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Hiring Decisions at Madison Tanning Company

“You know, it seems like I never make the right decisions in hiring our team. What’s my problem!?” I used to say this often in the past, yet, these days, the worm has turned!!! Our current team is incredible and has been the result of the school of hard knocks.

It is true and proper to never discriminate against team members and job applicants because of any of the following: Age, ancestry, arrest record, color, conviction record, creed, disability, genetic or honesty testing, marital or military status, national origin, pregnancy or childbirth, race, sex, sexual orientation, use or nonuse of lawful products off the premises during nonworking hours or for filing a complaint.

The law does not prohibit a business from discerning whether someone has been a capable and reliable team member.

In the hiring process, the only criteria that should be used are whether the person can do the work and follow the rules for all team members.

What steps does Madison Tanning Company follow?

#1 Define the job to be done in clear manner. Every job is a combination of several tasks that must be done each day or at least on a regular basis. In order to hire the right people, it is necessary that jobs be well defined. Often just by reading a job description the prospective team member will see that they are not qualified and eliminate themselves. Even hearing verbal job descriptions during the interviews is not effective as seeing in black and white.

What % of your day to day conversations end up being miscommunications? IS it because the people you love and care about are bad people?

I would venture to guess that most people wake up each day with the intention to be good-willed.

Because we are human, 90%+ of all verbal communication ends up as a miscommunication while 20% of written communication ends up in miscommunication. Or something close to that as I cannot recall the exact source of my figures : )!

#2 Hire the best person for the job. This may sound too simple!! Most small businesses seldom hire the best person. Instead the small business owner falls into the trap of hiring who is available. I have done this more than once, and I know better, and I usually regret this from the hip hiring style. Dave Ramsey correctly teaches in EntreLeadership that “your either going to hire 1 right person or 6 wrong people to find 1 right person”. Either way, it’s going to take time, emotional energy and money. You decide which method is better.

#3 Match the person to the job, team and to the company. From 1987 to 2007, we did not use personality tests. However, after many attempts to put the right person in the right job (and many failures in doing so), Peter Cicero showed us the DISC personality assessment. This does help. Other businesspeople, especially those who run single location businesses seem to have a good grasp of personalities, and hiring the right people didn’t seem to be a problem with them, but for us it was.

Obviously there are other factors that must be considered in the hiring process. We look for a combination of team player, skill, dependable, reliable, punctual, high tolerance for working when not feeling well, speed, ability to love cleaning & run around with your head cut off, respect, positive attitude and openness to Facebook, Twitter, You Tube & other social media. We want to sense that you have a teachable spirit & can adapt to changes.

No need and no way anyone will be perfect yet applicants need to be self-confident & secure without being arrogant. This is shown in the way the applicant carries themselves. Watch how team members and applicants dress & present themselves.

Are they respectful? Do they show up prepared with questions? Do they show up early? Observe how they treat others. What’s inside counts yet we want people who understand how you present yourself is important both to yourself & to the public.

A positive heart, mind & soul that is readily apparent when writing or speaking even during times of crisis. No loser talk. We’re sick and tired of the “loser talk” that has permeated the media, the water cooler and the internet. Stop listening to the garbage, and start speaking a word of hope (not sure if that was positive yet it gets to the point)!

Our team recognizes that personal growth is important. We look for eagles or people that have a track record of success. This may be although not limited to past school or work success, leadership, sports, drama, dance, community, church, etc, etc … involvement is critical (something beyond self).

#4 Establish a trial period. I have learned that we need a 90 day and some smaller check points for new team members. During this time, the team and I evaluate the work performance and compatibility of the new team member. Obviously, no one wants to leave one job and start another with the possibility that he or she might be terminated after a 90-day trial period, and good hiring practices can virtually eliminate this necessity. Yet the best hiring systems in the world will not totally eliminate hiring errors.

It is better for the company and team member that corrections are made early if necessary.

As you begin to get to know someone, red flags begin to pop up along with green flags. In general, no one single red or green flag can be used to determine a good match for a company to team member relationship. The exception would be dishonesty, theft or issues of trust. In general, if a team member has a failure of integrity, we need to take quick action. Integrity mistakes are one thing that might be something that needs a 2nd chance, integrity choices, where a person makes a choice that is a clear violation of integrity cannot be allowed.

