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Small Business Management Article
A Job To Fill: The “Perfect” Fit
Raymond D. Matkowsky
Over the last fifty years, I have heard the refrain that “we just cannot find a person with the background we want to do the job.” Businesses simply do not want to spend the money to train an individual. At this time there are 7.3 million job openings in the United States. There are six million people unemployed. If every one of those six million people were hired, there would still be 1.3 million jobs to fill and not every person could be remotely qualified to fill any one of the positions. What do you believe are your chances of finding that “perfect fit” and how much is it costing to have a position remaining open while you look?
It is really about time that one acknowledges that the “perfect” background just doesn’t exist. All logic says that it shouldn’t exist. The past experiences of many people says that it probably does not exist. And it is likely that you never will find that “perfect” fit. You would be lucky to come close.
The list of experience that you give the recruiter is nothing more than a wish list. This is especially true if you are looking for someone in their mid-thirties or early forties, as many companies do. They just haven’t had a career length long enough to gain the kind of experience you want.
To all of this consider the fact that research indicates that the right person is only hired fifty percent of the time. This is why a personal recommendation from someone you know is so coveted. It reduces the odds of a poor hire.
Different Companies; Different Experiences
No two companies are alike. They could be selling the same sprockets, but they are selling to different customers. Different customers have different requirements and needs. For example, I had one customer that required an assay analysis for every batch delivered. Others weren’t that particular. Both used the product in the same way. Regardless of past experience, it takes about a year to learn everything about your customers that you will need to know. It will also take about a year to learn all there is about your hire and his or her company fit.
Taking a refrain from the stock market, “past experience does not guarantee future results.”
Train An Individual
Businesses simply do not want to train. However, they wind up doing so anyway sooner or later. They only call it something different. But, it is still money spent “teaching” someone your way.
Ideally, in my mind, is to take someone in a lower level position and teach him or her how to do a higher level job. There are several advantages to this procedure. First of all you have an employee that already knows your company and its working. This employee may also know your customers. You know the employee and his or her work ethic. This takes a great deal of the guess work out of a new hire. While training you could have the employee begin to carry out some of the work you have been planning.
You still need to fill a position. However, now you are looking for a lower level employee. It should be easier to fill that position than the position you were first looking for.
Very little is ever said about company loyalty. Employees are the source of the company’s wealth. If a person considers their job a “dead end”, they are not going to put much effort into it. Your customers will notice! Employees that believe the company is looking after them and their advancement will do everything they can to make sure that it continues to thrive.
Let me tell you a story that was related to me. The owner of a small company discovered that one of his employees was working a part time job in addition to his. She was working an additional job to help defray some of the costs of taking business courses after hours. This was against company policy for various reasons.
In calling in the employee, he explained his reasons for the policy. Not wanting to lose the employee, he offered to raise her salary immediately instead of waiting for her normal review if she would quit the other job. He also reminded her that after a period of time she would be eligible for tuition reimbursement. She continued with the company, brought in new customers and remained a loyal employee.
Other Sources Of Potential Employees
A good source of potential employees is your local vocational school. Some districts have better programs than others. Word of mouth is a very good way to separate these. You’ll get students trained at the expense of the county or district.
An instructor is always looking for places that will hire students. He or she is not going send you anything but a top quality and dependable student because they will be looking to send you more in the future.
The problem here is that the instructors have no way of knowing what you need unless you tell them. So, define exactly what you need. They will probably alter their program to meet your needs.
You can also get to know their students on a part time, apprentice basis. Again, a low cost way to eliminate the chance of a bad hire. This may be a way to come closer to your “perfect” hire by going to the outside.
The “Perfect” Fit
It is extremely unlikely that you will ever hire a “perfect” candidate for a job. If you want someone that will come close, you will probably have to train them. You most likely will need to train them anyway or you could go back to spending months looking for the right person.
If you have any further suggestions, do not keep it to yourself. Help your fellow readers!
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