Hire the Right People

Features - Cover Story

Your locations are up and running. You’ve done all you could to advertise and get a jump on the competition. So now, the only thing you have left to do is the hiring. Plus, you must retain good employees.

August 22, 2017

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Success includes retaining good employees. Turnover creates inefficiencies that cost companies major dollars every year, so it's important to pay employees for the efficiencies they create and by staying with the company. Success is hiring and retaining good employees and training them.

Treasure your best employees.

In 1994, Cary Albert and his wife Jacquelyn began Schlotzsky’s. At Albert Enterprises, the owner claims labor costs as a percentage of his business are some of the lowest in the Schlotzsky's system, but that he pays some of the highest hourly rates. Why? "Because we retain great people and reward them with higher pay. You can't put a price tag on this." Albert Enterprises, which landed at No. 1,372 on Inc.'s list of the fastest growing companies in America. It grew to 845 employees and annual revenue of $21 million in 2015, up 280 percent from $5.5 million in 2012 when it employed 125.


The Albert's are actively involved in all facets of their businesses. Having grown at an eye-popping 100 percent over the past few years was a remarkable feat. This is a testament to the amazing team assembled by this ownership.

How to find employees

Interviews are awkward because you’re having an intimate conversation with someone you just met, and the candidate is in a very vulnerable position. Hiring decisions are too important to be left in the hands of a manager who may or may not have a stake in the employee’s success a year later. That’s why at Google they set up the process so the hiring decision is made by committee. If you want to hire someone, the decision needs approval from a hiring committee, whose decisions are based on data, not relationships or opinion. At Google, they grade interview candidates on a scale of 1 to 4. The average score falls round a 3 which means the applicant is okay but they would like another opinion that would possibly rate them higher.

On the product management team, the score of 4.0 means an applicant should be hired. They believe every interview must lead to a decision, and that decision is personal. Google hiring managers break down candidates into four categories: Leadership.They want to know how someone has flexed different muscles in various situations to mobilize a team. Role-related knowledge. They look for people who have a variety of strengths and passions, not isolate skill sets. General cognitive ability. They’re less concerned about grades and transcripts and more interested in how a candidate thinks. Googleyness. What makes a candidate unique?

Clear and obvious commitment and examples by top management and supervisors to quality service and a broad-based employee training and expansion of development programs are a motivational condition that exists in any organization. Training is vital to provide the tools needed to perform to the high standards set by management. It also encourages personal empowerment to make decisions based on customer satisfaction and experience

Employees are proud to work for an organization that is committed to excellence in service to people. Performance improves. Turnover drops.

John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker and the founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis. He is a frequent Snow Magazine contributor.