Equilibrium Institute- Delivering Core Intelligence

Apathy is not consent, it's the demand for Empowerment  

31Tips to Perform Well on the Job


         Be honest and friendly to everyone, take initiative to build new relationships, but keep a professional distance with co-workers. Earn credibility and allow others to earn credibility, but be cautious about levels of trust that you grant until you get to know people well. 


         Project a positive and helpful manner.


         Be supportive and tolerant of other personalities. Maintain dignity and respect even in challenging situations.  Be forgiving and donít sweat the small stuff.  Pick battles very carefully and think things through when challenges arise.  Weigh the cost of being self-sacrificing and donít put yourself in harms way unless it is a life or death situation you can win.


         Copy successful people and build support networks. Find mentors.


         Know when, how, and who to ask for help or walk away and follow the chain of command.


         If things are tough in your personal life seek support.  Personal and work life overlap.  Be careful you donít share personal stuff too early in a relationship and remember people often confuse and forget things.  If someone comes under medications and you find yourself in conflict with them, what you have divulged could be used against you with added distortions.


         Be clean and be neat. Dress appropriately for your job.


         Offer input when asked, but consider ramifications of shinning to bright or not participating enough.


         Follow the rules and ask questions.  It is easier to meet employer expectations if you know what they are.


         Work on listening and communicating well.


         Arrive on time and leave on time, be dependable.


         Offer your help, or volunteer for assignments and be available for more responsibilities, be flexible.


         Sharpen skills needed to perform the job well, stay current in the field.


         Make time to observe, blend in, and identify when taking the lead can be of service.


         Try to have a lot of patience and donít have unrealistic expectations, not everyone shares your standards.  Donít participate in the rumor mill.


         Eat well, exercise and drink enough water!  Your wellness impacts your performance and combats burnout.


         Maintain regular contact with your boss and supervisors.  Donít bark up the wrong tree!


         Maintain a non-threatening professional work-ethic.  Donít beat any dead horses!


         Practice self-reflection and thinking in action and thinking on action.


         Stay busy and be consistent, demonstrate integrity.


         Donít waste time or resources.  You can lead a horse to water, but you canít make him drink.


         Know how to respond to emergencies.  Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.


         Know how to debate or raise concerns without becoming emotionally upset.


         Be competitive, but also blend in, adapt to the culture of your workplace.


         Remember that being persuasive depends partially on who you are trying to convince.


         Complete tasks, meet or exceed requirements, follow directions.


         Represent the organization in a positive manner.  Learn to solve problems creatively and efficiently.  Negotiate compromise and accommodate when possible.


         Have a healthy skepticism. People are error prone and memory is selective.  Base decisions on objective data.


         If you go beyond the call of duty, someone may be out of work


         Just because there are rules and regulations, does not mean others will follow them.  Where safety is concerned count on yourself.



ďIt is beautiful about life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.Ē


Ralph Waldo Emerson





Section 5


Recruiting to Build or Support Business



Tips on Selecting Candidates: Principles for Recruitment



Have a completed job description and understand what skills are needed to perform the job. Prepare a candidate profile with key skills and ensure candidates have a solid track record and or they have the aptitude needed.  Face to face interviews are focused on behavior, social skills, compatibility, and verifying the information submitted by the applicant.



Know what personalities (in general) do well in the industry or on the task.  Gather information from successful people in the field about what they think helped them succeed, i.e. what they would seek in co-workers. 




Assess decision making skills and training needs.  By probing how a person would handle specific tasks or respond to specific situations that are essential to the job.  Assess personal lifestyle habits, attitudes, and life history that can help you get a clearer picture of whether the candidate could pose any risks, or need certain types of support from management which could impact productivity.  Has the person learned key things like wholeness, balance between professional life and private life, diet, and health care?  Hobbies and special interests are good indicators of willingness to learn, the candidates general and approach to life. How does the candidate generate and spend their energy?  What do they value?  How do they resolve conflicts?



Get examples where skills helped previous employers that can be collaborated with evidences.



Use the telephone and e-mail for initial steps to help reduce the candidate pool.  For example, ensure location of job, wage, salary, or time-base is mutually acceptable and verify relevant work history is possessed. 



