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How to hire winners: 6 traps to avoid (part 3)

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Last month, we discussed how much importance should be placed on the actual interview and a candidate’s personality. Here are three more pointers to help you make that all-important hiring decision.

4) If the candidate looks good, interviews well and has a good track record of success, then hire?
Only if you want to take a risk. Did you call the last two employers for a reference check? Did you ask the employer if they would hire your candidate back if they had the chance? You may think the candidate can succeed working for you even if they failed with past employers. But do people change? You are more likely to win the lottery than see a major personality change.

Tell past employers what you want the applicant to do and let the past supervisors give you their assessment. They know your candidate better than you. If you don’t get a rousing yes, you may be taking a risk you can’t afford. There are times good people get stuck in bad jobs. But winners find ways to succeed no matter where you put them.

5) If someone doesn’t work out for you, try to find someone else who will?
If you hired someone to do a job and they didn’t succeed, you better be 100 percent sure why. You could be hiring the same mistakes again and again. Find out why people have failed at the job you are trying to fill. If you can select for strengths in those areas, you automatically have a 25 percent better chance of hiring the right person the next time.

If you are hiring a salesperson, here is a tip. Xerox research has shown that prospects say no four times before they say yes. The problem is most new salespeople quit after three. If your new hire has the skill but lacks the tenacity to keep calling someone who keeps saying no, you may need to hire again in a few months.

6) Did you do a performance review on those who previously succeeded at the job?
Who has previously performed well at the job you are selecting for? Was that person diligent and stayed until the job was done right? Did they do tasks on time? Did they have a sense of humor? You need to write down six to eight characteristics and duties that a winner at your job must have or do. Don’t get drowned by the details. Determine which six to eight characteristics your last successful worker had and then select for them. Judging personality and skill will never be a problem for you again. Now you know how to pick winners.