Go For Gold When Making Your Next Hire

Workplace Expert Identifies Seven Key Traits Found in Office Olympians

TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - There's no room for poor performers on the Canadian Olympic team. Similarly, ineffective employees can hurt a company's ability to set winning records and score new business. That's why the pressure is on for hiring managers who are looking to add gold-medal talent to their organizations, according to administrative staffing firm OfficeTeam.

"When companies are operating extremely lean, hiring errors take a greater toll on the team, since each employee is bearing a heavier workload," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "Today's managers are well aware of the high stakes when selecting new hires and strive to find professionals who can contribute immediately and build long-term careers with their firms."

Added Hosking, "Although the high unemployment rate has resulted in more available talent, identifying the strongest candidates remains a tough task. Many professionals have had considerable time to perfect their resumes and interview skills, making it more challenging to distinguish job seekers with the greatest potential."

OfficeTeam offers seven hallmarks of top performers and how to assess those traits:

    
    1.  A winning mind-set. The best employees are optimistic yet realistic.
        Have candidates describe how they have handled a difficult boss,
        budget cut or mistake at work. Strong performers acknowledge
        challenges without sugarcoating their answers. Watch out for
        candidates who can't think of any problems; they either are wearing
        rose-coloured glasses or aren't being honest.

    2.  Willingness to change strategy midstream. Persistence is an important
        trait, but it's even better when coupled with adaptability.
        High-achieving employees don't give up on problems but instead tackle
        them from multiple angles. Question potential hires about how they
        were able to adjust their strategy on an underperforming project to
        improve the outcome.

    3.  Ability to handle face-offs. This is especially important when hiring
        for customer-facing roles. Ask applicants how they would handle an
        irate customer. The answer itself may yield some interesting
        material, but more important will be how they think on their feet and
        give the rationale behind their response.

    4.  An eye for gold. Top performers strive for success in everything they
        do and have a good sense of what it means to them. Ask candidates to
        describe their greatest work achievement. While the accomplishment
        itself may be revealing, even more so is how they characterize
        success.

    5.  Ability to make tough calls. The most valuable employees can be
        counted on to exercise good judgment and make difficult choices. Have
        potential hires walk you through a complex decision they had to make.
        Look at how they gathered facts and came to their ultimate
        conclusion.

    6.  Good sportsmanship. High performers put ethics first in all
        situations and don't climb over others on their way to the top. Ask
        candidates to describe an ethically challenging situation and how
        they handled it. Also ask references, including former colleagues and
        direct reports, how they would describe an applicant's integrity.

    7.  An enthusiastic fan base. The best employees don't just have
        references - they have fans. Listen to not only what a candidate's
        professional contacts say but also how they say it. Pose questions
        such as, "If you had the opportunity to hire this person again, would
        you do it?" and pay close attention to the tone of the responses.
    

Hosking also noted, "Many companies are choosing to work with potential new hires on a temporary or project basis before offering them a full-time job. This provides hiring managers with a clearer sense of a professional's capabilities and allows both parties to evaluate the fit before committing for the long term."

    
    About OfficeTeam
    ----------------
    

OfficeTeam provides businesses with the temporary administrative professionals they need to maximize productivity, achieve cost efficiency and support existing staff. The company has more than 325 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

SOURCE OfficeTeam

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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