ABCs of hire tough, manage easy

January 22, 2018 -  By

Managers who hire tough know exactly who they’re looking for and refuse to lower their standards. They cover all the bases—from A to Z—and create a win/win situation for the new hire and employer alike. Here’s what they do.

Attitude. Hire for attitude, train for skills. The main reason clients leave is an indifferent attitude on the part of an employee.

Body language. If you don’t pay attention to an applicant’s posture, facial expressions and body movements, you’ll miss more than half of what’s being communicated.

Capacities. Define the mental and physical capacities needed. It’s senseless to spend time with any applicant who can’t meet basic requirements.

Decision making. Most interviewers make a hire/no hire decision within 30 seconds of meeting an applicant. Weigh all the information gathered before dismissing or hiring any candidate.

Employees. A great source of new employees is all the good employees you already have. Ask them if friends, family or people they’ve worked with elsewhere might be interested.

Former employees. Another source of new hires is all the good people who used to work for you. Call and ask if they want to come back.

Gut feeling. If your gut says, “Don’t hire this person,” then don’t. If it says “Hire this person,” doubt it. Always get objective verification through reference checks.

Hire tough. Tough hiring systems are the best insurance against negligent hiring lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims.

Interview tough. Don’t interview with the application in front of you or you’ll end up simply confirming information instead of finding out what you need to know.

Job. The most important job you have is hiring. If you put the right people in the right jobs, managing is easy.

Knowledge. There are only two sources of knowledge about a potential new hire—the applicant and the people who know the applicant. Check them both out thoroughly.

Listen. The most common mistake interviewers make is talking too much.

Maintain control. Tell applicants what you’re going to cover. Let them know they’ll have an opportunity to ask questions after you’ve told them briefly about the job and the company and have asked your questions.

Notes. Take notes, but never on the application. It’s a legal document you need to keep on file whether or not the applicant is hired.

Open-mindedness. Be aware of your personal biases; don’t rule out anyone because of them. You’re looking for the best person to do the job—not the person you like best.

Personality. Try to get a good fit between the applicant, manager, job and company. People with good attitudes will manage their personalities (do things they don’t really like to do) to get the job done.

Quality assurance. Once you’ve identified the capacities, attitudes, personality traits and skills necessary to do the job well, don’t lower your standards. Your best people often leave because they tire of working with your hiring mistakes—those with poor attitudes who aren’t team players.

Recruiting. Recruiting is an ongoing activity and the best time to recruit is when you don’t need anyone.

Skills. If you have to hire for skills, the only way to ensure you get what you need is to test for them.

Test. Every step in your hiring process should be viewed as a test, and each test should get progressively more difficult.

Upgrade. Every time you have to hire, it’s a chance to improve the whole organization. Keep raising the bar.

Verify references. Always check references. The only way to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits and bad hiring decisions is to verify the information the applicant gives you.

Who, What, Where, When and Why? You can’t hit the target if you don’t know what it looks like. Write a job analysis that answers these questions, and you’ll score a bull’s-eye every time.

X-out unsuitable applicants. Do a short phone screening before asking anyone to come in for testing or an interview. This limits your legal exposure and ensures applicants meet all your basic requirements.

Yield. Don’t make an offer before you have all the facts. What you see in the interview is better than anything you’ll ever see again.

Zero in. Identify the mental and physical capacities, attitudes, personality traits and skills you need. Test for what’s needed and interview only the best of the best.

To enter to win a copy of Kleiman’s book, “267 Hire Tough Proven Interview Questions,” click here.

This is posted in January 2018

About the Author:

Mel Kleiman is the author is the founder of Humetrics. He helps companies build high-quality, frontline, hourly workforces. Reach him at

Comments are currently closed.