I just finished painting the master bedroom and upstairs hallway. They look fabulous if I do say so myself. There is a definite feeling of satisfaction when you’ve finished painting a room and can see it looking fresh and new.
Painting, however, is not my favorite thing to do. I don’t mind the actual painting. It is all the other stuff that needs to be done prior to and after painting that I don’t like.
To paint the master bedroom I had to remove pictures, mirrors and light fixtures from the walls. I had to remove screws and nails, patch holes, sand those patches, and scour the wall for other blemishes to fix. I had to take down curtains, move out miscellaneous furniture, move the remaining furniture to the center of the room, vacuum the area, and scrub the walls to remove cobwebs. I had to remove outlet covers, lay down tarps everywhere, and collect all the supplies necessary including paint, pan, cup, brush, roller, trimmer, can opener, stirring stick, newspapers to put under the can, paper towel for the occasional oops, and a trash can for throwing away paper towel.
The time it takes to prep the room and then clean up afterwards is longer than the painting itself. Yet, if I don’t prep the room right, the painting won’t turn out fabulous.
It’s like hiring a new employee.
When you say you need to hire a new employee, the first image most people conjure is the interview. Yet, by the time you get to the interview, the work is mostly done. If you want your hiring to be done right, you have to do all the prep. You have to:
- Identify your Core Values so that you can hire people who share your beliefs.
“The goal is not just to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe. If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears…” -Simon Sinek, Start with Why, TEDx Puget Sound
- Create a list of the character traits needed for the job.
“Before you learn the craft, you must first learn the clay.” -Annlaw, Clay Shaper in the book Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander
- Write a killer want ad that attracts people with the character traits you desire.
“Are you reliable and trustworthy? Positive and cheerful? Friendly and outgoing? Do you love to help others, no matter how difficult the challenge might be? Are you continually seeking to improve yourself, to be better tomorrow than you were today? Are you willing to give up your weekends just to bring smiles to people’s faces? Do you desire to work for a company that believes in the value of education, the importance of family, and the merit of hard work? Are you willing to forgo upward mobility for stability and satisfaction of a job well done? Apply in person at Toy House, 400 North Mechanic Street, downtown Jackson.”
- Find the right media to place that ad.
We used radio for the above ad, but depending on the job and the traits and how many applicants you want to attract, there are several online sites that work well, too.
- Create an application process.
Do you want resumes, cover letters, a handwritten application, samples of work? I wanted handwritten applications because handwriting was an important part of the job.
Do you want it done online or in your store? I wanted applications picked up and dropped off in the store so that we could see and interact with the applicants. There are pros and cons for all different methods. Choose yours consciously.
- Write up interview questions that help you discover the traits you desire.
“Tell me about a time when …” Actions speak louder than words. Get your interviewee to tell you what they have done to see what they will do for you.
“Tell me about a time when you received excellent customer service in a store.”
“Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond what was expected of you in your last job.”
“Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with another employee.”
This is just the prep work you have to do before you sit down across from someone at the interview. Do it right and you’ll get lucky.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca, Roman philosopher
PS The better you prepare, the better your results. It’s true in football. It’s true in school. It’s true in painting. It’s true in hiring. If you need help with any of the bullet points above, let me know.
PPS The “cleanup” afterward is a whole different list that is equally important to making your hire the best. We’ll discuss that next.