We spoke to Wynnis Armour of Armour Consulting to gather some useful tips on finding (and retaining) the best support crew for your business. Some of her answers may surprise you...
WHAT MAKES A GOOD EMPLOYEE STAND OUT?
I think it very much depends on the role they’re employed to fill. Having said that, some good generic attributes that make for a good employee would be a strong work ethic, positivity, determination, resilience and good humour.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND POTENTIAL STAFF WITH ATTRIBUTES LIKE THESE?
Everywhere. Sourcing good candidates is a multifaceted thing today: agencies (the ones that have large, up-to-date and sophisticated databases), job boards, social media sites and their resultant communities, existing staff and all other networks you have (or don’t have) access to. (In my experience - and this could be a very personal thing - one’s competitors, for a lot of reasons, often prove to be a disappointing source of talent.)
HAVE YOU USED PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING? IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Yes, from day one. But let me expand on that. My background is psych and I think, used well, psychometric testing can be a very valid piece of the candidate ‘jigsaw’ (never the only piece, however). I’m a tad cynical about personality testing, but I am a real believer in testing for general reasoning skills, which are often split into numerical and verbal reasoning skills. I think they are indicative of a candidate’s ‘mental horsepower’ if you like, and suitability (or not) for the level of problem-solving the role requires.
DO YOU THINK YOU SHOULD LIKE THE PEOPLE YOU HIRE?
Hmm – hopefully, but not necessarily. I think it’d be more important to respect them and what they bring to the role.
DO YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE THE BEST PEOPLE FOR THE JOB OR THE BEST FIT FOR THE COMPANY?
I know this is one that causes great debate - and again, I think the nature of the role being recruited is important when considering this. I believe cultural and shared values are, of course, very important and that skills can de definitely be developed. But there are roles where specific experience or advanced knowledge of say a software package is non-negotiable. I also have observed that to expect all employees to have a similar set of attitudes, values and views can take away from the diversity and breadth of view that can add so much to a team.