It's really hard to find great people. It's also really expensive to hire the not-so-great people. Forbes Magazine author David K. Williams estimates a single “bad” hire costs $25,000 - $50,000. A miss on a manager costs at least six times his or her monthly salary. Now, it's easy to see that a good staff is an investment, not an expense.
The bottom line is hiring "great fits" is more productive than hiring mis-fits. Great fits create great guest experiences. At the same time, we have to define what a "great fit" actually is. Is it someone who already has experience? Not necessarily.
If you hire six wait staff with prior experience, for example, each will have a different style of serving. They will still need to be retrained to match the brand and company culture.
So let's explore some simple truths to hiring, including many pitfalls that companies should try to avoid:
1) Most companies wait to conduct interviews until they NEED SOMEONE, which is already too late. Instead, anticipate growth patterns and staff needs. Be proactive.
2) Most companies give away answers instead of digging deep into an applicant's passion and personal motivators. Never answer questions until all your questions are answered. Ask real questions.
3) Most companies list a set of questions and will check boxes as questions are asked. Dig deeper than this!
4) Most companies ask close-ended questions instead of open-ended questions. When your applicant mentions a talent or passion that you also share, probe deeper. There's real opportunity here. If someone mentions a sport, location, company, or musical instrument that you really know about, without tipping your hand, go deeper, whether the applicant is “blowing smoke” or speaking with real knowledge. They're likely going to do the same about their work.
5) Most companies haven't defined excellence enough to know what excellence looks like in a candidate. This can change by defining your company culture and values.