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Good on the phone?

We know that every employee needs to communicate effectively with co-workers, with vendors, with customers. Make sure you test them for these skills. Before you hire—

1) Know your profile; have it written out; list skills and behaviors demanded for high performance.

2) Look at resumes and pick those who seem qualified.

3) Have them call and leave an effective voice mail message explaining why they think they’re the right candidate. (This step eliminates many “pretenders” because some may never call; you don’t want to pursue it; they don’t want to. Those remaining have moved from suspect to candidate.)     

4) Have your candidates be phone-interviewed by 2 different people on 2 different days (one morning, one afternoon).

5) Discuss the interviews internally (clarity, grammar, appropriateness, personality).

6) If you agree that you see possibilities, bring them in to begin the interviewing process.

One of  the most costly mistakes we make is to hire the wrong people, those who can’t communicate effectively by phone. Why? For the wrong reasons…It’s a warm body we need right now. She looks good on paper. He interviews well. 

Let’s make sure we take the time to slow it down and do it right. It’s that important…and ridiculously expensive when you do it wrong. Remember, we’re hiring the effective communicators that every employee needs to be. Make sure they’re good on the phone.

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