SC&RA NEWS: Tips for hiring smart

12 March 2019

Joel dandrea

Industry leaders around the country have spent the better part of the last few years trying to crack the worker-shortage code – often to no avail. And though it’s not for lack of effort, the wrong hiring decision can waste time and cost your business money, and ultimately have a negative impact on your existing employees.

One thing to keep in mind: as badly as we might need to put butts in seats, if we hire people just for the sake of hiring them, it’s likely going to cost us in the long run, and we’ll find ourselves back at square one, all the same.

In a recent piece for FleetOwner, Jane Clark mentioned Mark Goldman, CPA, and owner of MGR Accounting Recruiters, and his advice to clients and conference attendees on how to avoid a bad hire. For starters, don’t do all the talking. As an interviewer, if you’re the only one talking and asking questions, you’re not really getting to know this person – who they are, why they’re sitting in front of you and what they want out of a job, career, life, etc.

And certainly don’t skip over the job duties – essentially, hiring based on physical appearance. Moreover, if the interviewee hasn’t inquired about job duties, and/or shown an interest in what is going to be required of them, then it’s also time to reconsider.

Age is another piece to this puzzle: of course, we all want young, able and eager individuals, ready to join the team and propel the company to ever-greater heights. But be careful about hiring someone so young that they might vanish on you when things aren’t going their way, or when the challenges of the job require more than they want to give.

Additionally, hiring someone because they seem like a “great guy,” or gal, even though you’re not really measuring them against your core values, mission, vision and where they fit into the forward progress of the business, is shortsighted and almost certainly counterproductive when the dust settles.

Committed and capable

Obviously, avoiding a background check is one of the quickest ways to set yourself up for failure with a new hire. If you’re so rushed that you avoid the background check, don’t call references or fail to show this person the work environment (or potential team members), then you probably need to sit down and assess more than just your workforce.

It can also be very productive to ask a candidate about what other options he/she is entertaining. This can give you a gauge on where you stand in the game, and what you may need to adjust within your offer sheet or onboarding process. It allows for an opening where you can get to know the candidate a bit more – a deeper dive into why they’re interested in the industry, how they think about their future and whether or not this is, ultimately, a good fit.

As Clark pointed out in her piece: “While the list seems long, it begins by being aware of your existing hiring practices.”

She added, “Train the people in your company who are involved in the hiring process about the proper way to conduct an interview and make decisions about job candidates. Ask people who are involved in the hiring process to review hiring processes and procedures right before an interview.”

At the end of the day, Clark makes a great point. You can’t know exactly who it is you’re attempting to hire. But by knowing yourself and your process as well as you can, you can position yourself more strategically to bring someone in who’s committed and capable of helping your company find success.

To hear the latest on best hiring practices, as well as how to keep your best employees, register for SC&RA’s upcoming webinar with seasoned executive recruiter Larry Wainscott, March 27, 2 p.m. EST, at


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