I'll Know It When I See It!
by Fred Berni
This is the first of a series of articles on how to interview and select the
right franchisees and employees. Learn why you canít rely on instinct alone.
When someone asks what you're looking for in a franchisee or employee are you
guilty of saying 'I'll know it when I see it.'? Do you know someone else that
This happens more often than anyone wants to admit. The trouble is, people
that 'know it when they see it' generally don't keep track of how the hiring
actually works out. They don't track:
- How many past hires lived up to their potential.
- How many are ranked as top performers or got promoted.
- How many quit or got fired, or should have been fired.
It's human nature to forget about bad decisions while patting yourself on the
back for the good ones. With their typical overly positive attitude,
entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to this kind of thinking.
A lot of people think the selection process ends once the person has been
hired. It can, if you're not overly concerned with improving your hiring track
record. If you want to get better at hiring top performers, you have to look at
both your good hires and those that have not worked out as well. A good
selection process is a multi-stage process:
- The hiring/interview process itself,
- Training the new hires and
- Validating the hiring decision and training process (we'll
explore this in a future issue).
You can't simply 'wing it' and expect to hire a lot of top performers. You
might hire a few top performers, but odds are you'll hire a lot of duds for
every top performer.
When you figure that the hiring process can cost you a minimum of 6 months of
wages, if you have even a 50% turnover (and I don't know any retail business
that averages that low of a turnover rate) the cost of hiring the wrong people
can add up very quickly.
So you have to ask yourself if it's worth using a 'hit or miss' approach e.g.
spending a lot of money on hiring and training to get just a few top performers
or is it more cost-effective to use a more formal approach to selection and hire
the top performers without using the 'hit and miss' approach?
What is a structured interview?
Often, people mistakenly believe that 'behavioral based' interviews are the
only type of 'structured' interview. A behavioral based interview is simply one
type of structured interview. Another type of structured interview could be one
designed to measure job knowledge.
Even 'personality profiles' or other paper based questionnaires can be
considered structured interviews as they ask the same candidate the same
questions every time. In a nutshell, a structured interview can consist of a
variety of interview types. None of them necessarily 'behavior based' The key to
a structured interview is that using one makes you ask every candidate the same
questions every single time.
Using a structured interview plus tracking their performance helps you learn
what kinds of responses the best franchisees and employees tend to give, and how
not-so-good performers tend to answer.
Using a well designed structured interview helps you ask the same questions
of all candidates. As a result, you'll be able to predict how well a candidate
will perform about 51% of the time. I'll grant that this is not an overly strong
accuracy level, but it's a huge improvement over using unstructured interviews
which typically have only a 38% accuracy level. For more on using unstructured
In Part 2 Iíll teach you how to develop your own structured interview.
Contact Fred Berni:
Web URL: www.dynamicperformancesystems.com