When our daughter asked to start piano lessons recently, I didn’t ask to see the teacher’s qualifications before agreeing for her to learn from him.
Qualifications are important! So why didn’t I even think to ask? Probably because I’ve had the opportunity to observe not only his musical prowess, but also how he interacts with other students and teachers. This gave me confidence in his ability as a teacher.
At work, you may know a person’s qualifications but you rarely have the chance for long-term observation before making staffing decisions. Or do you?
1. Always reference check when hiring and make sure the check is meaningful. You can do this by having prepared questions, probing when you sense there’s more information and asking a candidate for more referees if you’re not getting the answers you need to make your decision. If you work in financial services, Standards Australia’s handbook ‘Reference Checking in the Financial Services Industry’ provides an essential guide.
2. If you’re looking for a new staff member, consider people you already know from your business or social networks who might be able to fill the role. If there’s no-one suitable, ask them if they can recommend anyone. Remember the last time you hired a painter or plumber? Did you pick a name from the phone book or ask your friends first?
3. When reviewing staff performance, seek feedback from the employee’s colleagues, team, clients and suppliers. They will be able to provide you with insights from a different perspective.
With Money Management reporting today that jobs in the Australian financial services sector have jumped by more than 5 per cent since last month, we are likely to see many more staff choosing to make a move.
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