In today’s Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, some of the Fast 50 companies weighed in on how to find top employees. As the 12th fastest growing private company in the Twin Cities, we participated in the survey. Bob Hildreth, president of ESP, is proud of the staff of people he’s hired, and shared his strategies for finding the best employees to work for ESP.
Check out the article here (our answers are on page 2) or read Bob’s complete answers below:
- How do you to find quality employees?
The best and most reliable is direct referrals. But we also run ads on industry specific internet job boards, and occasionally, for a role outside of our expertise we will contact a specialized placement agency.
- Do you use different sources for different types of employees?
We usually rely on referrals and internet ads, but for roles like our most recent hire, Head of Accounting, we went to a placement agency that specialized in accounting.
- What is the most unique story you have about hiring someone?
I hired identical twins to work in our small office. Although I was warned by several business advisers not to do it, 14 years later they are both still working at ESP. It has occasionally posed problems for identifying who was who.
- What is the No. 1 pitfall that hiring managers need to avoid in the hiring process?
Hiring too quickly. Typically the cost of a new hire in their first year is three times their salary. It is essential to set up multiple meetings in different settings and involve the team in the process to ensure you get the right fit. When on a short time frame due to a competitive market, I don’t cheat on the number of meetings, but try to do the meetings within a few days rather than over the course of a few weeks.
- What’s the most important attribute you look for in an employee?
Inquisitiveness. I look for employees who ask really good, pointed questions that are related to the job they are seeking (or working in). In an interview setting, these are people who try to determine if the job and company is a good fit for them and who are really interested and knowledgeable about the industy and job I have for them.
- What’s more important in a new employee? Attitude, education/skills/knowledge, or experience?
Attitude. It’s important that an employee has an attitude towards their work that fits their job description and their daily activity. I always have a potential employee take a work personality assessment prior to making an offer to them to ensure their personality type, work style, and attitude fits the job.