Hiring new Managers for your Park isn’t as easy as it looks, but here are some sure fire ways to botch it up…… HIRE IN A HURRY! Your old managers are about to finish up, you’re going on a holiday and there isn’t anyone to replace them. These circumstances have disaster written all over them as the majority of the recruitment decisions made in haste end in tears. Someone once said that Desperation is the worlds worst perfume, and it certainly applies in hiring, as good candidates can be scared off by an overzealous approach by a prospective employer… Take your time, try and think ahead and anticipate your hiring needs, and if it means getting a Relief Manager in for a couple of weeks to make sure you take the time to get the job right… hint hint…1300 972 947 then it is a small price to pay.
WRITE BORING ADS…! In a candidate-short market when good Managers are hard to find, how you represent your business to prospective employees is directly linked to the quality of the candidates that you will get responding. If the ad is boring, unimaginative and dull… guess what the quality of candidates will be like..? If you have the creative instincts of a Siberian Goat get someone else with these skills to write a good job ad for you and stand out from the crowd!
DON’T BOTHER PREPARING A JOB DESCRIPTION… Going into the interviewing process without a detailed job description of the day-to-day responsibilities of the position, along with your expectations of the person in the role is like walking the high-wire without a net…you are going to come to grief. The more information the candidate receives about the role, the company, your expectations of them, and the precise activities of the position, the more likely that the person will work out well. Narrow the gap between their expectation and the reality of the job with lots and lots of information!
HIRE THEM SIGHT UNSEEN. Continuing with the “Mind-the-gap” analogy, I have heard of many instances where managers are hired from the other side of the country on the strength of a phone conversation. When you don’t lay your eyeballs on a management team, and they don’t get a chance to walk around the park, see the customers, check out the residence and the surrounding areas, the gap between expectation and reality for both parties almost always ends in trouble. The gap is just too wide. Yes it’s going to cost you time and money – but not as much as getting rid of the wrong managers will cost you. And don’t even think of asking them to share the cost… what message does that send?
MAKE INSTANT KNEE JERK DECISIONS… “I can tell what a person is like in 5 seconds..” I often hear this around the traps from Park owners and managers. Funnily enough – their staff turnover is usually very high so they get plenty of practise making bad decisions!
… AND THEN JUSTIFY IT WITH FACTS…. Poor interviewers judge candidates based on how they look, or how nice they are. And candidates that tick these boxes usually get an easy ride through the interview, and any negative information tends to be glossed over. It is far better to have a standard set of questions and a process that you follow through with every candidate and reserve your judgement to the end of the interviews. Not every candidate hits the ground running and it is in your best interests to give every candidate the opportunity to show you what they are capable of.
INTERVIEW ON-THE-FLY! If you are interviewing candidates without giving the actual interview so much as a second thought until the candidate walks through the door, then you are doing yourself, your business and more importantly, your candidates an enormous disservice. You should go in to the interview having thoroughly dissected the resume, looking for irregularities, inconsistencies (spelling mistakes!!) and noted down areas that you need clarification on to better understand their suitability for the role.
MAKE THEM FEEL UNIMPORTANT! Interviewing them in your office reception area, sitting behind a large messy desk, or taking phone calls during the interview is a great way of telling candidates you don’t really care about them and that the interviewing process is an interruption to your day. Candidates need to feel important and valued. Many will have taken time off from work, bought new clothes, fretted over the meeting and had a sleepless night the night before the interview. The interview process is harrowing enough without being treated as a distraction. Create an interview environment that is relaxed, quiet, and encourages the candidate to be open, honest and at ease. That is when you get the most, and the best, out of a candidate.
GIVE THEM A JOB AFTER A 20 MINUTE INTERVIEW! How much time would you put into researching a $1000 computer for the office, or a new mobile phone? Days? Weeks? Certainly Hours! And then you go and make a $100k investment on the strength of a 20 minute interview? Doesn’t make sense – yet many employees are hired in just this way. If you don’t spend at least 45-60 minutes with each candidate you couldn’t possibly get enough information out of them to make an informed decision. Probe, delve, talk to me about my Killer Interview Questions (patent pending!) to get into the candidates head and find out what makes them tick!
HIRE CANDIDATES WITHOUT DOING REFERENCE CHECKS! And that doesn’t mean merely reading written references provided by the candidates (in 22 years I have never read a bad written reference). It means asking the candidate who they reported to in all their previous work experiences and is it ok if you contact them for a reference (and if “no” – why not??). Then DO the references. Even if the work was completely unrelated to the work you need them to do.. it is their behaviours that you need to know about… timeliness, attention to detail, attitude, team work… because if they behaved in a certain way in their old jobs, they sure as eggs wont change too much when they get to your place.
THROW EM IN THE DEEP END! Most candidates who leave a job prematurely cite a lack of induction and insufficient training in the first few weeks, leaving them feeling insecure and ill-equipped to do their job, as the main reason for leaving. If you want it all to end in tears, DON’T provide up to date office procedures manuals and an Workplace health and safety induction, DON’T buddy them up with someone capable of teaching and training them, and DON’T have them professionally trained in the computer system that is critical to the business and let them just pick the system up on the job! As you can see there are a number of simple things that can be done to dramatically improve your chances of sorting the winners from the losers. And when the success of your business sometimes hangs on the quality of the people that are dealing with your customers… it is worth doing everything you can to increase your chances of getting the best people available.