Hiring Anxiety is Like a New Pair of Shoes

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Have you ever bought a new pair of tennis shoes and were so excited about wearing them, and yet afraid to wear them because you didn’t want to ruin their appearance? Maybe I’m the only one who feels that way, or maybe there are plenty of you out there who share my anxiety about new shoes. Like new shoe anxiety, hiring anxiety happens to most of us.

Hiring a new employee, like buying new tennis shoes, can create that same cycle of anxiety. My tennis shoe cycle might go like this:

  • I purchase a brand-new pair and treat them with a lot of care and respect. Keeping them in their shiny, new condition for as long as possible becomes my primary goal. I avoid anything that might put that first mark or stain on them.
  • It is a fact of life that tennis shoes will show signs of wear. Once they leave the like-new condition, they take their place as my comfortable everyday shoes.
  • When they start to look like they have survived a battle, with the souvenir scars to show it, I move them into my yardwork/messy work category.
  • Finally, when my shoes are totally wiped out from their adventures with me, they are finished and sent to the shoe recycling bin at the recycling center.

Your goal when you hire an employee is to be aware of the cycle they will go through with you. It will be similar in some respects to tennis shoes.

When you first hire, you treat your new employee very carefully. You give them training and do your best to keep that first mark from appearing. Inevitably, the mark will come. Either because something unexpected occurs or because you missed clues during your interview that should have alerted you to the problem. You find a way to deal with that situation and settle into your everyday work with them. Your new employee may begin to fit like those comfy tennis shoes, or they may start to pinch like those cute heels you bought even though you knew you could never walk in them for more than five minutes at a time.

If you find that you hired those perfect heels that pinch or hurt a bit, your everyday life becomes a battle zone and you develop the cuts, bruises, and scars that result from the daily struggle to make your employee fit your needs.

Finally, you give up because you are wiped out and decide it’s time to send those cute shoes to the thrift store or the recycling bin.

We often hire employees without thinking about the consequences of our decisions. There is more at stake when you hire employees than when you buy a pair of heels or tennis shoes. The cycle you choose to deal with can be a comfortable one, or it can be uncomfortable.

To keep you on the comfort side, here are a few tips:

Look beyond the surface.

People, like shoes, are more than what they appear on the surface. Look for clues that your candidate might fit you perfectly or maybe pinch a bit. Talk with them and ask questions to determine whether they are a fit for your needs. You can learn how to ask Insightful Interview™ questions here.

Be clear about your needs.

Like your shoes, it’s important to be clear about what essential tasks your employee will do and what results they must achieve to be successful. It’s deeper than a list of tasks; it is a results or outcomes list. Grab a pen and some paper and draw a line down the center. On the left side of the page, list all the tasks you need to be completed. On the right side of the page, list why you need them done (the result of the task). Leave lots of space between tasks so you have room to go back and add in more details later.

Learn from your mistakes.

Mistakes are the best teachers. I am far from perfect and some of my mistakes have been painful and expensive. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am guilty of buying those cute shoes that really hurt every time I put them on. I knew better, and yet I bought those shoes anyway. One of the most common recruiting mistakes I see is rushing through the recruiting and hiring process only to end up with a nightmare employee who drains your time and energy. You’ve probably hired a Lazy Larry or a Debbie Diva once or twice. It’s easy to get caught up in your pain and want a quick fix. Hiring the wrong employee can be expensive. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will cost you time and money, and create problems with productivity, turnover, training costs, and retention of good performers.

Being aware of your needs can have a significant impact on your recruiting results. If you or someone you know experiencing hiring anxiety, schedule your insight session today or call mesend an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to get more in-depth, step-by-step recruiting help. And, the best part is that it’s FREE!

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