Hiring Procedures by David Mahoney
David Mahoney, BalloonsEveryday.com Carrollton, TX shares his Hiring procedures.
Hiring extra help….
This is part of the process we use to find new help. Sorry for it being a long post but I wanted to share as much of the process as I could. Our interview process is meant to be a little long in order for us to see who really wants to work. Most don’t realize that balloons are a long and tedious process. A lot of people will apply because they think doing balloons would be fun and cute, but they never really want to work. Best to get those people out of the interview process as early as possible – LOL!
Modify it as need be to fit you and your company.
Things to remember.
1. This is a digital age so get with the times. The days of asking around or sticking a sign out your front door aren’t very effective anymore. Even if you are looking for part time help, having a stack of applicants makes it easier to find the right person when you have a lot to choose from.
2. Hiring a “GOOD” employee is more about you then it is about them. Good Employer equals Good Employees. Be certain you know what you are needing or wanting. This clarity will be a helpful tool in finding the right person.
3. Realize you are the one hiring and paying them a pay check. No one is doing you a favor by working for you. Also there are no rules about how things should or shouldn’t be unless you as the business owner make them that way. So don’t adjust your situation or needs to fit a candidate regardless of how much you like them and think they will be your saving grace to your company. Usually this never works out that way. I promise that you will find some that will work when you need them to work and they will work for the pay you are offering. There are millions of people in the world wanting to work. There is someone out there that thinks what you have to offer is incredible. So be picky, you will have to work with that person more then you think so it helpful to find someone that fits your needs.
4. You get what you pay for. Just like balloons, if you pay a little, don’t expect to get the best.
At Balloons Everyday, we have a multilayer hiring process (lots of emails). This process may seem to complex to some but honestly it saves a ton of time in the long run because it forces candidates to do a little work up front without me having to put a ton of time into figuring out who really want to work. We first post our job offer on a job search board (Craig’s list,indeed.com, colleges boards, etc…). Anything that doesn’t cost me a bunch to post an ad (I like free). I normally pick two places to post the job opening and get around 250-300 applications each time. Here is a sample of our last job posting: (on a side note…. if I spelled something wrong or there is a typo – thanks for pointing it out but I have a crew of 12 and it has worked for me even with the mistakes – LOL!!!)
AD POSTING: “Fun and creative balloon company hiring. We are looking for production staff to help in the blowing and installation of balloon decor and deliveries. We are looking for part-time & full-time production staff. Anyone hired part-time typically has the opportunity to remain part-time or to work full-time as business expands. We are looking for production staff that have a STRONG work ethic, are dependable, work well with others and have high attention to detail. High energy and physically fit to lift bases and tanks (approximately 35lbs – 70lbs). Positive attitude and pleasant personality are best for this work environment. Dependable and responsible. Can work with minimal amount of supervision after being trained. Must have a current TX Driver’s License and be legal to work in the U.S. Reliable. What we offer: Good pay, Weekly pay, Opportunity for advancement, Positive work atmosphere, Training. This is a great opportunity to start out with us at an entry-level position and to grow and advance in the company as we grow. Do realize you will be blowing a lot of balloons. Please no one with bad backs or fear of heights. If you want an exciting job that is challenging, always different, creative, fun and if you smile a lot please contact us.”
Then I wait a couple days for the email of applicants to come in (I don’t read them yet). After I get a couple days of emails I automatically reply to all of them with a clarifying email (remember I have not read any of the resumes yet). This next step will eliminates a ton of the responses because some people are just looking to apply so they can get there unemployment. Here is the follow up email reply:
EMAIL REPLY: “I appreciate you contacting us about the position we have open. Before moving forward with our interview process I wanted to first clarify more about our company and what we are looking for to be sure we find a good fit. We are a full service balloon delivery and decor company in the Dallas Texas area for 18 years. We blow thousands of balloons a day to help people celebrate special moments in their life. We are growing like a weed and striving to grow even more. We one day want to be the biggest balloon delivery company in the nation. We are one of the largest balloon companies around North Texas now. Our days start early (5-6am) and is non-stop. Most of the crew works 10 hour days with 3 days off. We always work weekends and it is physical hands-on kinda work – not a lot of sitting around. We are the furthest from a typical office setting company but it is rewarding to see the end results. Staff is expected to work well as a team and also be component enough to work independently. We are looking for people that are energetic, friendly and love to smile. The job opening starts at $9-$11 an hour with the opportunity for a raise after the first 90 days and more as the company continues to grow. You need to be a good driver and have a valid Texas drivers license. If this is something you would be interested in, please follow up with me so we can move forward. Thanks and have a great day.”
