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Work is the thing that you do when you’re not having a life.

Or at least that’s the mentality that most employees bring to their jobs.  Essentially, they’re renting their time and skills to the company while putting everything else on hold.

But you know the problem with this mindset:  You usually just get the minimum level of productivity and dedication to your customers.

This is a problem even in well-paying jobs, by the way.  Read the rest of this entry »

I’m shocked sometimes by how many business owners think that the transaction with employees is all about exchanging work for money.

That’s what’s on the surface, but it must not stop there. Yes, you can get work in return for pay. But you’re unlikely to get productivity, passion, and caring.

There’s two reasons why this matters. Read the rest of this entry »

welcomeI was reading an excellent E-Myth article today on Hiring and Keeping Rockstar Employees.  I was fascinated by their fourth step where they recommend to Hold a Hiring Seminar.  It’s a fantastic idea, and a great way to help your prospective employees to self-select whether they will fit in to your job environment and requirements.

I’ve seen companies which have this kind of thing at a job fair or a massive “hiring day.”  Read the rest of this entry »

This article was first published in the Bolton Remote blog.

john Keogh on Flickr

Photo by john Keogh on Flickr

Most companies follow pretty much the same process for hiring:

  1. You notice that you need some work done.
  2. You write a job description.
  3. You publish that through job boards and other mechanisms.
  4. People apply for the job.
  5. You do multiple levels of filtering, ultimately talking with a few candidates in person.
  6. You make your offer to the best candidate, or if this didn’t work, go back to square one.

These are the steps we’ve been using since the industrial revolution, and you’re familiar with the two key failings Read the rest of this entry »

Personality testingA fair number of companies use personality tests during their interviewing process.  This is dumb.

Why would I say that?

  1. It tells you basically nothing useful.
  2. It’s insulting to interviewees.
  3. Any interviewee that’s halfway intelligent can figure out how to feed you the answer you want to hear.  If you’re testing for test-taking intelligence, there’s much better ways to do it.
  4. It’s a waste of time and money.
  5. You’re kidding yourself that your decisions are any higher quality than just trusting your folks’ gut feel.

Read the rest of this entry »

4360987794_3e40530450_o[1]In the past few weeks, I’ve had several conversations where business owners highlight their difficulty in getting good workers.

Finally.

Gee, we’ve been in this recession for over half a decade, but it’s taken forever for the upturn to start offering more opportunities for employees.  But now we’re seeing some upward pressure on wages, and emerging competition for talent.

It’s time we brush up those skills we haven’t used for awhile.

Read the rest of this entry »

TeamSometimes the topics for the week just pop out from great conversations!

I’ve talked to several people this week about the challenge of building a great, motivated, top-notch team.  This is especially challenging when you’re just starting out, because each person you add radically changes what everybody else is doing.

I hope you realize by now that you can either focus on hiring for character, or hiring for skills.  Of course, character traits are much more important because they’re extremely hard to change.  If you need someone who is readily adaptable to change and hire a person who resists every new idea, then they’re probably going to be miserable until the day they’re no longer with you.  Or you’re able to put them in a more stable and predictable position.

Read the rest of this entry »

I had a chance to support someone this week who wrote an article called What’s the Best Way to Keep Employees Motivated? It’s a decent article, filled with advice from all kinds of industries and businesses.  I’m quoted there.

It’s a common problem.  And the more the economy improves, the more employees will be looking to switch jobs and advance their careers.

What struck me about this article was that most ideas were around treating employees as actual, living, breathing humans.  Every person is an individual and every team has its unique character.

Read the rest of this entry »

YouthI’ve talked with a number of people recently who are again hiring, or focused on issues of employee turnover.  In some ways it’s an encouraging sign, because it often indicates a company growth and improved economy.

But many business owners struggle with getting employees who are a good fit.  I often hear complaints which begin with “kids these days …”

Let me stop you right there.  You’re whining, not problem-solving.

Read the rest of this entry »

StarsLet’s take a moment to ponder today’s topic: Great people want to work with great people.

Do you think it’s true?

I believe this myself, because I see it happening all the time. Top performers aren’t intimidated by those with less talent and dedication, and in fact tend to worry more about being dragged down.

Read the rest of this entry »

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