The above criteria are used as we determine whether the person can do the work and follow the rules for all team members.

Thank you to Larry Burkett’s “Business by the Book”, Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership, Bob Pritchett’s “Fire Someone Today: And Other Surprising Tactics for Making Your Business a Success” and many others for your ideas on this topic. I highly recommend the three as the stories and examples these men tell will make all the difference.


8 Responses to “Hiring Decisions at Madison Tanning Company”

  1. I think MTC is doing the right things to fit the right people into the right jobs from the beginning. I completely agree with the 90 trial period as well. Not only does it let the company decide if the potential employee is a good fit but if the company is a good fit for the individual. Both parties need to be satisfied! It is a nice review as we put the now hiring signs up 🙂

  2. Keep praying……for our future and current team members.

    As a positive company, we will naturally attract positive candidates who enjoy working in this type of environment. We really want the best for everyone on our team and hope they will reciprocate with passion, intensity and loyalty. 🙂

  3. Great post! Awesome for people interested in working here & what we look for. This isn’t just a “tanning salon”. We are tons more than that and need employees that can give tons more than that!

  4. I think that this is great. This lets people know that we are serious about what we do and that they need not apply just to get deals on or free tanning.

  5. ~ It takes time to judge character – one interview usually isn’t enough and a resume certainly won’t do it.

    ~ When hiring young people, look for those who don’t require constant babysitting and pats on the back. We grew up in the everyone-gets-a-trophy-regardless-of-performance generation, so it’s rare to find people who will work hard because of their ethics alone, but they’re worth hiring when you find them.

    ~ Spend a lot of time on the chemistry part of the equation. Go with your gut. If you are troubled by someone’s attitude, halt until that feeling goes away.

    ~ Ask this great interview question (which a friend of mine who was VP of Human Resources for a well-known corporation says is the only question you’ll ever need to ask), “What is the greatest mistake you’ve made in your career so far, and what did you learn from it?”

    Just a few thoughts – anyone else care to chime in?

  6. Below are wise words from Kelsey…are Bronzed Barbie.
    -In doing interviews I like someone who takes a minute to think about their answer rather than babbling through just to make it sound like they know what they are talking about.
    I immediately feel another interview coming when I can talk to a person in a relaxed tone and not feel like I’m pulling teeth to get answers.
    Someone who is confident but not cocky and willing to learn new skills without being hesitant is a plus also.
    I think a big question I like to ask is why a tanning salon and why MTC? Some people may give answers like it looks like a fun easy job that would fit in my schedule. I like the answers that have to do with the feeling and the experience that they had and want to share with others. These are a few of the things that grab my attention and make me want to talk more with the person!

  7. I agree it will take more than one interview, and for sure more than one’s opinion. The first impression, ie punctuality, dress, mannerisms, and respectfulness they show in their choice of words are huge for me. All of our customers get an initial first impression..if they can’t wow us, how are they going to wow our customers.

    The chemistry is a must. If we bring on an individual that has all the education/character, but can’t get along with staff, it won’t work. We have learned that first hand in H2O…true colors will show–and come thru brightly.

    I enjoy asking “What’s your biggest flaw?” The answer is always interesting.

  8. What are your thoughts on interviews, responses to questions asked during interviews. . .

    I look for eye contact, confidence, a smile, willingness to talk about themselves and their passions/goals. Where they want to be in a few months/years. . . is always a fun question to ask.

    Finding out what a person’s pet peeves are is also another question I like. Most people will be open when I ask them about their toughtest manager and why they didn’t like their last job. Those are both questions that open doors to find out about a person. How the person handles stress, communication, complaints and so on.

    Getting a feel for the activites they like to do, how do they spend thier time outside of work, what was the last book they finished reading, if they had $100 to give to a charity who would they give it to? Helps me with the chemistry part of the equation.

    I like to share the positives with them: we raised money for breast cancer and we sent some of our team to the race. Same with GUR and the money went to Humane society. We’re big on building a team and community. We donate to local churches/events.
    We strive to make each clients day, that our salons sparkle. I talk about going above and beyond. . . basket for Roma. While clients are tanning cleaning off car windows when its snows, walking clients to their cars when its raining. . .

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