Up For Hire — Choosing The Right Employee Part II

Team PlayerFirst impressions are just that — something you get only one chance with which to shine or fail. Often times, many people will not allow for further scrutiny once they have misgivings of an initial meeting with someone, especially in considerations of new hires. But even if a potential employee comes across in a favorable light, there are still many other aspects to take into account.

In part one of this series, you were given tools to help better screen an applicant’s personality traits as they related to your clients. Now, let us take a close look at how prospective new hires interact with their fellow employees. Remember, job performance may not be the only crucial factor that effects your business as a whole. Sometimes, one bad attitude can trickle into everyone’s lives. This can have a significant impact on your staff as well as your clients.

Team player. Suppose you part of a basketball team playing their first game of the season. To compound the process of smoothing over the rough spots, you also have a new recruit on your team. You realize that he didn’t get this opportunity to play unless he possessed excellent skills. During practice sessions, he seemed likable enough, although somewhat egotistical. But, you feel that a large ego can sometimes mean that it can be backed up by great playing ability. And after all, most players think very highly of themselves to begin with. You are willing to give the new guy the benefit of the doubt. You pass him the ball. But instead of waiting for the set-up from your team members, he decides to ignore them all and makes a charge for the basket alone. All you can do is watch as he is swarmed by the other team who easily takes the ball and scores.

This scenario can translate to most any situation, including your business. And those stolen scores can equate to dollars. In a small business environment, it can be of particular importance that each and every employee work well together. Does your applicant have a willingness to be a team member or do they come across as being “all-for-one,” the “one” meaning themselves?

Problem solvers. As a funeral director, you likely have your hands full dealing with a variety of issues and situations on a regular basis. You may not always be available to handle the details of every problem that comes up. As a result, your success may often rely on the abilities of the people around you. One of those abilities is how well they can think for themselves. Sometimes, problems crop up very quickly and there is no time to consult anyone, especially if that someone is not available.

Let us look at another scenario that could occur in your business. A new client has come to make final arrangements for her mother who has just passed away. The daughter is deep in grief and having obvious difficulties with seeing things through. She has one special request: that the service include yellow orchids. Her mother was an orchid collector and yellow was her favorite color. What do you think your potential employee’s response would be? Would it be, “Yes, of course we can accommodate your request.” Or, would it be, “I’m not sure if we can do that. I’ll have to check with the director, but he isn’t here yet. Can you wait?” Which answer would you prefer?

Open to suggestions. There are usually many steps towards achieving perfection. Being open to the inevitable mistakes made along the way can be of great benefit to the learning process. If your applicant is accepting of the idea that they can always have something more to learn, this person may be someone to seriously consider to have on your team.

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