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Hiring Do’s and Don’ts (Part 2)

This is a two-part article on the Do’s and Dont’s of hiring. Last month, we discussed the Hiring Don’ts. This month we look at the Hiring Do’s.

The Seven Do’s of Hiring

  1. Hire for attitude

If you hire somebody with a bad attitude, this will poison your team. Author of Winning the War for Talent, Mandy Johnson, says that people with bad attitudes are hardly likely to suddenly develop a good attitude once they join your company.

Frame your questions around testing attitude, for example, “Can you give me an example of what you think is a good work ethic?

  1. Hire for skill

The worst way to hire salespeople is to use the typical industry hiring system: poach your competitors’ salespeople. This opens the ‘revolving door of mediocrity’.

If you examine the average production of typical industry salespeople, you will find that it is still around $135,000 per annum. Despite selling fees quadrupling in many areas, the industry production average is still at 1993 levels! So, you would have to be forgiven for thinking that the average industry salesperson lacks skill.

Don’t be afraid to hire inexperienced people. If you have sound hiring and induction systems, chances are that you will get an inexperienced person up to winning levels faster than you will with a typical experienced person currently doing the rounds of real estate offices. That’s IF you have sound hiring and induction systems.

Inexperienced people will not be able to demonstrate skill in real estate sales, because they aren’t in the industry. But they will demonstrate skill in their current industry, and they will demonstrate teachability, a willingness to learn. From that you can deduce whether they will learn all they’ll need to know to become skilled in real estate sales.

Your questions should be targeted at uncovering current skills and willingness to learn.

  1. Hire for practical fit

People who say that they are a ‘team player’’ or a ‘people person’ have just given you a junk statement (see hiring don’ts in the last issue). Their CV will give you a clue as to whether they are a team player or a ‘people person’ as they claim.

Look at their employment history. If they have been in the one position for several years, they probably got along with their colleagues and bosses. But if they have hopped from job to job, it’s likely they have personality defects and don’t get along with people. You don’t want this type in your company.

To build a winning team, you need good people of integrity. You can teach them everything else if this is their character foundation.

  1. Do look for record of past performance

By this I mean past performance in any endeavour. They may have started off working in a supermarket stacking shelves and risen to store manager. They may have captained the netball team.

Parents who have taken time out of paid work to raise a family will be able to demonstrate a record of performance. Perhaps they headed the school fundraising efforts or were active on the P&C. Ask questions – there will be a history of achievement with the right people.

  1. Test

Yeah, sure – they’re brilliant. They say they will work hard, fit in and are willing to learn. Experience hirers have heard it all before.

Nobody will tell you at the interview that they are lazy good-for-nothings who hate authority, don’t get along, and who do just enough to get by. Nobody will tell you that they’re too scared to prospect, or that they never commit to anything that looks like hard work. But have you ever hired people like this?

Don’t take their word for it. Ever.

Test their dedication to learning with a pre-start knowledge test based on your sales systems. Test their willingness to prospect with two days’ paid work experience. After they start, and before they become permanent, test their knowledge again, and test and monitor their actions during their trial period.

Mediocrity can’t hide from leaders who test their candidates, and who regularly test their established salespeople.

  1. Do prepare

In last month’s issue we said, “Don’t wing it”. This means that you must prepare when hiring, and you must have clear induction systems designed to make your new recruit dollar-productive as quickly as possible (in their first month).

Prepare interview questions, prepare tests, prepare start-up strategies, prepare monitoring systems, prepare coaching systems.

You can waste a lot of money in wages paid to people who don’t make it. The better your systems and preparation, the greater chance you have of developing winners.

  1. Have attraction sources constantly running

Remember that you cannot shrink your way to greatness. When the market is being described by your competitors as tough, that is the time to grow your team.

Keep your marketing for winners constantly running as you do with your listings marketing. You want to be talking to sellers about selling and talking to potential winners about joining your company.

The more enquiry, the greater your chances of finding winners. Keep looking. Never give up.

Freedom of Choice

Freedom of Choice means having the freedom to work, or not to work, in your business. To be able to step back and enjoy more free time, and to have money to enjoy that time, you need people to run the store in your absence.

Developing a team is the best investment of time and money a leader can make. Get your hiring and induction systems right and you’ll never look back.

Gary Pittard

PS Pittard periodically broadcasts a webcast entitled How To Develop Great People. This webcast is free and designed for agency principals. It is by invitation only, as we cannot accept some agents owing to contractual obligations to our current members. For more information and to check your eligibility, please follow this link.

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