In the September/October issue of Auto Rental News, I shared my thoughts on company culture and how it forms the foundation of successful firms. I also described how an improperly constructed cultural foundation could lead to a company’s failure.
The next phase in the construction of a healthy and thriving business comes from the people involved. Those serving the public, and those who make up the administrative or maintenance backbone of your company, determine everything your company does — poorly or well. You might wonder, “Why should I worry so much about the people in my business? Nobody seemed to care about me when I was starting out!” The answer to that question can be broken down into a number of important pieces.
A good start is to have high standards as you consider where you’ll find employees. If the culture of your company is such that you want clerks and nothing more, then look for them where these employees can be found — convenience stores and the prep department of an auto dealership, for example.
But if you want prospects with higher education and expectations, you need to go where they hang out: college campuses, mid- to higher-level retail stores and the like. Or you can find them through online services such as Monster.com or your local newspaper’s online help-wanted Web site.
Also, it’s key to use the very best of your current employees as a source for employee referrals. Use your sharpest employees to help recruit top prospects.
Having high standards is especially important during the hiring process. Are you serious about having only folks with good driving records, good educational transcripts and an aggressive attitude? Well, if you are, only hire new employees with those characteristics. The first time you allow substandard employees through your screening process, a significant “watering down” process occurs.
Ever notice how one good employee has a hard time propping up a bunch of so-so employees, yet one bad employee can poison a whole branch? You get what you let in the door. Is this hiring process difficult? You bet.