The Effects of a Poor Hire
So, we all make mistakes. What we're going to be talking about today is maybe something a bit more important than just dialling the wrong number, and that is hiring the wrong person. If you've experienced the effects of a poor hire, you know what I'm talking about. It's a terrible feeling. You grab them on, you already go through all the interviewing process, you've gone through Seek, you've got 200 resumes that you've looked through. You're resumed out. You could write a book on reading resumes, and no one would read it because it's boring! But you've got there. You've gone through the process of hiring and interviewing, and you've got the person in front of you, or hired remotely, depending on how your business is set up. And you've decided that they are the best person. Then they just don't seem to work the way they interviewed. They're obviously really good at selling themselves, but shithouse at performing and bringing things to the table.
The issues that I've had all come down to performance. If you've got key performance indicators in place, you can make sure of that. One of the things that's really important in our business is attention to detail. I've changed around the way that we actually go about hiring people now. Throughout the process, there is information in the summary stating to make sure you don't follow the directions that are on Seek, along with other cool little nidbits saying, "If you don't use my name when putting through your cover letter, you will not be considered for the job." You make sure that job offer on Seek is long enough that it's not just, "Please say hey to me," you make sure it's long enough that they actually have to read through and you know they are pulling that information in. That cut down heaps of people, and I've found the integrity and the quality of the people that were hired after that have always been better. So that's a little hint and tip if you have a problem with people maybe not having enough attention to detail.
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Find Out How Long They Take to Do Tasks
If you find that they're not coming into work on time or the deliverables and what they're trying to achieve isn't happening as quickly as you'd like it to, the next step is also a pearler. When they email through to you, and you get your IT company to set this up, it logs a time or sends them an email asking them for information on something, and it could be anything. It could be, "Give us more information about your travel arrangements," or, "Do you have a current driver's licence," or whatever the situation is. It doesn't really matter. They then get that and then their timer starts from then until when they respond, showing you how punctual they are and how interested they are in getting the job. This gives you the knowledge that they have a high level of integrity, they are fast to respond, and if you've snuck in your name and a few instructions, they've got great attention to detail. So now we've already covered off on a whole bunch of problems that I've experienced over the last 11 years of hiring.
The next one is an obvious one, which I bring up all the time, documentation. Make sure you've got stacks of documentation, and it takes you a lot of time and a lot of money to write it up, but it is so important. If you've got that documentation there you can see when people aren't doing what they're meant to be doing, but what's more important, the training time is so much quicker. When you hire someone you're doing it because you're trying to money or make more time available for yourself. One way or another you don't want your time to be taken up while they're costing you money to train them. So if you've got all your training documentation in place, it makes things super-simple and super-easy to jump through those hoops. If you don't have those in place it's not as easy. If you do have the documentation in place, you're able to fire them or give them a warning if they're not following it, making the ability to get rid of them much, much easier.
Something to Think About
There's so many people that applied over the years and I've tried outsourcing and other bits and pieces like that, and your mileage varies, and it varies in all circumstances. It doesn't matter if you're paying $15 an hour or $150 an hour, your mileage varies. There's no real rhythm or rhyme to the way things work like that. What's important to know is you need to get someone with a high level of integrity and a level of trust where you know they're going to be doing what you want them to be doing with you, and not against you. Make an effort to have them fill out how long tasks take them. Everything that we do in business revolves around a support system that has a service board on there and we can see how long each task is taking.
Real Life Example
I had a situation with one of the hires from last year that was taking a long time to do a task. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but a few weeks later I thought, "Wow that task, it's still a long time for this task." It's a task that only takes maybe 20 minutes but they were taking an hour-and-a-half, and I thought, "Hmm, bit odd," and 20 minutes task was taking me 20 minutes and I went, "Well, I've been doing it for a while and it's a task I have to do many, many of, so 20 minutes is 20 minutes, an hour-and-a-half is an hour-and-a-half, but you do it 20 times in a week and all of a sudden you're taking four-and-a-half times longer, they don't have enough time to do any of the other tasks. So I went through a process and said, "How are you doing this? How is this time being taken up like this?" And what it came down to was they just weren't skilled enough to do it. I created new documents and I gave it to someone who was not skilled whatsoever. Now, the document was 78 pages long, but I gave it to someone who had no skill in this area whatsoever, and lo and behold, they were able to do it faster and better, and the reason for that is the documentation. But, with the right documentation, you can make the right hires and you can make sure the people are working together.
The Final Word
Although you might have had a bad experience hiring someone, or you're looking hire someone, you don't want to have a bad experience, being able to analytically look at what everyone's doing, making sure that you have someone who has great attention to detail, is super-punctual, you won't have a problem. Anyway, stay good.
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