August 17, 2021

Hiring is Always a Roll of the Dice

By Paul Daniels

Over the years, I have interviewed and hired many people. Most of them, like myself, had no experience in the glass industry. In this economy, it is important to expand your job search beyond the glass industry and assure them that it is essential and will not face COVID-19 related shutdowns. I have read books on interviewing that emphasize what types of questions to ask and what responses you should be looking for from the candidates. Some companies test candidates, research their backgrounds and contact past employers. All solid hiring practices, but in the end, you have to make a decision and offer someone the opportunity to succeed.

In my past, we believed in hiring for character and training for success. Finding responsible, reliable candidates should be the first goal. Next, I look for experience that relates to what the job will entail. They may not have glass experience but have worked in construction or sold to builders or tradespeople. I always give a candidate some time to explain how experience can be transferred to this industry. I explain that this is not a “wine ’em and dine ’em” industry but a relationship business where reliability and access are important.

The more questions they ask, the better. This shows that they are curious and interested in learning about the position, the company and the industry. It is also important because it shows they have done some homework on the company and the job.
Looking up the company on the web and reading about who they are and the products they provide is a must. More is not always better. Once I have identified three to four candidates who meet my criteria, I stop reading resumes and focus on them. If none pan out, I will select another three or four.

The real challenge starts when you make your decision. It would be best to have a detailed job description and training plan in place to give your new hire the best chance to succeed. I always make sure that I emphasize two things when I offer the candidate the job. The first is that we will both be on a 90-day probation, where either one of us can make the decision to go our separate ways if it does not seem to be working. The second point is to make sure they know they will work harder and with fewer results for the first 90 days than for the rest of their career, so don’t get discouraged.

I have been conducting a job search for several outside salespeople this month and I have been surprised at how many qualified candidates have applied. They are only missing some glass experience, and I believe most glass companies can supply that.

I also wanted to express my sadness to hear the passing of Bernard Lax the creator of Pulp Studio. Bernard was always a gentleman to me in all our dealings over the years. In my blog a few weeks ago, I mentioned how refreshing it was to work with a company where the owner was closely involved in the business. Bernard was a true entrepreneur, not just running a business but also building a business and adding innovation and opportunity to our industry. I want to say thank you to Bernard and my deepest condolences to his family.