions written down so that you don’t miss anything as you stay within the limits of the law. Don’t rely on memory.

B) Listen more than talk. Remember that the idea of the interview process is not to tell the applicant what you know, but to find out what he or she knows including their priorities, goals and expectations of your business. This information will explain a lot more than what you may realize.

C) Arrange for qualified applicants to have lunch with the rest of the team, without owner or manager. Make sure team members know what can be discussed and what can't.

RULE #5 Don’t hire people who don’t have good job references. Make a list of reasonable minimums acceptable in references based on qualifications the job needs and don’t allow desperation to adjust it.

Always verify references both, job-related and personal. I am often amazed with the information I receive about the person in doing this so don’t miss this step.

Remember, there’s a difference between not having good job references and having bad ones. Of course, you wouldn’t hire someone with a bad reference, but, would you bring someone aboard who doesn’t have good ones? If you can’t get good references from former work sources, you only fool yourself hiring the person anyway.

Someone who appears to have had problems on every former job will, most likely, be a problem for you, too. Chances for a good choice are better when at least 75% of their references are favorable.

Rule #6 Ask about work habits

According to the standards your business dictates and what the applicant’s position requires, define good work habits. Ask about the applicant’s work habits with former employers.

Pay attention to the applicants' body language, what they are wearing and the condition of the vehicle they drive. This will give you insight to their self esteem and professionalism.

Rule #7 Be prepared to provide adequate training

It’s human nature to believe a little better of ourselves than what’s true. Be prepared to benefit only about 60% of your new employee’s claims of abilities and ready to provide training to bring them up to 100%.

Ask how he or she feels about further training. You should have a minimum number of training hours recommended and arrangements available for each position. Training is not an expense, but an asset to your business.

Rule #8 never believe that any one particular person can save your life

Although one employee can certainly impact your chances for success, never, can one, alone, provide it. Counting on someone else to do just that is never wise. You must choose each employee based on both, the idea and the environment of 'team'.

Sharing responsibility of interview and choice with co-workers should be an asset to the tasks.


ESi has a great hiring resource available in our Automotive Business Survival Kit.


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