If you are the owner of a Business it's more than likely that at some point in time you have had or will have to hire staff. You yourself likely have your own talents but may need someone to balance them or just to assist you with necessary jobs or to enhance and grow your business. Hiring staff can be a daunting task.

Resumes are not always what they appear to be - most people will boost or stretch their resumes to fit the job or situation and it can be difficult to know who to hire for the right position.

High performers can be great and you want to spend more of your time working with them to grow your company, but the low performers can take up much of your time and drag down your organization.

How do you know when you hire which one the new person is going to be?

• your ads don't generate enough good candidates,

• the resumes of those that apply are full of hype,

• telephone tell me about yourself interviews will weed out a few but really don't give you the full picture

• reference checks are generally worthless,

• often the candidate your finally hire is disappointing

• hiring the wrong people can be very costly in more ways than one25%

Welcome to the club! Thousands of case studies have shown that only 25% of the people hired turn out to be high performers. If you are willing to live with adequate or okay performers then the percentage would higher. However you know in your heart that adequate is not good enough. That means ensuring you hire the right people for the right job.

So what do you look for when hiring high performers?

• determine exactly what you are looking for in reference to the position

• work with your networks to see if they can refer good candidates to you

• conduct thorough interviews to determine that the candidate is capable of doing what is needed and

what they say they can do in their resume

• make a list of questions to ask their references and ensure you are getting accurate answers not just

reasons for the other party to get rid of a staff member they don't want

• have them set up the reference calls - this will weed out some

• ask them about their successes and their failures

• find out exactly why they want the job you are offering

• ask them what they feel they can contribute to your company

attitude plays an important role when hiring - are they flexible on what they will do or are they rigid about doing just particular task?

• are they questioning you about time off - are they asking when their next raise will be - these are cautionary signs that they are just looking for a job for the money and not necessarily a career and would likely take the next job that comes along that offers them morekills.

Clever strategies and advanced technologies are nowhere near as effective as great people to put them to work. Talent is all-important but are you frustrated with too many costly mis-hires. If you create a team of high performers you are likely to succeed, but keep low performers and you're apt to fail.

It's also possible to have a mediocre team that produces great results and high performers that fail. Studies show the average cost of a mis-hire could be 15 times base salary.

Measure Hiring Success:

Most companies don't measure success in hiring people, but in business it is important that results be measured in order to check what works and what doesn't

Create a Good Job Description:

Exit interviews have shown that candidates don't understand enough about the job they were hired for. This creates confusion and generates poor performance. That's because job descriptions including responsibilities and competencies are too vague. Make sure your job description is very clear with measurable accountabilities so there can be no confusion from the start.

Recruit from your Networks:

Recruiting from your network of people tends to be much better than hiring recruiters or running ads, Even online networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and email lists can work well.

Screen Candidates

There are many resources for teaching candidates how to write a good resume. It's extremely frustrating to find out you have wasted time on interviews to find that a resume was full of hype and omitted negatives. Having candidates know they will be required to arrange personal reference calls with former bosses, peers, and subordinates will eliminate some candidates... the good candidates will have no problem with it.

Many resumes are incomplete and are often deceptive and you end up wasting time studying resumes trying to determine what is truthful and what is not. Then you end up interviewing more candidates and more mis-hires than you need to.

Conduct a Telephone Screening Interview

The Telephone Screening Interview Guide suggests explaining the job in more detail, and if the candidate is still interested, take 45 minutes to ask about the most recent 2 jobs (successes, failures, key decisions, key relationships, estimated ratings by bosses), reasons for job changes, goals, and some competency questions.


When interviewing don't talk too much, let them talk, don't lead them and make sure to take notes. Make sure to use their name. Summarize the interview and don't think you can change a candidate even if they promise they can do better.

Train or Coach Your New Hire:

Training a new candidate is the most powerful and easiest coaching an employer can do. Don't wait for the annual performance review to start the coaching process. The initial coaching can be very productive in getting your new hire off to a good start and shows them trust and respect leading them to want to perform well.

Annual Performance Reviews:

Annual reviews keep the staff focussed and on track. Low performers are put on notice to improve and high performers get the recognition they deserve.

It's important to ensure you write down any issues with an employee and make sure they either have a copy of it, or are notified that notes have been written on their file. This is important for both negative and positive performances.

If you have to let someone go it is important that you have a paper trail of any problems you have had with them during their employment and that you ensure you work within the boundaries of the employment act in place in your jurisdiction.

I hope this assists you in hiring the right staff for your business and helps you avoid costly mis-hires.

Author's Bio: 

Avril Betts - CHA - Entrepreneur and Business and Lifestyle Coach

I have been an Entrepreneur for over 35 years and a long time Business and Lifestyle Coach. Although I have a retail office I myself work from Home and would be happy to answer your questions info@avrilbetts.com In the meantime check out this FREE report on 7 steps to Starting and Building a Successful Business I think you will find it helpful.