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Recruiting People

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Questions To Ask In The Exit Interview With An Employee

In the scramble to hire and retain talent, managers need all the help they can get. To discover what you’re doing right and understand what you could do better, one great tool is the exit interview. That final conversation with human resources in which departing employees speak truthfully about their experiences with the company is a source of valuable information. (In fact, some companies conduct two exit interviews— one on the final day, the other six months later, when employees have a little more distance from the job and feel freer to open up.)

When It Doesn’t Work Out With An Employee

Sometimes you can do everything right in the hiring process and still end up with someone who is not a good fit for the job. When that happens, it’s best to end the relationship as quickly as possible. Supporting an employee who doesn’t have the skills, experience, or motivation to do a job is unfair to the employees who do, plus it becomes a drain on the organization. Because hiring is so time-consuming, however, it’s worth trying to preserve the relationship if some coaching on your part can save it. So if an employee is unaware that there is a problem, point it out without delay.

Starting the Performance Management Cycle

With skilled workers in such short supply, and given the cost of hiring and training new employees, many employers are realizing that it’s cost effective to keep their current workforce happy. When you initiate a performance management cycle with a new employee, you are taking an important step toward that goal. By providing frequent on-the-job feedback, you not only build a relationship with your staff member, you help him grow in his job. Those two things alone are often enough to keep motivation high. In survey after survey, employees complain that lack of feedback is one of their biggest problems on the job.

Getting Off To A Good Start With A New Recruit

Getting an employee established in a new job could take some time on your part, but it is time well spent. A worker who feels comfortable and welcome will be motivated and productive. Many large companies offer orientation sessions at the corporate level if not always at the departmental level. If your business does, so much the better. Still, every job is unique, and you need to anticipate the information, facilities, and services that your new employee will need during his first weeks on the job.

Take care of basics as soon as possible. Make the arrangements necessary for setting up and furnishing an office, cubicle, or desk or other workspace. In large companies, this may mean contacting other departments to line up a computer, e-mail account, phone, and office keys. Beyond that, new-employee orientation has three facets: familiarizing the employee with corporate policies and procedures; showing him around your office and making introductions, as well as familiarizing him with your building and your neighborhood, so that he knows where to find local services; and getting him started on the job.

Quick Tips: Making The Offer To The Candidate

Once you have reached a hiring decision, make the offer as quickly as possible so that you don’t lose your candidate to another employer. You can either make the offer over the phone or in person, but you might prefer a face-to-face meeting so that you can explain all aspects of the salary and benefit ts package and field any questions from your new hire.

Either way, after stating the title and salary being offered for the position, express you enthusiasm for the candidate and underscore your team’s positive response to him or her. Then review the key elements of the job and clarify any special considerations negotiated during the interview process — such as allowing flexitime — and outline the benefits package. Then discuss a possible starting date. This is also the time to mention whether your offer is contingent on any conditions—the candidate passing a drug test, medical examination, or criminal records check; providing proof of citizenship or eligibility to work in the country; providing copies of current employment contracts showing post-employment restrictions that could relate to a new job; or completing a probationary period. It is customary to follow your offer interview with a letter that puts all this information in writing. Also, make sure the letter covers how much notice you will give if the candidate is not successful at the end of the probationary period, if applicable. Most companies ask the candidate to sign the letter and return a copy to the hiring manager.

How To Sell Your Small Business To The Big Candidate

In areas or industries where the pool of job candidates is limited or highly competitive, you may end up having to sell an applicant on your company. Take a realistic look at the offer you’re making and decide if it is fair, competitive, and comprehensive. If you did your homework at the beginning of the search process, you know approximately what this employee is worth in the marketplace, you have researched what other companies are offering, and you know what benefits your company can provide. You are now armed to negotiate.

Why Flexible Schedules Could Persuade a Candidate To Take The Job

If your salary offer isn’t quite up to par, you might still persuade a candidate to take the job by offering more time off or flexible work hours. A recent survey by an online benefits company found that flexible work arrangements were the most coveted employee benefit, even more desirable than healthcare. Telecommuting or working from home has surged in recent years, especially in high-tech companies. Research indicates that allowing employees to telecommute reduces absenteeism and turnover, improves productivity, and increases levels of satisfaction. Some employers even report that telecommuting can benefit the bottom line. One example is Development Counselors International, a New York City–based economic-analysis firm, which saw its western business triple when two 15-year veterans began telecommuting from the West Coast.

Why it’s important to review time-off benefits with your candidate!

Even office superstars need a restorative break, so emphasize that your company understands this. Employers commonly allow time off for major holidays, sick days, personal days, and vacations. Some offer employees a set number of days off each year rather than distinguishing between sick, vacation, and personal days. Some employers offer a “floating holiday,” which allows employees time off for religious observances not covered in the annual schedule. Some American companies have started following the European model, allowing four or even five weeks of vacation, but one or two weeks is typical. Tell your candidate at what point in the calendar year he can begin taking vacation time, and when the number of weeks will increase, say, three weeks vacation after five years with the company. Also discuss whether vacation time can be carried over from one year to the next.

Why draft a first-class benefits plan for your employees

A first-class benefits plan will make your company attractive to both top managers and the most skilled employees. So before delivering your offer, make sure you know the specifics of your company’s benefits plan and mentally highlight its strong points. Then talk up its positive points and don’t mention what might be missing. The most attractive health care plans are those that minimize a worker’s out-of-pocket contribution. Some large companies cover only about 80 percent of the cost of medical insurance for employees and their dependents, while smaller companies may cover all health insurance costs for employees, but not cover their spouses and dependents.


In addition to offering a powerful performance incentive to employees, bonuses benefit corporations by allowing them to reward key players without raising their fixed costs. During the hiring process, you will quickly learn that bonuses can also be a major component in salary negotiations. For this reason, you need to be aware of the various types of bonuses your company offers. Annual bonuses are given each year to all eligible employees. The amount varies from year to year depending on what the company has earned and how the individual employees who are being rewarded have performed.