Working with clients to find personnel usually means hearing the inevitable phrase, “I want a good one.” How do you define a “good” one? To one client, good means motivated, whilst to another, good means showing up for work on time. A good employee could be one that is sober and drug-free or is one doing the job they were hired to do with minimal supervision.

Although good means finding someone who doesn’t have the bad habits, traits, or work performance of the person they just lost/fired. That translation of good might get you a slightly better employee, or it might just get you an employee with a different set of problems. The issue is you are too focused on what went wrong instead of defining a good employee for your store and culture.

For your next hire try taking 10 minutes to do the following:

  1. List the five most important tasks you expect this employee to accomplish.
  2. List the first traits you value the most in your best (or longest tenured) employees.
  3. List the five traits or behaviors that are unacceptable to you from any employee.

When you start your interview process, use this list to keep you focused on uncovering if the prospective employee can meet the first ten items and don’t have the last five. By using this list, you will find more success in uncovering and hiring “good” employees.