Finding the Best Fit

If you don't know what you're looking for, how will you know if you've found it?

By: Terri Hammond

The goal of an interview is to determine whether a given candidate matches the position available. If our hiring process doesn’t provide a clear answer to this fundamental question, we will make inappropriate hires and our business will suffer.
To fill a position, we need clarity – a lot of it. We’re looking for 4 things to be clear any time we’re ready to hire someone:

1. Is the position clear? That is, has the organization carefully evaluated its needs, evaluated the functions required and designed a position that fits? And does the candidate understand the position that’s available?

2. Is the vision clear for what the new hire will bring?  (HINT: If the position is clear, this vision is also usually clear.) At ThistleSea, we view this through the lens of the “3Cs” – competence, commitment, and chemistry. When we’ve got a vision for the new hire, we should be able to say things like:

Not ideal on the "commitment" scale.

Not ideal on the "commitment" scale.

  • Competence: The new hire needs to: have advanced typing skills and knowledge of MS Office, have supervisory experience of at least 3 people in the past, and be exceptionally good at written and phone communication.

  • Commitment: The new hire needs to: be self-motivated and self-directed, handle stress well and calmly, and have an attitude that views errors as experience. Is the candidate willing to do what it takes to perform at a high level?

  • Chemistry: The new hire needs to: be collaborative and supportive of the team, and be comfortable with goals and goal-setting for her/himself and others. Will the candidate fit well in the current company culture?

3. Is the vision clear for what this candidate can bring? When a real person is sitting in front of us, we need to know if they demonstrate the 3Cs we’re seeking! The interview questions we ask should elicit responses that reveal the competencies, level of commitment and chemistry that would make the candidate a good cultural fit.

4. Does our vision match what the candidate can bring? If they match, this candidate might be a good hire. If they don’t match, we need to be honest about whether our organization can accommodate the mismatches. Following the interview, we should be able to explain clearly the matches and mismatches. If we can’t do this, we may need to change our interview questions.

Too often, we ask supervisors or HR staff members with only cursory knowledge of a position to interview candidates. It’s a bad idea.
You’ll only recognize the right person when you know the 3Cs needed to be successful in that role – and you see that the candidate has got them.

If you're looking to upgrade your talent, we can help.

Strengthening Your Workforce

By John Laslavic

Many businesses we talk to are in dire need of employees with two important characteristics; (1) their attitudes of service honor the business code of conduct and (2) they have the technical competency to perform in their position at a high level. 

Today, most owners and executives advertise for positions when an employee leaves (or right after the employee gives notice). Owners and HR departments perceive that they're competing for quality employees in their specific market segment. And they complain that there are no quality candidates to fill open positions.

Without denying that market factors can impact one's local labor market, we submit that there are three things that business owners and executives can do to reduce the number of open positions, quickly fill vacant positions, and improve the quality of work in the company's workforce.

  1. Stop hiring and start marketing!
    Take action to continuously network, market and accept applications and resumes. Don't be afraid to replace non-performers or those who bring down morale.

    Accept responsibility for the results you are achieving. Don’t make excuses or blame others. Your organization has a lot to offer, and you need to clearly communicate those benefits to your target potential employees.
  2. Evaluate performance.
    Identify each employee's role in the organization, and evaluate individual performance on an ongoing basis. Provide coaching and feedback to each employee, and follow up on all corrective actions to ensure improved performance. Replace employees that are not happy, not performing, and do not share your organization's values.
  3. Actively seek “on-deck” candidates.
    Create a bench of candidates that meet your company's requirements (also called "ondecking."). By creating a talent pool of qualified candidates, you can avoid long vacancies and continually identify more qualified applicants. That will improve and upgrade your organization's workforce.

ThistleSea can work with you to both evaluate your current system and coach your organization to improve it. Give us a call at 724-935-1930 to learn more about our capabilities.

When I say "anti-social HR," what does it mean?

Would you describe your HR as “anti-social”?

I’ve been leading workshops for a not-for-profit group called Priority Two for about 10 years. Recently, I was leading a workshop of about 20 people, all with years of experience working in professional and administrative careers, who now found themselves seeking employment. Many of them had not sought employment for a decade or more. During our group discussions, the term “anti-social human resources” came up.

“What do you mean?” I asked them.

They stated that many companies’ HR representatives do not provide them with a great impression of the company. They said that the job functions, duties and responsibilities are not available or well-defined. They told me that success in the position could not be explained by HR representatives. There was no passion or excitement for the company and its direction. There wasn’t a clear agreement on exactly what the interviewer hoped to achieve during the interview. And finally, they mentioned the “HR black hole” – the experience of sending information to HR online and having it go forever unacknowledged.

NASA didn't realize they illustrated an all-too-familiar HR process.

NASA didn't realize they illustrated an all-too-familiar HR process.

How would your company stack up?

Have you recently reviewed your business plans to ensure you have a staffing plan? Are your current and future employees a functional fit for your short- and long-term business success?

Focus on effectively running your company’s human resources functions is critical. But why?

Because ALL employees must contribute to the bottom line, and there is less room today financially to carry non-productive employees. Competition for the great, productive employee is at an all-time high. They may cost a bit more, but so can non-productive employees and turnover.

If the business does not do the upfront work to recruit effectively and lead employees through the strongest agreements possible, it may never achieve the desired outcomes and success for the owner. A strong human resources program in today’s business environment is required.

The need to recruit, hire, on-board, train and retain top quality management and associates to your company is more critical than ever.

If you want to learn more about putting a productive human resources plan together for your company, give our team at ThistleSea a call.

Have a great summer!


Am I ready to hire my first employee?

So I have a company and I'm thinking about hiring an employee. Are there best practices I should follow?

Although the hiring process may be complex, ThistleSea outlines 10 specific steps to make it more clear.

We suggest you follow these 10 steps:

  1. Design the position.
  2. Prepare a revenue forecast.
  3. Prepare the job description, performance standards and performance evaluation.
  4. Seek candidates.
  5. Select the top 5-10 candidates for phone interviews.
  6. Disqualify candidates who do not meet the job requirements.
  7. Schedule and conduct first face-to-face interviews.
  8. Conduct employment checks.
  9. Schedule and conduct second face-to-face interviews, during which the performance standards are reviewed in detail. (At this time it may be appropriate to conduct behavioral assessments.)
  10. Make your decision and prepare the offer letter!

Would you like to hire with confidence? Contact ThistleSea to make it happen!

"Because your business should lead to abundance."