Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Avoid the Nightmare: 5 Tips for Hiring the Right People

By Scott Vollero

Your sister-in-law’s second cousin’s best friend didn’t turn out to be the best employee, did he? And remember the time you hired your daughter’s best friend? What a mess that turned out to be. It only takes one nightmare employee for you to realize you need to hire better.
You're ready to hire someone but you don’t want to make the same mistakes. What can you do to hire the best people from now on? Here are five tips to get the job done right.
1. Ask Not What the Employee Can Do For You, But What Your Position Does for the Employee
Although it sounds backward, the Wall Street Journal reports that United States and Canadian researchers found that qualified applicants are put off if a job posting is nothing but a list of qualifications and demands.
By far, the most effective listings offered employee benefits such as collaboration with talented people, constructive feedback channels and avenues for employee growth. Write job descriptions that not only describe requirements, but employee advantages as well.
2. Focus Less on Hard and More on Soft Skills
Clearly you don’t want to have to train someone from scratch, but soft skills are vitally important in new hires. If a candidate doesn’t have every single job requirement but has an eager, positive and intelligent outlook, they may be exactly the right person for the job.
3. Ace the Interview
Yes, if you want to hire the right people, you have to conduct an ace interview. Give your applicant your complete attention. Don’t place too much emphasis on technical skills. Listen to the applicant’s answers. For example, if you ask the applicant why he left his last job and he blames someone else, ask for more details. The applicant may have a legitimate reason to blame the other guy or his answer may be a red flag that he is difficult.
You can also learn a lot by asking open ended questions. For example, ask your applicant where she’d like to be in 10 years time. Her answer could give you insight into her ambition and drive.

“A great interview is give and take. Invite the candidate to ask questions about you and your company.” — Scott Vollero

Answer truthfully with a realistic description of what working for your company is like. A candidate who’s hired and doesn’t like the environment does not make for a happy employee.
4. Be Social
You will most likely do a quick background check on potential hires, but don’t forget to look at an applicant’s social media accounts. Of course, what employees do with their personal lives, unless it’s something illegal, is their own business, but you can tell a lot about what type of worker an applicant might be from their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
5. Avoid Hiring Relatives, Friends and Friends of Friends, Most of the Time
Surprisingly, hiring relatives or friends does work - once in a blue moon. But most of the time, if you value your loved ones, just say no. If you enjoy your friends, simply say no. It’s not worth the aggravation and very possibly the end the relationship.
Bio: Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Interview with Entrepreneur and Innovator Scott Vollero

In this adapted excerpt from an exclusive interview, Scott Vollero talks about how he succeeds as an entrepreneur and shares some tips to help others start and grow their businesses.
1. You've started several successful businesses. How do you come up with the ideas in the first place?
Scott Vollero: The idea behind every successful business, mine included, is a solution to a problem. For example, Autocats Inc. came about because we saw the need for an innovative process to extract trace elements of platinum, palladium and rhodium from used catalytic converters. No one else was doing it. It was an undeveloped and undiscovered solution. And it took off. The best business ideas come from providing new and more efficient processes to better meet a customer's needs.
2. In your experience, what are the best strategies for growing a business?
Scott Vollero: The one consistent strategy to grow a business is focus on what the customer needs. A business plan is great but if it doesn't include meeting and exceeding the needs of your customer, the business could fail. Begin by exceeding customer demands and be willing to change along with them.
3. How do you stay focused and productive?
Scott Vollero: There are several ways I stay focused and on track. I keep detailed notes throughout the day and review them over breakfast. I complete one business-related task daily, no matter how small it seems. And, I take care of myself. I exercise, try to get enough sleep and make time for quiet reflection. To run a business well, you have to take care of all aspects of your life.
4. Do you have advice for the young entrepreneur?
Scott Vollero: A higher education is desirable, of course, but in order to succeed you need to develop high value practical skills as well. How can you develop high value practical skills? With real world work experience. My first full-time job was at an investment bank. I learned how to work with people and the importance of loyalty to my colleagues and customers. I gained experience by working and moving up the ladder in a variety of different industries. I developed critical thinking and teaching skills. The skills I learned then keep me going now.
5. Any last words of advice for entrepreneurs and business executives?
Scott Vollero: Don't become complacent. Challenge yourself every single day. That doesn't mean you have to climb Mount Everest or that it has to be a business challenge. It simply means moving out of your comfort zone and doing something different. I find it's the best way to hone my coping skills and deal with the unexpected.

Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.