There is such a thing as being over-qualified. Generate some fair criteria for making that decision.  Hiring someone that is likely to leave in a short time could be burdensome, unless itís a temporary position.



While it is not uncommon to approach people who are doing well elsewhere to recruit them in, the key is finding people that are unsatisfied for good reasons or motivated to leave in a way that does not reveal a substantial risk i.e. loyalty or other personnel related issues is the challenge.  



Consider group interviewing to save costs and have clear criteria and tasks among the interviewing team to facilitate the candidate ranking. 



 Suggested criteria to rank: 5-factor candidate assessment helps to limit bias and pinpoint relevant strengths and weaknesses of each applicant.  (TERPS) Team, Experiences, Readiness, Performance, Skill.  Under each heading, subheadings may exist which are relevant to your workplace and environment. 



Formalize the offer acceptance.  This clarifies the duties and deters acceptance by non-qualified applicants.  It also prevents damages from occurring or being alleged by making offers and terms understood and agreed upon formally at the entrance into a position.  This also encourages companies to be more specific about the recruitment process and matching candidates to positions that are more clearly defined as a result of the process. 



Has the company created and prioritized jobs based on importance?  Positions not hard to fill or of lesser value are easiest to fill.  Some jobs may be important to success but easy to fill, while others are critical and very difficult to fill.  Get managers and staff to help recommend for lower and mid level positions, focus senior recruiters on the more challenging positions.  * Credit Kevin Wheller and Adlerconcepts.com



Make sure your selection process is consistent with state and federal laws. Donít offer anything that can be used against the company regarding decisions to not accept an applicant, or in issuing a notice of denial.  The most common denial responses are thank you letters mentioning someone else was selected.  You may wish to make it a company policy to store interview records until the statute of limitations in your state have expired just in case an action is taken against your company.  Just be careful in managing applicant records as you could be responsible for sensitive documents.  It is recommended you black out or destroy sensitive information for any files you maintain and follow laws pertaining to the protection of private information if you store information.



Hiring Strategy Recommendations


Resume and Application Selection Criteria:


     Employers should use carefully worded applications and job announcements that are approved by an Employment Attorney prior to use. It is important that the recruitment program is free of illegal forms of discrimination and does not violate rights to privacy.  Practicing due diligence can also protect you from potential claims in the event a bad-hire occurs or a claim is made against you as a result of hiring or firing practices.  For example, if the position is not suitable for people with disabilities, you should be prepared with a reasonable and legally valid explanation.  A consult with an Employment Attorney covering your employment application and recruitment processes which includes a review of interview questions, could save you a lot of time and possible damages.  This is especially crucial around hiring, firing justifications (avoiding libel, privacy violations, discrimination, defamation allegations or claims) or disqualification considerations.  In the event your HR staff is not current on the details and application of laws that come into play, I recommend www.esrcheck.com Also check out free resources from State Employment or Labor Agencies. 



     The biggest deterrent for undesirable candidates would be to emphasize that background checks will be conducted and make sure you get their permission (in states requiring them) allowing you to check employment records.  Criminal background searches are not full proof.  State and County search of Courthouse records are most recommended if you can determine cities of residence.  In California, Department of Motor Vehicle printouts for last two years are free from the Employment Development Department (EDD) with proof of a job announcement and a free job seeker registration with EDD.  Otherwise, an H6 longer term driving history print-out of the driving record is available for a fee from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Check your States employment agencies to learn more about records you or the applicant may request.  Ten year work histories are available from the Social Security Administration for a fee.  Criminal history clearances from local Police and even an FBI clearance are available for a small fee.  Employment and Education verification and civil record searches can also be helpful and should include speaking to minimum of two people per site where possible to reduce bias or falsification attempts.  While many may argue the web may produce false positives and so on, sometimes sites like Myspace, Facebook, and LinkedIn can give you helpful information, but that information may need to be further verified.  Make sure your decisions donít present discrimination issues from developing. In general, any fee based collection of information must be offset by the employer or potential violations and claims could result.  Some types of background checks, like credit reports, may require a notification be sent to applicants.  The laws surrounding what can and can not be obtained vary from state to state.  Contact your labor related agencies to determine the rules in your area that pertain to the positions you are recruiting for.  The job duties performed can impact the type of background check allowable or required by law. 



