Secrets to Hiring and Retention

Secrets to Hiring and Retention:

“Secrets”? There are none. That’s simply to get you to read this. Or so say the marketing
people. But I’ll bet you will learn something.

Right now, you have your own way of hiring. Probably 85% of your system is good. This
will make it better.

Executive Summary:
• Understand the actual job you are trying to fill, not just the HR manual job description.

• Understand the actual DUTIES of the work.

• AGREE to the skills necessary to do the duties. What can and should be trained?

• Answer this question as though your perfect candidate is sitting across the desk from you,
right now: (from THEIR point of view, not yours):
“WHY would a highly qualified person want to work for YOUR company, in this

• Plan to “onboard” potential workforce members properly.

• Analyze and identify a reasonable “profile” of the person to be hired. This should
describe the skills, talents, abilities and the types of "experience" that could/ will fit. It
should also describe the type of CHARACTER that will work well in your environment. Is
definite potential necessary due to future needs?

• Hire CHARACTER first. Skills can be trained.

• Salary: You’ll get what you pay for.

1) Understand the actual job you are trying to fill, not just the HR manual job description.
As a previous “HR Guy”, I can tell you that written job descriptions are necessary, have legal
usage, but are far from a template that should be used when hiring. Most are ancient. Most are

written by people who have no clue what the job really entails. Some are laughable. As a
recruiter (temps to executive level) I can also tell you that I have spent hours questioning
operations people about job descriptions. What we start with and what we finish with and agree
to are typically worlds apart. When you go to write job descriptions from which to hire new
people, include people who do the job, have done the job or at the least see the job being done
DAILY in the discussion. HR should be part of this, but if they have only done HR work, they
should not lead the discussion.

2) Understand the actual DUTIES of the work. And then decide what skills are necessary to
do the work, right. NOT the “experience” you are hoping to find. That is a separate discussion.
Analyzing the actual duties will typically surprise you, especially when you compare that to the
“experience” you have been requiring.

3) AGREE to the skills necessary to do the duties. Then decide what you can and will TRAIN
a person in, and WHO will do the training. TRAINING, not “orientation”. Hands-on, not “go
read a manual or book, or watch a 20-year old film”. “Training” is a costly word in most
companies, but it is absolutely necessary to retaining a productive workforce. And for hiring that
future productive workforce. Training is NOT just for entry-level workers. It is to develop more
skills, productivity and longevity of your existing workforce.

4) Answer this question as though your perfect candidate is sitting across the desk from you,
right now: (from THEIR point of view, not yours): “WHY would a highly qualified person
want to work for YOUR company, in this position?” “Because we are a good company and
treat our people well” is NOT a valid answer. Anyone can say that. It is lame. What is special
about your organization?

5) Be able to “onboard” potential workforce members properly. “Onboarding” today is an
over-used and misunderstood term. In practical terms it means openly introducing a potential
member of your team to the company, workforce, culture, demands, expectations and future of
the organization. OPENLY. THOROUGHLY. The system you use should produce
ENGAGEMENT, not questions or fear. The potential worker will “get it”. They start faster,
produce more and stay longer. Fewer surprises.

6) Analyze and identify a reasonable “profile” of the person to be hired. Stay away from “a
person who has done everything they will do here, for the same money they are currently
earning, until they more than prove themselves”. The “Profile” includes skills, education, talents,
abilities and a reasonable idea of where they could have come from. It should also include
VALUES and CHARACTER that match your work environment. It should also include expected
potential the person NEEDS to have. “NEEDS to have” based upon real potential available at
your firm, or a specific career path. Not your dream.

7) Hire CHARACTER first, skills can be trained. More often than not.

8) Salary: If you are cheap, you’ll get what you pay for, beginning with a tentative attitude
on the part of the new employee. But you don’t have to be silly either. Competitive. That will
do it.

It gets more detailed than all this, but this will do as a framework. We will expand on each of the
topics in other articles.
Why listen to this writer? 40+ years of professional experience. 300+ years of experience on my
staff. Myself and my company has dealt with over 12,000 employers, filled over 100,000 direct
hire and over 3 million contract assignments. I am also the author of The Great Workplace 2.0.
That work entailed interviewing over 500 NE Ohio CEO’s in small to medium sized
organizations about what they KNEW makes a Great Workplace. Want a copy? Call me at 216-
823-5900. I’ll get you one, signed. And, regardless of how successful you are, you will learn
something. I did.


The market for a productive workforce is getting tighter each day. Preparing yourself for
that will save you time, effort and frustration.

Yes, Champion can help.

We are a Flexible Talent Acquisition firm. A single source for all your workforce needs and
advisory services. Shop floor to C-Suite.

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