Getting the right employee for your team

by Allan Sandilands


If you have a look around the hydraulic hose industry or any industry for that matter, there seems to be the same old few people that continue floating from company to company just doing the rounds, so when you place an ad for a new member of your team here’s something similar to how it plays out: Here’s you: Where have you been before?

Here’s them: Pirtek, Hydraulink, Ryco, Enzed, Total, Alfa, 1800 Hose, Contitech… Here’s you: Wow this guy’s got some experience! I won’t have to do any training at all. I’ll be in Majorca in time for the running of the bulls. It’s a miracle! Before you know it you are getting an emergency call from one of your long-standing customers informing you that if the bull doesn’t stick it’s horn fair in your backside they will.

There are many reasons someone moves on from a place of work. Not everything is due to them of course. It may not be a great work environment, their direct report may not have had the best management skills, delegation ability or the case maybe even as simple as the pay was just not cutting it.

So let me know this, what attributes do you bring to the table? Ouch that hurt! What do you mean what do I bring to the table? I’m the person hiring, I’ve been doing this job since before Jesus was born. They’ll do what I tell them or they, they, they, or, let’s just say it’s not going to end well. Yes true, but have you been training people for the same length of time? Or dealing with staff at all? Doing a bit of self analysis can sometimes save a heap of money on recruitment expenses and a massive amount of your precious time.

Do you know there was an independent van operator who once shared his experience about hiring a new guy to give him and his extremely busy run a hand. The whole experience played out so poorly the poor van operator swore he would never repeat it. He remains a sole operator to this day. Finding out a few truths about yourself can be just as valuable as finding out about the person you are hiring. This can be pretty tough going, it takes a lot of courage to admit truths about yourself. Are you a patient person? Do you get frustrated easily? Are you so good that you are always busy, far too busy to offer the amount of support a newbie deserves? It’s also a good idea to sort out the real reason you want the help in the first place. Do you want to expand your business or do you want to just take a load off and kick back a bit? These questions will clarify your vision and narrow your search. • And then there’s attributes they bring to the table. I guess a lot of the same questions you asked yourself apply to the new employee and sure, product knowledge is great, but all the product knowledge in the world is not going to gain business or retain customers if your new guy is losing his temper in every challenging situation. The right attitude will overcome any short term challenges and be well worth the additional effort in the long run.

If someone from outside the industry has an outstanding attitude and willingness to learn, it is well worth taking the time to teach them the product knowledge. Firstly, they won’t come with bad habits and secondly you’ll be able to teach them your way without any strings attached. It’s at that point it’s best to decide whether you are the best option to do the teaching. If you are extremely busy you can find yourself cutting corners during the teaching process or reprimanding the new arrival because, when you analyse it, they haven’t read your mind correctly. Regardless of what your decisions are, in a few short months Taipan will have their own qualified Trainer and we would love to help. If you do decide you could use a hand getting across the basics, give us a yell at or get in touch with any branch.