Recently CEO David K. Williams and President Mary Michelle Scott of Fishbowl Inventory Software penned an article for the Harvard Business Review Blog about their seven “non-negotiables” for preventing bad hires.
The two claim that using the non-negotiable system has resulted in “near-zero turnover — and manyexpress the desire and willingness to stay with us for life.”
Those are goals that every business owner should aim for when hiring. Not only do happy employees go above and beyond what’s expected of them, but the company is spending less time and money recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. The non-negotiable hiring system benefits more than just the human resources department.
Here are steps you can take to identify your company’s non-negotiables and work them into your hiring process.
1. Determining your non-negotiables
Throughout the years, Williams and Scott have developed a list of character traits that they want each employee to exemplify. What started as four traits has turned into seven. All new employees of Fishbowl must exhibit respect, belief, loyalty, commitment, trust, courage, and gratitude.
To identify your company’s non-negotiables, you need to take a close look at your organization’s mission statement and values and ask yourself some questions:
- What does your company stand for?
- What differentiates it from the competitors?
- What do your customers like about your company that others don’t offer?
- What traits do you like about yourself?
The answers to some of these won’t necessarily be traits, but they should give you a good starting point. Note: If you don’t have a mission statement for your organization, you need to create one. Doing so is a great exercise in determining what you want your company to focus on becoming. Mission statements should always be future focused. Don’t describe what you do and who you are now, envision where you want your company to be five years from now. More on this topic in a later article.
2. Determining if your job candidates exhibit your non-negotiables
Williams and Scott ask their candidates to share examples of times that they exhibited each trait. They then seek out references – but not those listed on the resume – and ask the references the same questions. Williams and Scott find that these colleagues or old bosses can speak more candidly and provide another perspective on the job candidate’s personality.
Fishbowl’s hiring process goes above and beyond the traditional hiring methods, but it seems to have paid off. They’re happy with their hires, and they claim their employees would like to stay indefinitely.
As we’ve discussed, the cost of bad hires is astonishing, and you want to do everything you can to avoid bringing the wrong person into the mix.