Hire Employees for Attitudes; Train for Skills

Mary Ellen Slayter at SmartBrief has an interesting article on how she successfully hired 10,000 people in her recruiting career and did a pretty good job of choosing the right candidates. Although, she did this at a large, public companies, we think it applies equally well to small businesses. We would argue that it is even more important to hire the right people in small businesses because it doesn’t take long for your businesses to go down when one or two employees fail to do a good job.
For any small business that is hiring employees for customer facing roles the need to hire people who are enthusiastic and outgoing is critical. Mary Ellen describes a simple test – “handshake” test – she used to do when hiring employees. She would walk up to the job candidate unexpectedly, smile and introduce herself to him/her. If they reacted with enthusiastic smile and greeted with cheer, it was safe to assume that they would behave the same way with customers.
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5 Effective Techniques for On-boarding New Hires

Many business owners miss an opportunity to get the most out of new hires because they do not have well-thought plans to acclimatize new hires quickly. First few days of new hire play a large role in determining whether the person will contribute effectively to your business or will be dud.
In the previous posts we have identified several insights for hiring best employees and reducing staff turnover. Our goal here is to get the best use of your employees once they are hired.
I know several managers and owners who would give a written training manual to the new hire and let him figure out how things are done. In our experience nothing is more effective than on-the-job training by letting the new hire dive right into operations from day 1. In addition, there are several other techniques you can use to get the most out of your new hires. Below we show 5 most effective ones:
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10 Questions You must Ask before Hiring an Employee

In our previous post we mentioned that hiring best employees makes a big impact on how your business performs. We also showed how to go about hiring best employees for your business. However, we have felt that many employers are at a loss when they think about what questions to ask in the job interview. They end up talking about different things before wrapping up the job interview and making hiring decision based on their gut.
In this post we give you ideas on how you can to go in the interview well-prepared plan; so that you can get a clear picture of the job candidate and make informed hiring decision. We also mention what type of personal quality of the job applicant they aim to find out (in parentheses). By understanding personal qualities you can get a pretty good idea of what drives the person and whether he will be motivated and successful after you hire him. Here are the questions:
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7 Proven Techniques to Hire Best Employees

Hiring Techniques
It is fair to say that the owner of small business builds the business; but it’s the employees who make it a success. It has been our personal experience and those of countless other owners that if you want to make your business successful pay careful attention to who you are hiring. Hiring a “right” employee can improve your sales by almost 15-20%; while hiring the “wrong” one can bring it down by the same amount.
How do you make sure you are hiring the “right” employee? What are the good practices you can follow to ensure you don’t end up with someone who will bring your sales down? Here we outline suggestions that can help you do that.
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5 Low Cost Ways to Motivate Employees

Let’s face it. Motivating employees that are making pretty good salary is hard enough. Now try to do it for those who are making minimum wage in a small business and you understand the magnitude of the problem.
However, all is not lost in this battle. There are ways to motivate the employees who are working part-time, on a minimum wage as long as you know what makes them click.
Below we highlight the 5 best ideas we have collected from our own experience and those of our colleagues and business partners.
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Effective Techniques to Reduce Employee Turnover

Employee Turnover
If you own a small business and are not seeing employee turnover of greater than 30% per year you are doing something right and need to advise all the other small businesses. As we all know; for small businesses the employee turnover is a fact of life. One of our clients tells us – “I am not in the restaurant business. I am running a training business because of the constant need to train stream of new employees that I have to hire because of turnover”.
In order to find ways to reduce the turnover it is important first to understand the causes behind it. Some of the causes listed below are obvious and are common across majority of small businesses.
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Do NOT Hire a Close Friend to Work in Your Business

Here is an advice for all small business owners – DO NOT HIRE FRIEND OR RELATIVE TO WORK IN YOUR BUSINESS, if at all possible. I know it sounds harsh and may be even counter-intuitive. After all, in small business you need someone who you can trust with your money and who else would be better suited than a close friend or a relative who you know very well and can trust.

I am not arguing with the benefits of having a trusted friend or relative in the business who can watch for your good. However, you have to weigh this against the downsides that come with it. From what we have seen and experienced the downsides exceed the benefits; which calls for avoiding the situation, if possible.

So what are the problems and issues that come along with the hiring of a close friend or a relative in your business? Wall Street has good examples of the problems here. Here is my list based on my experience and that of some of our business colleagues:
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