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6 Simple Steps to Conduct Pre-Employment Screening

6 Simple Steps to Conduct Pre-Employment Screening

Conducting pre-employment screening makes hiring the perfect employee a less complicated process.

Hiring the right employee for the appropriate job is one of the most important challenges an employer has to deal with. It’s grown to be even more difficult, thanks to the increasingly mobile workforce and social media. Gone are the days when employers solely relied on the interview process to make their hiring decisions. Businesses today can get the assistance they need through pre-employment screening.

Why It’s So Important

Employers who use pre-employment screening as part of their hiring process are well aware of the important benefits. One of the most significant advantages is an overall improvement in the quality of candidates. This leads to far better employees, which means higher productivity and a decrease in employee turnover. Businesses that employ workers for direct service to the public are held responsible if an employee that has a criminal history does harm to another employee or a customer. Pre-employment screening helps uncover critical information about a candidate including any potential risks posed by them.

Following are 6 Simple Pre-Employment Screening Steps

  1. Background Checks 

A background check is the most common pre-employment screening process.  It looks up an applicant’s personal, criminal, financial and professional records. It is typically utilized by employers, law enforcement, schools and non-profit organizations.

  1. Pre-Employment Drug Screening

Employers use drug testing via urine tests to proactively protect the company from the negative effects of employing people with drug related issues.  Drug screening is required for federally-regulated employers that hire individuals for safety-sensitive jobs. Active drug testing programs can help ensure that the workplace is drug-free.

  1. Medical Pre-Employment Screening

The purpose of the pre-employment medical examination is to determine if a potential candidate is fit for a job that can affect public safety, and is not a risk to themselves or others.

  1. Personality Testing

Personality tests assess the applicant’s personality, cognitive ability, current and potential skills and other traits. This information can help employers find the best employees for the job and weed out potential problem hires.

  1. Credit Checks

This screening step checks out the 7-year financial history of the candidate and includes public records, collection accounts, bankruptcies, charge-offs, judgements, trade lines, monthly payment histories and more. Credit checks look at the payment history on mortgages, student and car loans and credit card accounts, uncovering habits that include living beyond their means and possession of large debts with no apparent means of repayment. These are all indications of financial irresponsibility that could impact the work environment. Pre-employment credit screening does not include the credit score.

  1. Social Media Pre-Employment Screening

Today, gaining insights into a potential employee’s character can be obtained via their social media accounts. Employers often use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, looking for insights regarding personality traits, alcohol or drug abuse, or any other characteristics that could influence their hiring decision. Using social media to screen potential employees can also get an employer in legal trouble, so it’s best to consult a lawyer first.

The long-term benefits of pre-employment screening far outweigh the costs, including the quality of the employee, work productivity, and improved customer satisfaction.

Conducting pre-employment screening doesn’t have to be hard. Contact us today for more information on how to proceed!

Simple Steps To Recruit Finance Professionals

Simple Steps To Recruit Finance Professionals to Work for You

Hiring the right professionals is crucial for the success of any business. From telecommunications to manufacturing, to retail products and banking, businesses across all market sectors need exceptional financial talent to increase revenues, reduce costs, efficiently navigate through investments and merger and acquisition activity, and intelligently deal with increased government regulation. Even though recruiting exceptional financial talent is difficult, the following simple steps will help.

Step 1: Create a Success Profile

Along with developing job descriptions, it is important to create a “success profile” of what you consider to be the ideal finance professional. You probably have a basic idea of the responsibilities and job skills you want the potential employee to handle, but you’ll have a much better chance of recruiting the right candidates (and avoiding the wrong ones) if you have a success profile laid out in advance. Make sure you specify the attributes you’re looking for including knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors.

Step 2: Understand What Motivates Possible Candidates

Once you have a good idea of who you’re looking for, it’s time to consider what the ideal candidate will want in return. A positive, motivating work environment is as important to most employees as compensation. Does your workplace offer perks, benefits and work-life balance that will attract and motivate top-notch finance professionals?

Step 3: Seek Employee Referrals

Your employees can be a very reliable and valuable recruiting source. A lot of companies have an employee referral program in place that rewards employees who recommend someone that the company ends up hiring with a reward like cash bonuses or extra vacation days.

