How do you find good employees?

Many moons ago I was in charge of hiring when I worked at an advertising agency.  Those days were long before the advent of the internet and especially before the days of Monster.com or any other on line job network.  More often than not, the most dedicated and talented employees were those that randomly walked in the door, and that I took the time to speak with even when we had no openings.

There are a myriad of reasons for employers to go on line with their job application process, but the wise employer shouldn’t solely rely on this.  Oftentimes someone just walks in the door because they want to be a part of your team, and to send him or her away to go fill out an application on line, due to corporate regulations or because there isn’t time to get to know them better can be a lose-lose situation.

Only when someone is sitting across from us can we get a strong sense of whom they are.  Do they meet our eyes, smile, and move with confidence?  Do they dress appropriately; are they professional, can they communicate?

In today’s world, resumes are often put together by outside sources, not the individual actually looking for a job.  And this is not a bad thing.  The downside is that while a resume can appear well put together, it does not mean the applicant is as well.

Sometimes, a resume that is not snazzy comes with a potential employee that can knock your socks off.  Regardless of today’s ease in acquiring potential employees, nothing can take the place of human interaction and instinct. 

I have decided to pursue a steady job while I get my bearings and organize my business to get to know the culture of my new environment and to meet people in the community.  Starting a business can be a lonely process, and when you have also just moved across the country, it can be doubly so.

So I filled out a few on-line applications and sent my resume along.  I heard nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It was as if I had sent my resume into a great vacuum in outer space.
And then I started talking to people.  I did not find anyone who got their job from a website.  Everyone I spoke with found their employment by knocking on doors, and knocking on doors still again.

The old fashioned way still gets the results. 

So what should employers do?  Obviously, internet screening still provides a valuable way of processing hundreds, maybe thousands of applicants, but when someone randomly walks in the door, spend five minutes.  You just might find your next right hand man or woman. 

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