17 May 2007

Hiring Woes...

Firing an employee is definately a miserable job. Even more miserable than the job the person about to be chucked is doing/or not doing as the case may be. One of the dreadful side effects of letting someone go is that it tends to lead to hiring. Hiring is in many ways an even more miserable job than firing. Start with House's cliche "Everybody Lies". This seems to apply double for people interviewing for a new job. When we first started getting employee's some well meaning friend's said, "You have to check the references." But, really, think about that for a minute. How big of a loser do you have to be to not have one or two people who will say you're o.k.? We decided that it's pretty certain that if you don't have two people willing to vouch for you in a reference that it would be obvious to any and all conscious that you are a Loser! Calling old employer's sounds like a good way to go. Except we are in such a litigious, entitled time that no employer with half a mind will say anything other than start date, end date, and last pay.
We are currently hiring. We pick now because all of the training sessions are over the summer and we have the summer to teach the newbie the stoves and ropes before people start using them to stay warm. A second trip in July, not such a big deal! Second trip in January, really big deal to whoever's backsides are popsicles!
The question of where to look for prospective employee's eluded us for a long time. We first started with a temp agency. Wow! I can't believe that I used to get jobs through one of those places! Talk about bottom of the barrel pickings. We did that twice and were spectacularly un-amazed both times! We spent ridiculous amounts of money on newspaper ads for years which seemed to most effectively attract the druggies with no driver's license. One guy actually called me to have me figure out the bus schedule for him to be able to come down to the store for an application! We have had a thief, a drug addict, an alcoholic, a tattletale, a wimp, a rebel, and a mouse all slip through our radar. We now try to post our position's on the state's web site. This is not without its flaws but we are hopefully getting a little better at this!
We do have a good core group of guys that have been with us quite a while. One for a little over a year, one just at a year, one over three years, and one at six. It is like picking out a new family member for this group. Someone who will do their share of work without someone having to stand over their shoulder all the time. Someone who will show up on time, and stay until the job is done. Someone with a good head on their shoulders as we have some pretty intelligent customers, and high tech stoves. Someone who will blend into the personality pool that already exists. Lord help us!


Court said...

I've only had to fire a person once, and I seriously wanted to cry. Even though I didn't need his services I felt really bad letting him go.

Shannon said...

We haven't had to lay a person off for lack of work (yet~knock on wood). I agree that would be very hard.