People like to work with people they know, like and trust. Not only will you get a good referral, but you increase the likelihood of keeping both employees longer.

Step 4: Tap into Social Media

If you’re not utilizing social media to its fullest, it’s time to put up a company LinkedIn profile, especially if you’re trying to recruit a finance professional. When it comes to job searches, the active job seekers spend a lot of their time networking on sites like these.

Step 5: Network

By joining business associations, going to networking events and consistently contributing to public discussions regarding your industry, you’ll be able to get the word out about your company and your recruiting needs. It’s also a good idea to take part in career fairs and maintain a presence on college campuses. These types of venues give businesses the opportunity to offer job placement, mentorships and scholarships to college students.

Step 6: Hire a Recruiting Firm

A lack of time, inexperience or inadequate professional network can all result in recruitment challenges. If you’re facing any of these challenges, it’s time to contact a recruitment agency. Reputable professional recruiters have access to a substantial pool of applicants and they also handle the key administrative details, including placing ads, reviewing resumes as well as carrying out preliminary interviews. On top of that, you only pay the recruiter’s fee once they find someone you end up hiring.

I can help you find the right financial professional for your team. Contact me today to learn more about my process.

The Many Hats of Small Business Success

If you think that you only have to do what you’re good at, think again. Small business owners don’t have the luxury of sticking with one title.many hats They wear many hats. In addition to the CEO, you may have the office manager, accountant, videographer, marketer, cook and janitor title. If you want to spend the next year working on your business instead of in it considering following this advice and wear the right hat at the right time.

  1. Identify the responsibilities of each hat that you’re wearing and set specific goals for that role. Then, track your progress towards the goal throughout the year and assess whether or not you’re headed in the right direction or need additional help.
  2. If you need additional help, consider hiring or outsourcing the role in its entirety. It may be tempting to outsource only one piece of the role, but doing so is likely to cause more problems than resolve them. Giving one person responsibility and accountability for the role empowers them to own all aspects of it, reduces confusion and miscommunication.
  3. Once you assign responsibility to someone on your team, move to a mentoring role instead of a micromanaging role. Empower them to do more by giving them freedom to make decisions within the guidelines that you set up.
  4. Create a culture of open and real communication so that employees or freelancers know they can come to you when they see something that may end up hurting your business and ultimately impacting their job. Over time, you’ll find yourself with a capable, highly functioning workforce and one less hat to wear.

Regardless of the fires that are burning today, make sure to always make time to put your CEO hat on so that you can focus on leading your company. Hours often get consumed by the operations of today and strategic planning gets the left overs or nothing at all. Reverse that mentality so that you can plan for the future and wear the hat of success.

If you’re looking to get more efficient in your business next year, I can help you implement systems and processes that maximize your time and your employees time. Contact me to get started today.

 

When to Stop Outsourcing and Hire Instead

In my last post I shared the pros and cons of outsourcing. But how do you know when to stop outsourcing and hire instead? Small business owners who are on the path to success know that they can’t do everything by themselves. Hiring employees could mean the difference between stagnation and growth. The three reasons why you should consider hiring an employee instead of outsourcing are below.stop outsourcing

Priority

When you outsource your work to a contractor or freelancer, you end up competing against other clients for their time. Something that you need done right away could end up taking weeks if the contractor has other projects ahead of yours.

On the other hand, employees are committed to your company for the time that you’re paying them. You manage their priorities as it relates to their work assignments. Your highest priority work will be done in the order that you see fit.

Quality

Small business owners generally compete on quality more than they compete on price. Therefore, outsourcing to a contractor can be risky. Contractors don’t have a stake in your business and are often looking to complete the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. They may also provide lower quality workmanship if they believe that you’re not going to extend the contract term.

As you consider hiring employees, it’s important to understand the tasks that they’ll be responsible for. Assess their ability to complete the tasks in an efficient way and maintain the level of quality that your customers are used to.

Security

Outsourcing sometimes puts your company at risk, especially if you need to provide classified or sensitive items to the contractor as part of the project. Although it’s easy to forget, information is still stored somewhere in the brain and you don’t want the contractor to recall your sensitive information when they’re working for your competitor.

