Hiring Attitude: Not Just Experience

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HIRING IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS TASKS YOU WILL PERFORM AS AN OWNER OR MANAGER, YET VERY FEW PEOPLE EVER RECEIVE ANY TRAINING ON THE BEST HIRING PRACTICES. THEY OFTEN REACT STRESSFULLY TO A NOTICE FROM AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS LEAVING AND THEIR INSTINCTS ARE TO HIRE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE SO THEY DO NOT CAUSE ADDITIONAL WORKLOAD FOR THEMSELVES
OR OTHER EMPLOYEES.

Eyecare companies should not just be looking for individuals with the right skills, but people with the right attitude. We are, after all, in the people business. We need to ensure that we hire people who love to service people every day. In a study by CEO of Leadership IQ, Mark Murphy, it shows that 46 per cent of the people hired now will fail within 18 months due to attitude. Our business success is almost completely reliant on our employees helping others with their eye care needs so we better find attitudes that are in sync withthat objective.

1 LOOK FOR CLUES & ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Skills are important but attitude is King. Start by reviewing the resume. Someone who has been in hospitality, customer service, retail or sales generally likes people. They require patience and service skills for these types of roles and although that can be learned it is usually inherent in a person’s behavior. Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior so asking behavioral and situational questions in the interview process will make the candidate talk about their performance in a particular setting. People with great attitudes will think quickly of examples of when they helped a customer through a bad experience or how they dealt with an angry patient. Those with a less people-oriented attitude will find it harder to come up with those answers and will take longer to formulate the response.
EXAMPLE QUESTIONS
Behavioural: Tell me about a time when you had a customer angry about their broken glasses that are past warranty. What did you say and do?
Situational: Your colleague has called in sick. You must now cover two areas of the office. You are looking after two customers at the same time and another customer walks in. What do you do?

2 GET REFERRALS FROM LIKE MINDED PEOPLE
Successful companies realize that their current best employees are the type of employees they should be hiring. Start by asking these employees to refer someone they know for the job.
This might go against some owner – manager thought processes but stop worrying about the fact they may be friends and start looking at it from the perspective of a great hire. Good people only want to work with good people. They are not going to refer anyone less amazing than them- selves as they know they have to work with them. When we ask sta why they stay at an organization they often say it because of the people who work there and that they have a “best friend” at the office. Relationships happen regardless
if they know each other beforehand and in this case they might refer another star employee.
PS…if they find you a good employee…pay them a referral fee. A $50 Starbucks card will go a long way.

3 CHECK REFERENCES
Do you know that only 32% of businesses do reference checks? Some think it is a waste of time as they feel that a candidate won’t give a bad reference but that is not always the case. I have called hundreds of references over the years and I will tell you that I personally have encountered interesting feedback when asking questions of former employers. The first thing you must ensure is that the candidate is giving you former supervisors and if not that is a red ag already. If they won’t give you one for a particular job they had ask them why. Don’t hesitate to ask the candidate for more or different references. Asking the right questions once you have the reference is key. Remember you are trying to find out about attitude not skills so choose questions that tailor those answers.
Example: Can you tell me about a time when they turned a bad situation around with a customer? How would you say their attitude was towards dealing with customers all day and especially when it came to a difficult situation? Can you describe their attitude and performance during their work with your organization?
Would you rehire them again?

4 DO A WORKING INTERVIEW
A working interview is really that…a continuation of the interview process. It gives both the employer and candidate a bit of time to evaluate if it is a good fit for both of them. It is a time for the candidate to show what they can do. If they are not from the industry it may be to shadow the top Optician and interject where they can and feel comfortable. The other good thing about a working interview is it gives you a chance to see how the new employee gels with the other staff. Culture and fit are as important as attitude.
Tip: Plan the working day interview schedule and have someone with the new employee all day

5 PERFORM A PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT
Personality plays a signi cant role in attitude type and how that a ects a particular job type. Certain personalities are more suited to certain roles in an o ce especially the front customer facing roles. The results are always subjective to the type of information requested from the candidate but they often enlighten the employer as to a direction of strengths and weaknesses as well as predicted behaviors. There are clearly people who show favorably in roles that are people oriented so even uncovering these facts alone is helpful in the decision process.
Option: Optimizehire.com is an online assessment company actually started by an eye care professional who has a speci c assessment for an eye care practice. (US based)
Option: Hiringsmart.com a widely used assessment for all business types Final thoughts….the cost of hiring someone with the wrong attitude is far greater than taking the time to hire the right person with the right attitude. Right?
Trudi Charest is the Co-Founder of 4ECPs. 4ECPs is a business resource company for eye care professionals. www.4ecps.com or trudi@4ecps.com.

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