     When using the information collected, the rule of thumb is that there must be a business rational for excluding based on the contents of those records.  It is not recommended that employers actually give details about why a candidate was not selected.   A letter announcing the position is closed, or filled is sufficient, but not required. However, a letter could reduce the number of follow up inquiries you could get otherwise.



Selection Process (Rate and document responses)



Round 1:


     Create three piles from the applications or resumes. The piles can be labeled disqualified, possible candidates and top candidates.  If the top candidates get exhausted, turn to the possible candidate pile and do a second sort.  I recommend having some specific objective criteria in the process of elimination.  For example, the minimum qualifications and a point where being over qualified can be fairly assessed can help sort people out. Employment is a relationship.  Since the trend is to change careers many times, the ability to assess commitment may serve you in locating more committed candidates.  Some objective criteria can be based on matched skills, experiences, or degree qualifications. Try to keep the piles down to first ten to twenty at most.  If you have too many, it could prevent you from being thorough in the review process. 



Round 2:


Check references 5-7 years back and review cover letters and any supporting documentation.




Rank at this point and cut people with bad or inadequate references.  I recommend speaking to supervisors even if they are no longer with the companies, or when companies have closed.  What to ask depends on the position and what you hope to gain from them to confirm or inform you about the suitability of the applicant. If you get a bad reference, donít be alarmed, what you are looking for are trends and keep in mind sometimes people confuse events or have their own agendas such as not losing a candidate.  Consider any complaints may provide an area to explore, but base decisions on objective evidences and adequate information.  What an employer can say during a reference check varies by state and is also impacted by there own values, attitudes, and awareness of laws.  A safe rule to play by is only speak factually.  Confirm dates of hiring, locations and positions worked, and salary.  Pose broad questions such as did you have personal experience working with the person, in your opinion how did they perform against your companyís standards?  If I send you a release form from the candidate, can I view their employee file you possess?  Would you hire the person again? 






Round 3


Verbal phone pre-screen:


Assess the candidateís interest in the job.  Ask questions such as: please tell me about yourself and why you feel you might make a good match for the position, what are your available working hours, what is your minimum salary requirement, why are you seeking employment at this time?  What keeps you in this field? Why do you live in this region?



If the candidate makes it through this stage, schedule them for an interview.  If your unsure, just tell them you will alert them if they have been selected for an interview by phone within a specific time period so that the candidate knows if they made it through the next round or not.  Tell them there is no need to call back and ask them not to.



Round 4


Confirm the interviews.



Round 5


Rate Greetings/ Rapport: 


Rate Appearance:


Tell us about yourself and why you are interested in the job.


Rate 30 sec commercial. Rate responses based on the ability to follow instructions and the quality of communication skills. 


Have the interviewee review the position statement.


Q & A period here are some examples. 


Can you give us some examples of how your skills match our needs?


What do you know about the tools of the trade?


What specific skills or experiences do you have that make you a candidate?


Can you assess your own ability to communicate for us and tell us what examples you can supply to evidence your observations?


Do you have any experience with the things listed on the job duty list that you have not mentioned yet?


How do you deal with stress, make decisions, and adapt to new environments?


Tell us about a situation that was challenging, but you had to stay motivated.


What are some past and current interests you have?


What are some of your greatest achievements?


Where do you see yourself in five years?


Do you have any weaknesses or challenges we should be aware of?


Candidate made adequate eye contact (yes)   (no)


Below, standard, or incongruent body language


Do you have any questions for us to help you in making an informed decision about working for us?  Any questions you would ask if you were interviewing yourself that might help us learn more about you? 


Do you have any closing comments you would like for us to be aware of?


Thank you, we will call you in the next week if we wish to advance you to the next round.


(In this case the next round is the hiring decision)



If your agency is big, it could be advantageous to include a sixth round to have the top candidates meet and be further interviewed by the leads and immediate supervisors.  Some agencies prefer leaving that step up to the primary supervisor.