Two Prospects, Two Drinks and Two Easy Decisions

By | April 12, 2010

While enjoying a little R&R at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas I watched as a woman showed up for a job interview to be a dealer in the poker room at the Rio. She spoke well, was dressed properly and had years of experience as a dealer; however, it was her one accessory that made the interviewer fold that job interview faster than a 7/2 off-suit: Her drink.

Yes, this woman showed up for her job interview holding and sipping a bourbon drink at roughly 10am! After she was quickly dismissed, the poker room manager and I just looked at each other in disbelief. The poker room manager then tells me, “That’s what’s available in the workforce these days.” Only if you are standing by and waiting.

Jump across the country with me to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You are sitting in an upscale restaurant and your wait staff is marginal at best. Then you notice the waiter three tables over delivering drinks, offering incredible service, incredible task efficiency and being very personable without being overbearing. Here is someone who understands serving people. Do you admire from afar, or do you take action?

Constantly scout for talent

The responsibility of keeping a file of great prospects is the key to rapidly filling open jobs. Corporate executives need to be talent scouts at all times. Whenever you find yourself being served with great people skills, take note of the name and location of this person. If your business is in the service industry, you need to be looking for people people. Task related skills can be easily taught through effective training programs, but teaching someone to change their ways in their interaction with people can be a laborious and monumental task.

Anticipate job openings

In the early days of my career the company I worked with had what we called “spare help.” A few extra people on the payroll filled in for open positions, and allowed the organization to cross-train their better workers in anticipation of future needs. The down-sizing craze in the late 80’s eliminated these positions permanently. It’s time to rethink that. Even in today’s economy.

One important aspect of a job the younger generations of workers are looking for is a constant learning opportunity. To keep them you need to constantly teach them thereby strengthening your staff in the process. If your staff is better trained to handle multiple functions, you are prepared for potential job openings and your staff and customers never see a blip. Having a couple of “spare help” allows you to develop your workforce, keep them longer, and create more consistency through times of illness and vacations. Your bottom line will benefit as well as your customers.

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