10 tips for hiring right

10 tips for hiring right

Having trouble finding the next addition to your team? Use these tips.
Dec 01, 2007

Jan Miller
1 Place an ad where top applicants are likely to look. Help-wanted ads in the newspaper yield little return and they're expensive. If your typical employee is 20 to 35 years old, advertise on the Internet—and don't forget to put a listing on your own Web site. A candidate who checks there is very motivated to work for you.

2 Gather screening information. Use an employment form that includes a section for the applicant to describe relevant and transferable skills like cash handling, customer service, telephone etiquette, appointment scheduling, and computer knowledge. Also have applicants identify specific experience, licensure, or certification and any additional training or CE. Ask that they either complete this section or indicate that they don't possess these skills, even if they provide a resumé.

3 Require business employment references and call them. Ask only legal questions on the job application, in the interview with the candidate, and when you're talking to a reference. The career advice section of http://www.monster.com/ gives a good overview of legal and illegal interview questions.

4 Notice the applicant's e-mail address. For example,
might indicate that the applicant's interests aren't consistent with your practice's work ethic.

5 Conduct criminal background checks and drug tests. These checks are important, and they're not expensive.

6 Note the candidate's punctuality and flexibility. Notice whether an applicant is flexible in arranging the interview—especially if he or she isn't currently employed. Does he or she arrive on time?

7 Appearances count. Jeans aren't interview-appropriate. Inappropriate interview attire is a red flag that this person uses poor judgment.

8 Ask open-ended questions. Ask the applicant to talk about real experiences. Remember to give him or her time to think. Be patient and allow for a thoughtful response to these questions:

  • What's your greatest achievement?
  • Describe the best place you've ever worked. Why was it the best?
  • Describe the worst place—why it was the worst?
  • Discuss a time you had a misunderstanding with someone. How did you resolve it?

9 Weigh the value of Social Web sites. Miller has mixed feelings about checking out a person's information on a Web site such as MySpace. "It feels a bit voyeuristic," she says. "But some employers do check them out, and it is public information."

10 Examine your own reputation. Make sure your practice is the kind of place where you'd like to work, and be the kind of boss you'd like to work for. The veterinary industry is a small community. Your practice's reputation is common knowledge. So build the kind of team everyone aspires to join.