Super Employees = Super Service

March 18, 2014



The BBB Milwaukee office held an event with four panelists from a variety of companies and nearly 70 attendees from different types of businesses as well. Here are some best practices when it comes to employee hiring and retention.

By far, the most common recruiting strategy amongst the panelists was through referrals. Particularly, employee referrals. Spectrum Communications, for example, offers a $1 per hour bonus, up to 250 hours, for each employee referral.  Small business owners and human resource managers alike find that employee referrals tend to yield very successful candidates because employees know the job better than anyone else, and they want to work amongst great, motivating people.
Your Local Job Website (ex.
Most companies in the Milwaukee area use, to simply post the job opening and/or to advertise their job opening. Common, local job search websites are a great place to post because you can get maximum exposure. The biggest benefit can also be the greatest downfall, however. While getting  a huge stack of resumes allows for a greater chance to get that perfect fit, it can also be overwhelming, especially for small businesses, to sort through the pile.
Job Fairs
Whether they are in your offices, or at a large exposition event, job fairs can be a great way to meet and recruit candidates for your open positions. They are often specific (such as a sales career fair, engineer fair, etc.) and job fair allow you to personally meet the candidates—you can gain a lot of insight into a candidate’s personality by how they present themselves.
Your Website and Social Media Outlets
If your company has a large amount of job openings or you have a position in which you are always hiring, having a specific career page on your website can be a great recruiting source. A lesser used form of promoting a job opening is on social media. The biggest thing to keep in mind with social media is your audience. If you are looking to target a young, savvy college student or college grad, social media is a great place to promote.
Phone Interview
Every single panelist and the majority of the audience used a phone screen as the primary step in the interview process. This allows you to get a good idea of the candidate’s interest, personality, and communication skills. For some typical phone interview questions, click here.
The In-Person Interview
After the candidate fairs well on the phone screen, they are often invited to an in-person interview at the place of work. Most businesses tend to have different types of interviews, short and to-the-point, or long and intensive. This depends on the job. If you have a position where you will be answering phones, it is important to evaluate the candidate’s phone skills and ability to communicate. If the job is highly skilled, such as a nurse, it is important that the candidate have the proper education and licensing. In very small offices, it can be highly beneficial for most, if not all, employees to somehow be involved in the interview process, as the new employee will affect the culture of the workplace.
Background Check
It is very important to run thorough background checks on candidates before they begin employment. Keep in mind that the candidate may have changed their name or lived in other states, so getting national information may be beneficial. If a candidate has theft or violence in their past, the candidate will usually not be eligible for rehire. Some employers use a private investigator’s services to check out the candidate. Find a list of private investigator’s you can trust, here.
Check References
Although you may play phone tag, or not get any immediate response, it is crucial to check a candidate’s references, and cross-check multiple. The best question to ask a reference is, “Is this candidate eligible for rehire?” Though they may not be able to discuss the way in which the employee left the business, this question is both legal to ask and definitive.
One of the most difficult things to do is to terminate an employee.
We developed these tips on letting an employee go:
·      Ask the employee how they think it’s going. Most employees know when it is not a good fit, or they are struggling to do their job properly. Allowing them to say it first can leave them feeling empowered, rather than put down.
·      Let them go sooner than later. Everyone wants a second chance, but whether it is a blatant case of bad behavior, or the candidate is simply not a personality fit to your organization, it is important to let a troubled employee go sooner than later.
·      Be clear. It is important for the employee to be aware of the reasoning for termination. Although, in the state of Wisconsin, the law is “free will hire or fire.” Meaning, an employer does not technically need any reason to terminate an employee. But, keep in mind that if the terminated employee files for unemployment, the reason for termination will likely be questioned.
Communication is key. Employees both need and want to know what they are doing well and where improvements can be made. Keep the line of communication open between supervisors and employees to insure and ideal working environment for everyone involved. 
Recognition Programs
Everyone loves to be thanked and rewarded for their hard work. Some companies celebrate “National                    Day” to allow some fun in the workplace. Others give birthday cards, thank you cards, stickers, small promotional pieces, or post their name on a recognition board to reward employees for a job well done. Another little way to show you care is providing gift cards (as little as $5) to employees who go above and beyond or get recommended by your customers.
For more BBB tips and information for your business, be sure to join our LinkedIn group for BBB accredited business members only.
Written By: Julie Kosobucki, Marketing, Communications and Social Media Coordinator at the BBB Serving Wisconsin