Distinguishing good employees from bad ones (members ed.)

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A Few Good Applicants

Selecting for Success

Costly mistake

Pre-Employment Assessments

Behavioral Traits

Getting the Recipe Right

Learn more about hiring the right mix of people

A Few Good Applicants  
Imagine you need a waiter. You might put the word around, place an ad in the paper, or list the opening here at Restaurantville. If the response is good you might conduct interviews and discard the obvious duds. Imagine you end-up with a couple of good prospects - both are presentable, outgoing, eager and have relevant experience. You attempt to check their references and are amazed at how little some former employers are willing to say! So you're left with choosing one or the other on 'gut' feeling.

Selecting for Success - Four - Step Selection Process


The Four Step Selection Process outlined above serves as an organizing framework for effective selection of hourly employees. Each step in the Selection Process is a critical component to successfully select entry-level employees. The steps are integrated to create a systematic and consistent sequence for entry-level hiring and can be customized according to the needs and culture of your company.

Several chapters in Scott McTagues new book, Hiring in Good Times and Bad: A Comprehensive Guide to Entry Level Staffing, detail how to develop each component in the Selection Process and how each component works within the Process. This will help you determine if applicants should continue to the next step or be turned off. Using these guidelines and principles your company can establish a highly effective and legally defensible entry-level employee selection process.

The Four-Step Selection Process is designed for efficiency, consistency and accuracy. Depending upon the complexity of the job, many companies will be able to make hiring decisions during one applicant visit. A selection process that is inefficient and requires applicants to leave and return creates the risk that the competition may intercept your potential employee.

Establishing passing criteria for each step in the hiring process enables decision-makers to efficiently determine the appropriate hiring status for applicants. This approach is called a "hurdle" approach. When using a hurdle approach, companies need to ensure that each step in the selection process is valid.

Companies may also choose a collective approach, also known as a "compensatory" approach, whereby all applicants proceed through all steps before a hiring decision is made. This approach is accurate and thorough because the decision-maker uses all available information to make a hiring decision for all applicants. This approach is also less efficient and more expensive. The decision to use a hurdle or compensatory approach should be well through out in light of these issues.

The structure of the Four-Step Process helps companies hire entry-level employees consistently and reliably across different managers and human resource personnel. With clear-cut criteria and standards for determining the suitability of an applicant, there exists less margin for error across individuals involved in hiring.

Finally, each step in the system contains tools and processes designed to help decision-makers make the most accurate hiring decision possible. When accuracy is increased in selection, so too is the overall quality of the entry-level workforce.

For more information on the book Hiring in Good Times and Bad: A Comprehensive Guide to Entry Level Staffing, click here. And for information on Scott McTague and Batrus Hollweg International, click here.

Costly Mistake

As it turns out, our hypothetical waiters had some essential differences that could cost the restaurant as much as $30 per customer.

The first applicant loved being of service and really relished the challenge of selling. You could leave him totally alone and he would do well because he enjoyed the role. He was a "natural." He's in the habit of reporting to work "On Time" and doesn't suffer mysterious "sicknesses" when the grapevine says he's had a big night on the town.
The second applicant was outgoing and presented himself well in the interviews, because he desperately needed income - but deep down he hated selling and thought much of his job duties were beneath him. He would act the part when you were watching, but he would revert to his natural, less sociable behavior when out of view or unsupervised. Worse yet, attendance and timeliness were spotty, at best.

Pre-Employment Assessments

Almost anybody who is desperate for a job can act well enough to fool even highly skilled interviewers. Pre-employment assessments help employers look "below the surface" to better evaluate applicants, saving time and money.

First and foremost, Job Attitude Surveys can tell you, up front, if you're spending your time interviewing people who're most likely to be honest, hardworking and reliable. Knowing that, your hiring managers are ready to choose from a more select group.

Additionally, assessments that investigate behavioral traits significantly enhance the selection process. While some attributes are common to many "front of house" positions, certain key traits tend to differ from Job to Job and restaurant type to restaurant type. The best assessments can be customized for your operations and based upon people who've proven to be successful for you.

Assessment Industry specialists have studied what kind of people make the best wait staff, bartenders, and hosts. Studies of employees working at a number of restaurants reveal that the recipe for success has been discovered!

Behavioral Traits - Mix 2 Parts Sociability with 3 Parts Energy Level and Stir Carefully

Sociability: Waiters scoring lower in Sociability often handle the flow of food and beverage to tables quite successfully. They're reasonably warm and friendly to the customers and are not likely to spend their time in idle chatter. Their sales style relies totally on carefully rehearsed patter.

As may be anticipated, high Sociability waiters tended to be charming and likeable, and many were "naturals" for selling. In the early part of service they circulated selling beverages preferring to allow others to handle the flow of food. After main course they moved about the tables realizing high-margin add-on sales opportunities. Of course while they stand and chat you'll consider hiring addition staff just to move the food!

Energy Level: With higher Energy Levels waiters food running productivity can be excellent. These types prefer to be active and on the move. Beware, though, that attentiveness to service does not suffer during off-peak nights. When there's little to engage their energies, an apparent lack of interest can arise. Of course, lower Energy Level waiters, can stand around a great deal too - apparently waiting to be told what to do next.

Getting the Recipe Right

Assessment studies reveal that a good front of house teams consist of a balance of Sociability and Energy Level to assure that there is a little of both and not too much of either - guaranteeing the right mix to ensure top notch service and excellent sales.

Learn more about hiring the right mix of people

Visit www.performanceintel.com to learn more about staff selection and the myriad assessments available to assist you in choosing honest, hardworking, friendly, effective staff members.

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