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Communication Is Key To Successful Staffing
By Deb Haggerty   Printer Friendly Version

In over ten years of consulting, I have found that around 95% of "business" problems are really communications problems. That is, they are the result of a misunderstanding, non-communication, or missed communication. In businesses, failure to communicate can be disastrous - ranging from a loss inventory, to disgruntled and unhappy workers, to the worst case of all, displeased and dissatisfied clients. Any of these mean lower or lost profits for our businesses!

Communication, however, is a skill that can be learned. Once you understand who you are and who your people are, communication can take place quite easily with fewer misunderstandings. In order to facilitate communications, we must determine the personality/communications style of the persons involved.

Three fairly simple testing devices can help you during the interview and pre-hire process to ensure that the employees hired by your firm fit your job needs, are honest and reliable, and that you will be able to communicate with them to build an effective team for your organization. In today's "ready to sue" society, it is crucial that we hire the best candidates for our positions and that we can back our selections with valid data.

The CheckStart survey is an easy, inexpensive tool used to determine basic job fit. The applicant answers fifty quick questions which are then mapped against a choice of five career options: general, sales, management/supervisory, customer service, or customer support. If the results indicate that the individual will fit the basic requirements of the job and will fit in with the company culture, you're ready to move to the next survey.

The second instrument is called the Step One Survey. It helps to discover those applicants who are most likely to commit illegal acts or violate company rules and policies. Honest employees are a requirement for our businesses. This test will let you know whether the person you are considering hiring will be honest with you and with your clients. The survey also measures feelings about substance abuse, as well as reliability and willingness to work. Hiring honest employees is of no value if they don't work hard or aren't reliable once they're on our payroll! Step One is low-cost and easy-to-administer.

Personality Plus was developed by Florence and Fred Littauer and tests the individual for their personality type - one of four basic styles. For example, the Popular person is best at making initial contacts with people and is good at creating enthusiasm, but is too easily distracted and forgetful. The Powerful person is good at motivating people to action and controlling plans and productivity, but may be too impulsive and intimidating. The Perfect person is good at planning and explaining the details and being sensitive to the needs of others, but is also too easily distracted and often critical. The Peaceful person is great at making sure the group is comfortable and staying calm and functional amid crisis, but is apt to be too undisciplined and indecisive.

Once we understand who we are and why we communicate the way we do, it is easier to communicate with others. We can learn the communications needs and styles of the various personalities and begin to communicate not out of our personality, but into theirs. This enables us to build strong teams within our businesses as we can recognize and value the various pieces of the personality "puzzle" that make up our company.

Only by effectively hiring and then communicating with our staff can we build an effective, efficient and profitable team. Only as we are willing to look within ourselves and modify our behavior/speech patterns to work with differing personality types will we be able to communicate clearly. Only by communicating distinctly with our clients can we be certain we will ensure their satisfaction and build repeat business.

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