volume 1 issue 2

February 2006


The Secret to a Successful Organization

Many companies long to learn the secret to success. While business has many critical aspects - from vision to strategic planning to customer service - the one that is often given the least attention, yet can be the most costly, is people.

Your people have the ability to drive customers to you or away from you. To make work fun and simple, or miserable and riffled with issues. They can cause problems or save time and money with their creative solutions. What's a company to do?

1. Hire the right people.
2. Give them the tools to do a good job.
3. Provide them with positive, constructive feedback.
4. Develop them.
5. Reward them.

Let's look at the first key to success: hiring the right people. When it comes to hiring, many organizations miss the mark by:

  • Failing to identify and agree upon the position requirements
  • Neglecting to plan
  • Asking illegal questions
  • Asking few follow-up or clarifying questions
  • Succumbing to the pressure to fill the position
  • Letting individual biases and stereotypes get in the way

How can you avoid hiring mistakes?

  • Review the job description for position and skill requirements. Ensure they are accurate; make changes if needed.
  • List the behaviors needed for success. Be sure to include "positive, can-do attitude" as a must-have.
  • Identify key cultural values needed to be successful in the organization.
  • Divide this list of skills, behaviors and values into must-haves and nice-to-haves. Rate them in order of importance.
  • Develop questions based on your must-haves and nice-to-haves using:
    • Behavioral questions (past behavior predicts future performance)
    • Scenario questions
    • "Tell me about a time when…"
    • "What did you do when…?"
    • "Describe the results of…"
  • Select your interviewing team.
  • Conduct interviews.
  • Spend 80% of the time asking and 20% telling.
  • Take good notes and rank each candidate on the same criteria.
  • If there are discrepancies, bring the top candidates back for another interview.
  • Determine who is the best fit, based on your criteria.
  • Make a job offer. This should be in writing and provide a professional image to your potential new asset.

Next month, we'll delve into the second secret to a successful organization!

Need assistance developing your hiring criteria?
Need help interviewing candidates for open positions?
We can help.




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