Stop Outsourcing

You should have enough work to keep your employees busy for the hours you’re your paying them. Otherwise, they’ll become complacent and may end up using work time to run personal errands, come in late or leave early.

Giving employees meaningful work that keeps them busy is not only rewarding for you, but it provides the sense of contribution to the success of your business. It gives them a chance to celebrate the wins and at the same time feel confident in their own abilities to accomplish great things.

How to Be in the 20% of Businesses that Succeed

No one starts a business with the express purposes of failing, yet an alarming number of business owners will eventually end up closing their doors permanently. In fact 80% of start-ups will close within the first 18 months. It makes you wonder what the businesses that succeed do differently from those that fail. While the location of your business and what you offer can play a major role, there are 9 other elements that you should consider.

Nine Ways to Succeed

success

  1. Know your core values and beliefs – Starting a business that you don’t really believe in is a major problem. Some people make the mistake of starting a business based on a current product or market trend, only to find that they don’t really believe in what they are pushing. It is hard to be passionate about something you don’t really care for. If you’re passionate about your business, then take some time to develop and know your core values and beliefs.
  2. Understand your business purpose – Why did you choose to start this business? If you can’t answer that question, you are in trouble. Everything in life has a purpose, and you need to know what that means for your business in order to succeed.
  3. Define your target customer – Poor market research can doom a business before it even gets off the ground. If you don’t take time to know your target market, failure will be sure to follow.
  4. Define where you want your business to be in 3-5 years – A business plan is absolutely essential before you start a business, but it’s also important to continue to plan for the future. Having a clear goal to focus on will help you make more informed decisions.
  5. Determine how you’ll get there – Would you ever hop in your car and head to a specific destination without first having a road map to follow? Of course not. If you want to get from Point A to Point B without becoming lost, you need to know how to navigate that road. Create a plan to achieve your goals.
  6. Prioritize the big things you must do – Being a business owner means wearing many hats and juggling all kinds of tasks. It’s tough to do, but it gets a whole lot easier if you prioritize by level of importance.
  7. Assemble a team and/or outsource – If you do all of the juggling on your own, you will eventually drop something. Stick to what you do best in the business and get qualified help to do the rest.
  8. Develop a marketing plan – This goes hand in hand with finding your target audience. Once you know who they are, you need to find them, let them know who you are and where they can find you.
  9. Remember why you started your business and live your life – If you can follow the steps outlined above, you will be well on your way to success. At that point you can start to leave trusted individuals in control of more and more aspects of the business. It will still be yours, but you will have reached the point where you can step away a little and start to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I can help you build comprehensive processes and a solid team that will breathe life back into your business. Contact me when you’re ready to get started.

Technology Accelerators of Momentum – Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

I often engage with businesses who tell me that they’re looking for a technological solution to a financial problem that they’re facing.Technology Accelerators They’re often looking to get setup on a system such as QuickBooks Enterprise. However, the first thing that I notice is that the internal processes needed to sustain such a system is either nonexistent or inefficient. Before I implement any type of technology solution, I work to ensure that they’ve got solid processes in place to sustain them.

Technology Accelerators of Momentum

Good to great companies use technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. They choose the application that fits within their three circles of the Hedgehog Concept. Technology must be relevant to their business and what they’re trying to accomplish. They become pioneers of carefully selected technologies that enhance their pursuit to be the best in the world at what they do. Once they find these technologies they become fanatical and creative in their application of them.

On the other hand, comparison companies often have the opposite approach. They are looking for a magic bullet to fix their problems or create some magic that’s required to take them to the next level. They believe that technology itself will fix the problem. But in the Good to Great study, Collins reveals that 80 percent of Good to Great company CEOs don’t attribute technology as one of the  top 5 factors of their success.

What Technology Isn’t

Technology isn’t a magic bean that will transform your business into a Good to Great company. It won’t make you a level 5 leader, it won’t get the right people on the bus,  it won’t light a fire where there is none, and it most certainly won’t create a culture of discipline. Instead of viewing technology as a creator of success, view it as  an accelerator to your already determined path to success and greatness.

