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Your Best Bet for Success…Hire the Right People

All of your locations are up and running. You've done all you can to advertise and get a jump on your competition. So now, the only thing left is the hiring... and retaining.

Success includes both hiring and retaining good employees. Turnover creates inefficiencies that cost companies major dollars every year, so it's important to pay employees for the efficiencies
they create.

Treasure Your Best Employees
Ever heard of Albert Enterprises? This company founded in the early 1990s offers a great example of how to value employees. Among their interests, owner Cary Albert and wife Jacqueline are restauranteurs and oversee several Schlotzsky's locations in their region. Schlotzsky's is an international sandwich franchise restaurant chain with locations in 35 states and three foreign countries.

Albert Enterprises claims labor costs as a percentage of their Schlotzky's business are some of the lowest in the Schlotzsky's system – but they pay some of the highest hourly rates. Why? "Because we retain great people and reward them with higher pay. You can't put a price tag on this."

Albert Enterprises landed at No. 1,372 on Inc.'s list of the fastest growing companies in America. However, it grew to 845 employees and an annual revenue of $21 million in 2015, up 280 percent from $5.5 million in 2012 when it employed 125.

How to Find Employees
Interviews are awkward because you're having an intimate conversation with someone you just met, and the candidate is in a very vulnerable position. Hiring decisions are too important to be left in the hands of a manager who may or may not have a stake in the employee's success a year later.

That's why at Google, the hiring decision is made by a committee whose decisions are based on data, not relationships or opinions.

A great guide to hiring is the book by Alan Eagle entitled How Google Works. At Google, they grade interview candidates on a scale of 1 to 4. The average score falls around a 3, which means the applicant is okay but they would like to have another opinion that would possibly rate them higher.

On the product management team, the score of 4.0 means the applicant is perfect for the role and should be hired.

At Google, they also break down candidate evaluations into four different categories:

  • Leadership: They want to know how someone has flexed different muscles in various situations in order to mobilize a team.
  • Role-Related Knowledge: They look for people who have a variety of strengths and passions, not just isolated skill sets.
  • General Cognitive Ability: They're less concerned about grades and transcripts and more interested in how a candidate thinks.
  • Googleyness: They want to get a feel for what makes a candidate unique.

Hire for Attitude and Train for Skills
Clear and obvious commitment by top management to quality service, broad-based employee training, and development programs are a motivational condition that can exist in any organization. Training is vital as it gives the employee all the tools needed to perform to the high standards set by management. It also encourages personal empowerment to make decisions based on customer satisfaction and experience

More Important than Money
The Hay Group is a leading management research firm that specializes in tracking employee attitudes. It has found that employees do not value money as the most important aspect. Edmund A. Pinelli, the Vice President of research for the Hay Group, has said that "money is important but not an end-all as long as they understand why they get paid and what they get paid."

Employees are proud to work for an organization that is committed to excellence in service to people.

"Employees find satisfaction in performing to the best of their ability because they realize that they are building their own future!" – John Tschohl

About the Author: John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru, he has written several books on customer service. He just released the 10th Edition of Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service. The Service Quality Institute (http://www.customer-service.com) has developed more than 26 customer service training programs that have been distributed and presented throughout the world. John's monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Reprinted from Floor Care & Central Vac Professional & SQE Professional, February 2017