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When You Know It's a No

by Beth Deison Smith

posted in Business

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I always find the hiring process fascinating, especially when I begin working with people who have had employees on staff for an extended period of time that are not a good fit. They almost always report to me "I knew it was not going to work out" after we get to a place where we are going to let go of an employee and begin searching for the perfect candidate to hire.
As many of my conversations with new clients go, I met with a potential new client who began the conversation with "You have to know that I am BAD at hiring."
I said, "How do you know?"
He said, "Because I just fired the worst hire EVER."
I asked, "When did you know that this employee was the worst hire ever?"
He said, "I knew the first day. I just KNEW it was not going to work out. And I have known that for 2 years."
Now two years maybe somewhat extreme but I hear many of my clients report that they hired someone, knew they were not going to work out almost immediately, then leave the person in the position for months if not years just to avoid having to interview again. Instead I challenge you fellow business owner to hire differently by really listening to the candidates during the interviews. They will tell you if they will not work out. You just have to listen.
For example, last week, I interviewed a candidate that my client really wanted to hire until we started talking about the language that this person used in the interview. It was always someone else's fault, they didn't get enough training, and the traffic was always terrible. The client looked at me with this hangdog look, like I had just burst his balloon. I commented "Do you know this one is a no?" He said "Yes. But I don't want to know that it's a no. I want a new employee!" This is the absolute most difficult part of the interview process. You are tired, you need help and you want this person to work out SO bad! But as another client of mine said, "When you shorten this process, you pay the piper.' And he's right. The price is an employee who you knew from the start would not work out. Then you have to go through the pain of firing and hiring all over again.
I encourage you to listen to yourself and the language of your potential new hires. You know when it's a no. Wait until you know it's a yes.
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