How to Hire the Best Employees: Lessons Learned by a Successful CEO
My name is Dan Berzansky, and I am the founder and CEO of Premier Aquatics and Premier Swim Academy. Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to hire the best employees. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with all of you.
When You Don’t Hire the Best Employees
Let’s start with a little levity on what happens when you fail to hire the best employees. I’m going to share a funny (or sad, depending on your perspective) story about a lifeguard I had to terminate – along with his mother. I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say that falling asleep on the job and leaving the pool deck unattended is a huge issue. His mother came in to defend him, claiming we had no proof. Thankfully, we had all the documentation we needed to back us up thanks to OneTeam360. I even showed her a picture of her son fast asleep on the job.
But the point of this story isn’t to shame anyone – it’s to highlight the importance of hiring the right people. As we emerge from a challenging time when we had to take anyone we could get, it’s more crucial than ever to be deliberate in our hiring process. At Premier Aquatics, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a successful team, and I want to share some of those lessons with you today.
Communicate Your Standards in the Job Description
After COVID, we were desperate to find anybody to fill our roles. As we emerge from this period, the tables are turning. Our organization has experienced a significant increase in the number of applications received. In January and February combined last year, we received 200 applications, but this year we received nearly 800. As a result, we have the opportunity to be more selective in our hiring process.
It is crucial to find the right people to represent our organization and help us achieve our goals. The key to finding the right fit is having a conversation with the team and designing the perfect person for the job.
When creating a job description, ensure that it matches the desired characteristics of the ideal candidate. Think of someone on your existing team who you would love to have a hundred of. Avoid using standard job descriptions and be creative in your approach. Instead of looking for “lifeguards,” I look for superheroes. The job description should appeal to highly motivated individuals who want to be the best and learn from the best.
Have a Unique Interview Process
Additionally, the interview process should match the role. For instance, in our Swim Schools, we put candidates through an initial screen and then have them teach a child in the water. It could be how to put goggles on their head, it could be how to put on a swim cap, or it could be how to get in and out of the water. We prepare those candidates beforehand and let them know exactly what’s going to be expected of them. This approach enables us to see their interaction skills, and we can immediately determine if they are the right fit for the job.
Typically, 50% of the people don’t get the job. I can already tell that they have no business being in the water, trying to relate to parents and kids, and trying to have fun with kids. Before this method, the same 50% who didn’t belong usually ate up three, four, or five days of my trainer’s time. So right off the bat, by just changing our job description and interviews to fit the role we’re trying to fill, we have seen such a huge influx of the right people coming in.
Additionally, the ones who enjoy the process and who we want in our organization leave and tell their parents and friends how cool the interview was. If you aren’t happy with the product or the people that you’ve been getting, change the job description to speak to the people you want. There’s no reason you can’t change the interview process to weed out the people that you shouldn’t be working with.
By hiring the right people, providing them with the necessary support and training, and nurturing a culture of collaboration and trust, you can create a high-performing team that delivers results. However, hiring the best employees is only the foundation. Download our Free Retention Blueprint, or schedule a demo with us to learn how you can nail down every aspect of employee management, engagement, and retention.