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Throwback Thursday: May 1996

October 31, 2013 -  By

May-1996With the World Series drawn to a close—and the Red Sox having a third championship title under its belt—the May 1996 cover of Landscape Management stood out to me this week.

While it has no linkage to the sport of baseball, the cover story, titled “Hiring home run hitters” and authored by then Senior Editor Ron Hall, uses baseball slang in reference to hiring practices—such as, “a structured interviewing and hiring process produces more ‘homers’ than ‘strikeouts.’”

Moreover, it points to Orkin Pest Control and Lawn Care as an exemplary hirer.

At the time, Orkin used the following means to vet prospective employees, said Tom Diederich, vice president for government relations at Orkin:

  • face-to-face interview;
  • telephone reference check;
  • drug screening program;
  • felony record check;
  • motor vehicle report;
  • pencil-and-paper “integrity” test; and
  • company physical.

The ultimate question to ask yourself, Diederich said, is, “Would I want this person servicing my home or driving a vehicle in which my wife and children are passengers?”

If the answer is “no,” one should pass on the candidate, he said.

Conclusively, the article’s hiring suggestions can still be applied today. Its ending sentence, however, is a little outdated:

“For more on hiring, consult the business section of your local library (Dewey Decimal 658.311).

For more on hiring, I suggest checking out “How do I develop good people?” from LM’s 2014 Business Planner.

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About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

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