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Hiring Great Employees is Like Buying Great Shoes: 5 Tips

Hiring Great Employees is Like Buying Great Shoes: 5 Tips

By Stasia Rice
Have you ever bought a pair of cheap shoes in a pinch?  Maybe you needed a quick replacement, or felt the budget didn’t bear anything more expensive?  More often than not, when you compromise on quality, the shoes don’t fit quite right, they to show wear quickly or maybe even fell apart well before you’d like.  In the end… you have to buy another pair.  Making this mistake often will add up quickly.  Consider how many $20 pairs of shoes you have replaced.  They probably add up to what it would have cost for a quality pair of shoes that you would love, feel confident and comfortable in and are made to last.

We can draw a parallel from this metaphor to hiring and retaining employees… We should all learn from lessons in buying good shoes:

1. No matter what the price, find the right fit.  

A bad hire will just end up giving you “blisters”… not to mention the time, money and effort of having to rehire and train the next person. Avoid quick replacements and be sure they fit your culture and the position qualifications!

2. Be willing to invest.  

This might come in the form of someone with more experience, or even better, someone with the potential to learn and grow with training, development and time.  Like your shoes, a larger upfront cost pays off in spades when your employee sticks with you and lives into the potential you saw.

3. Repair – Don’t Replace.

If an employee that fits well and has all the potential to do great things just isn’t as shiny anymore, or worse, the sole has worn and they are not performing as well anymore, don’t just toss them out!  Now is the time to invest in them through coaching or more formal development. Your initial investment in quality must be maintained! Polish up those shoes and resole them again and again!  The cost of ongoing investment is far less than buying new!

4. Don’t take your dress shoes hiking.

You wouldn’t try to make your shoes perform in an environment or for a task not suited to their purpose.  Why do we do this to our employees?  Get to know them and their strengths to ensure that they can perform at their best.

5. Try them with a new outfit.  

Sometime the effect of putting the same shoe with a completely different outfit can help you get even more wear out of them! Think about the last time you put those dress shoes with jeans-it can makes for a fun change and you got more wear out of those shoes! The same goes for your high potential employees.  Giving them new opportunities, experiences outside of their area of expertise, or promotions when they are ready for more leadership and responsibility can help them to find longevity and happiness in your organization!

The lesson that you eventually learn is that the return on investment when it comes to quality is almost always worth it… in shoes and in people!

MSBCoach is in the business of investing in quality people.  They can help you polish up or resole your teams through coaching and training programs. Contact: info@msbcoach.com

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About The Author

Stasia Rice is the COO / Executive Director of MSBConsult and is a organizational development consultant and leadership coach committed to developing leaders and helping to improve the mission critical and human capital management programs in their organizations. Stasia has spent most of her career serving clients in the DHS and DOD branches of the federal government through top management consulting firms like Deloitte and IBM. Whether it was supporting the development of programs, creating strategic communications, refining business processes, or developing strategic plans, Stasia enjoys being able to use her creativity and problem solving skills to exceed expectations with her clients.

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