Technology is an enabler of change, not the cause of it. The right people and processes  must be in place before application of technology will do any good. I can help you with this.

Give me a call and let’s work on getting the right process in place, the right people in the right seats and focused on the priorities that are key to the success of your business.

12 Elements of a Good Hiring Strategy

In our last post we uncovered the mystery of a good marketing plan. We learned that every product or service has a life cycle. The life cycle is made up of four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and the declining stage. By knowing which stage of the life cycle your product is in you can make educated decisions on when or where to spend your marketing dollars. As your business grows, it’s likely that you’ll need to hire a team to help you continue to grow. A good hiring strategy will not only save you time, but it will also save you money.

The process of interviewing and hiring the perfect candidate is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and energy to proceed with the interview process. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have a good hiring strategy in place. The right person will bring positive attitudes and infectious hard work to your business. When you find out that someone is a good fit before you hire them, you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars in lost productivity and opportunity.

Good Hiring Strategy

Image Credit: Jay from Cudahy.  Creative Commons License

12 Elements of a Good Hiring Strategy

There are 12 elements to a good hiring  strategy that Dave Ramsey writes about in Entreleadership. They are:

1. Pray—Ask God to send the person that should do the work that needs to get done.

2. Get Referrals—If you have a culture that we’ve been talking about in the last few posts, your best people will want their brightest friends to come work with them. Create a referral program to ensure that employees who refer great candidates are rewarded.

3. Pre-interview— Your first interview should be a 30 minute call to get to know the candidate. Spend 20 minutes listening and 10 minutes talking. Listen more than you talk, and keep the pre-interview to exactly 30 minutes. You can follow up later in another interview.

4. Review the Resume and Call References—Review the candidate’s resume for formal training that’s applicable to the position that you’re hiring for.  The resume is a great place to begin a conversation. Check references to be sure the candidates truly are who they say they are.

5. Use the DiSC Test—The discs personality test will assess relational intelligence, which is the ability to work well with others to achieve shared goals. The D stands for dominance. A dominant person will get work done, and is quick to act and make decisions. The I stands for influencer. Influencers are fun and outgoing, and are often concerned about their team members. The S stands for steady. Steady people are loyal, stable,  love people, and are concerned about how everyone feels. They are great as team players, understanding, and will be with you until the end. The C stands for compliant. Compliant employees are very analytical and factual. They may seem rigid, but they have a high level of competency. Your organization needs some of every personality in order to be successful.

6. Like the Candidate—If you’re going to be working everyday with the candidate, you need to like them. Don’t force yourself to work with people you don’t have anything in common with.

7. Look For Light—When you start talking about the position keep your eyes on the candidates. As the candidates start to talk, notice if their eyes light up. Does the mere thought of getting to do the work fire them up? If not, it’s likely that all they want is a paycheck, and you won’t be able to keep them happy.

8. Review Personal Mission Statement and Budget—Candidates should have a statement that shows how the position that they are accepting is part of their dream. They should also be able to pay their bills on the wage that they are making. Someone who can’t pay their bills will be constantly worried about them and consequently will be very stressed out. They will be a drain on your business.

9. Review Compensation—As you progress in your interviews you’ll go deeper into compensation and benefits. Candidates who start the interview process discussing money are  looking for a job. Not an opportunity to do work that matters. You want the candidate who cares about the work.

10. Write Down Key Results—Write down what winning looks like in the open position before you post it. It should clearly communicate what the position entails.

11. Interview the Candidate’s Spouse—Invite the candidate and the candidate’s spouse to dinner. During the dinner you can solicit the spouse’s input on whether or not they think their spouse is a good fit for the position. You can also assess whether or not the spouse is completely nuts. If that’s the case, you should probably stay away from the candidate.

12. Implement a Probation Period—Ensure that you have a probation period where both the candidate and your company has time to observe and ensure a true fit. At this point you have little obligation to any candidate, and they have little obligation to you. After ninety days, the candidate is truly a team member and you should take working with them very seriously.

images

Image Credit: Bill Strain. Creative Commons License

Implementing a  good hiring strategy will ensure you get the best candidate for your open position. How many people are you hiring this year?