How to Run a Staffing Business: Five Questions to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Employees

Knowing how to run staffing business means knowing how to help your clients hire the best employees. So theoretically, the people who run staffing businesses should know how to hire great employees, ourselves. But sometimes we can get caught—just like our clients—hiring the wrong person, which can be a disruptive and expensive mistake. More often than not, it’s not because the person doesn’t have suitable expertise, but because, well, he or she doesn’t fit in or simply isn’t a strong performer. Or maybe we did all the proper interviewing and vetting, but we were just looking for the wrong person.  

Before hiring, we should ask OURSELVES a few simple questions and be prepared to walk away if the answers aren’t to our liking.   

Question #1: Do I know exactly who I’m looking for?

Seems simple, but so often we go on fishing expeditions, knowing we need someone, but not being clear about who that someone is. If you don’t know who you want to hire, the odds of hiring the wrong person seem pretty high.   

Question #2: Does the candidate have a history of success?

It’s easy to get blinded by a candidate’s skills or length of service. But if he doesn’t have a history of success, there’s no particular reason to believe he can achieve it in the position you (or your client) hire him for. We’ll go even further and say verifiable success—even in an unrelated field—can be a more valuable predictor of success in a candidate’s new position than a resume full of closely related experience. You don;t need someone who knows how to run a staffing business; you need someone who can be successful at whaver she tries to do.  

Question #3: Is the candidate a “10” in the most important areas.

Even if a candidate has all the bases covered with regard to the skills and experience required to do the job, if she isn’t extremely proficient in the most important areas, she’s not likely to be highly successful. Two “5”s don’t equal a “10.”   

Question #4: Are you leaning toward hiring a candidate because he really wants the job, or because he’s really good at it?

Desire’s great. But if you think desire will trump capability, you may turn out to be sadly mistaken. Don’t hire unless you have good reason to believe the candidate will excel.  

Question #5: Can the candidate do the job better than you can?

Ideally, the answer is “yes.” This seems like a no-brainer, but it takes a secure manager to hire someone smarter (or better looking) than herself. It’s the secure managers who achieve the greatest success.

So there you have it: the secrets to avoiding less-than-stellar hires. Don’t you think you shoud share this with your cleints?