Friday, August 26, 2011

Honey, guess who’s coming to dinner? Or Not!

A wise man once told me “Never hire anyone you would not be willing to bring home and have dinner with your family.” It was excellent advice that I have relied on as a manager for over twenty years – with great success, I might add.

If you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. Why would you want someone in your organization that you would feel uncomfortable spending time with your family?

Today’s economy, mainly because of the recession, has given managers the opportunity to hire talent that may not have been available under normal circumstances.

Be careful. Do not let your guard down and hire someone just because they are available, look good in person or on paper and say, what you want to hear. Pre-employment testing can help weed out some but, I still believe that the hiring manager needs to feel comfortable with the person their hiring to ensure it is a good fit for the company.

I would suggest, for key management positions that you try to get them in an environment where they will open up about themselves and let their guard down. Take them out to a long lunch or invite them to meet you for dinner or coffee outside of work. Have them come back in for second or third informal follow-up meetings with you in a more casual setting.

Any body can write a great resume or provide excellent references. The key is to peel back the onion and really see who this person is and determine if this is the type of manager, you want joining your team.

The disruption caused by hiring the wrong person for a key role is too costly and in most instances can be avoided if you follow “the wise man's” simple rule.

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