Finding the Right Fit

Hiring a new employee can be a huge headache. Between the job postings, interviewing, hiring, paperwork, drug testing and training, a lot of time and effort is put into that employee. It’s advantageous to keep those that you hire, but what is the best way to do that?

Hiring Process

One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle is hiring the right person for the job, which requires communication, a diligent search and patience.

One of the keys to hiring the right person is to make sure that they know what exactly the job entails. If they need to work nights, they need to be able to sleep during the day and be disciplined enough to do it. If they need to work with people, then they need to have a personable attitude and be able to diffuse a situation.

While most business owners will have a list of prepared questions that they routinely ask their prospective employees, some business owners will ask questions and have a more conversational tone to try and bring out the personality of the interviewee.

I recently talked to several business owners about their hiring practices. After one small-business owner narrows down their choices to one or two, they give the prospects a psychological test, designed by a local psychologist specific to their business. This has resulted in many excellent hires, and only costs a few hundred dollars. When you consider how much time and effort you put into hiring and training someone, it seems like a small price to pay if your turnover is high.


If you find that your employees are leaving shortly after hiring them, then the problem may be your hiring process. However, if they are leaving after a year or three, then retention might be the problem.

If you have several people leave within a short amount of time, then you might need to look at your team as a whole. You might want to conduct an exit interview. Find out why the person is leaving. Is it a co-worker? Their boss? Their work environment? More responsibility? Less responsibility? More money? Better benefits? Are they going to work for a competitor or a completely different industry?

The answers to those questions can help you to find out what you can do to make your business a better work environment. Your next step will be to implement a fix.

But, there are other things you can do besides waiting for the next person to quit. You can implement 360 degree evaluations that can be confidential or not. This evaluation allows the employee to evaluate their supervisor. If you don’t already offer annual evaluations of your employees, then this might be a good time to start that as well. It’s a great time to meet and talk about how the employee is doing, praise them for a job well done, and find out if there are additional responsibilities they would like to take on.

Bonuses vs. Incentives

That annual review can also be a good time to give employee bonuses if you choose to do that. However, if you have offered performance incentives, then it can be a good time to examine their progress.

It’s important to know the difference between a bonus and an incentive. A bonus is a reward for a job well done. But, an incentive is forward driven. If an employee can meet that incentive, then they will receive compensation for it.

Both bonuses and incentives don’t always have to be monetary. Figure out what motivates your employees. For some, it may be extra time off. For others, it may be a holiday dinner or office improvements such as a TV in the break room or snacks.

No matter what strategies and tactics you implement, the bottom line to hiring and retaining good people is to find a good fit and get to know them.

Story by Jennifer Taylor