Who is Working for You? Consider These Three Items Before Hiring in your A/E Firm (guest post)
Today, a tale of caution before you make your next hire, from guest blogger Jane Smith. Jane is very familiar with personal information screenings and online background checks, and regularly writes about these topics in her blogs. Feel free to send her comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note in the comments section, below.
I watched my parents build a small landscaping store into a bustling business for over twenty-five years. Though the rewards were great, my mother and father worked tirelessly every day of the week. I often wondered if it was really worth all the anxiety and stress they carried around with them.
I once overheard my father saying, ‘It’s not the work that’s tricky. That’s always been easy. It’s managing the fifty employees that gets me.’ For years, I never understood what he meant. Whenever I visited them at their company, everybody seemed to be busy as a bee causing no trouble. I later learned that my parents always had one or two employees they had to keep their eye on. It sounds easy, given that two out of fifty is hardly anything. Yet, as I later learned through my own career, even one person can derail an entire successful operation.
Knowing who works for you is a vital part of running any business. If you don’t know who is stepping on the job each day, you may find yourself in a bind, a liability – or worst of all – a lawsuit. As I’ve learned through my own work experiences, it’s vital to know who you are hiring before you bring them on the job. Consider these three items before hiring anyone to join your staff:
Word-Of-Mouth-Referrals are the Best
As the old saying goes, “It’s all about who you know.” It may seem unfair, but it’s true: It’s best to go with somebody you know as opposed to a random person who walks through the door looking for a job. Whenever you are hunting for new talent to join your team, ask those you trust most – fellow employees, family members, business colleagues, etc. – to help you track down your next hire. I’m not saying that an unknown applicant is unacceptable; however, searching through a web of referrals is usually the best way people find astute, reliable employees. Sticking to this formula will help you in transitioning a new employee to your team.
Run a Background Check – Always
It would be wonderful to think that every person who came to work for you was a saint with no problems, no past, and no trouble. Unfortunately, we don’t live in such a world. It’s best to have your guard up, especially when hiring new people. A background check reveals a lot about a person: their past, their problems, and, likely, what they are capable of doing. If a person comes to you with poor credit and an extensive criminal record, what does that say about the person? I’m not saying that the world isn’t full of second chances, but you need to ask yourself what this person is capable of doing to your business. Are you willing to take a risk on that? That’s up for you to decide.
If it Smells Fishy, It Probably is
Let’s say you’ve hired a new employee and things seem to be going great, but then all of the sudden job materials start disappearing. The first one or two don’t really bother you, but the third and fourth burn. What’s going on? Well, here’s the unfortunate truth: If stuff starts to turn up missing and it didn’t before there was a new employee in the ranks, you might have a problem on your hands. No, don’t accuse anyone of anything without hard evidence, but keep your eye out for more occurrences. I give you this wisdom because I watched this very thing happen to my parents. They hired someone to manage their business on the weekends and one day $400 turned up missing from the register. My father quietly looked into his new employee’s past and discovered that he had stolen money from a number of businesses. You can imagine how much longer he was employed after that.
Hiring new employees can be an exciting process, but it’s always best to proceed with caution. If you find yourself needing some extra help, consider these three tips when hiring anyone and everyone.
Thanks Jane! Questions, comments, stories to share of your own hiring problems? Leave a note below.