Now at this point I will get about 15 – 25 percent response. I feel those that are responding know what I am looking for and want a job but I still don’t have clarity of whether they really want to work, so I make them jump though one more hoop. I send out a dozen or so questions to see if they will take the time to fill it all out and fill it out correctly. It is amazing how many people won’t. This is an important step in the process because it shows if they are really committed to working and if they can follow directions. I’ll still loose about half the candidates because they will not follow though or do it proper. That is a good thing because I want people that are willing to put in the effort and can follow directions. I am the one that is committing to paying a pay check each week and want people that are just as committed to my success so I can do that. At this point I still have not read any of the applicants information or resumes yet. Here is a sample of our questions I now send out:
EMAIL REPLY: “Thank you so much for responding to our job post. We have a 3 part interview process to help us find the best people to strengthen our fantastic team. The first part is this email. Below are a few questions. Please answer them and send the email back. From there we will pick individuals that we feel might be a good fit and they will be ask to take an online interview test. This online test helps us get a better understanding of who you are as a person and helps us find those people that may work well with our team that we already have in place. The last part will be an interview in person. Please don’t worry to much about giving us the perfect answer to the questions, like I said, we are just trying to get a better feel for those that applied for the position and figure who we think is the best to join our team.
1. How was (last employer) as a place to work?
2. What did you like most about your previous job?
3. What did you like least about your previous job?
4. What are some of the professional accomplishments you’re most proud of?
5. What would you say are your natural strengths?
6. What do other people often compliment you for?
7. What do you feel people may criticize you for?
8. What do you consider to be the areas where you need to develop additional professional knowledge and skills?
9. What are the things that usually upset you at work?
10. How would you describe your work habits and working style?
11. How would you describe your personality to someone who doesn’t know you?
12. How do you judge your own success?
13. What kind of job would fit you best long term?
14. Because you are look for a job, tell us why that is?
15. What type of hours and compensation are you wanting (Please be very specific on this questions)?”
For us, this is where I have dwindled down a few hundred applicants to about a dozen candidates. It’s a bit of a hassle with all the back and forth emails but to be honest, it is mostly cut and pasting and takes a few minutes in my day. I have found more times then not, those that are still trying to get a job at this point are ones that really want to work. I know it may seem like a lot but honestly hiring good staff is the best thing you can do to grow your business. A little time up front saves a tons of money and time later because I don’t have as much turn over in staff. Once I get the questionnaires back, now I pull the candidates email’s with their resume, look at it all, look at the questionnaire and see what I got. I pick out the ones that don’t fit my needs and set appointments for all the rest. You may be thinking who wouldn’t fit. I have had people get all the way to this point and be in other states or asking for annual salaries of $75K. Hard to believe but it happens.
At this point I like to either set a face to face interview or an over the phone interview (I prefer face to face). In this interview I will still ask questions but at this point it is more about see or hearing the other person to get a feel if I think they will be a good fit for my company and will work well with my other staff. I have found that out of all the applicant that have made it this far only 2/3 of them will make it to a face to face appointment. Either car problems, no shows, emergencies come up, etc… That’s OK. I would rather they flake out on me now then after a couple weeks of training. Below is a sample of the interview questions and the form I use during interview. I use it more as a guide line, I pick different questions from it with each interviewee to see how they do under pressure and react. I have had several weird experiences during interviewing (people getting upset, giving very strange responses to questions, people not talking at all), it’s better to see how they act in front me before they are hired and in front of your clients.
Here is a sample of the questionnaire I use in the interview:
Desire Pay: ___________________
Location (are they near the shop): ___________________
Do you have your own transportation: ( ) Yes ( ) No
Overall score before interview (circle one):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BEFORE INTERVIEW STARTS, TELL THEM ABOUT THE COMPANY AND WHAT IS THE LONG TERM OUT LOOK FOR IT
Dallas Metroplex best balloon delivery company. Creating more spectacular balloon designs and deliveries than any other balloon company around whiles maintaining the very best in service for all our clientele everyday.
The position we are trying to fill is for a production team member. Some one to drive a route each day and check outstanding jobs/frame. Strike jobs if need be. Return to the shop, clean up the jobs and vans. Help process new jobs and do installations. There will be general cleaning and maintenance around all the shops all the time. Vans need to be kept clean (inside and out), serviced, fluids and gas need to be full everyday.
1. In 3 or 4 sentences, Tell me about yourself.
2. Why should I hire you?
3. How do you think your experience has prepared you for the job you are applying for?
4. Are you a team player, if so give me an example?
5. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss? How was it resolved?
6. What is your greatest weakness?
7. In your experience, what qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
8. If you had to live your life over again, what’s one thing would you change?
9. If you were an ingredient (like a pizza topping) what would you be and why?
10. Good professional talker: ( ) Yes ( ) No
11. Is there anything to prevent them from working any days during the week or hours: ( ) Yes ( ) No
12. Do they have any objection to light cleaning for you job (bathroom, vacuuming, dusting): ( ) Yes ( ) No
13. Do they have any problems with cats: ( ) Yes ( ) No
14. Attitude: ( ) Good ( ) Fair ( ) Poor
15. Communication: ( ) Good ( ) Fair ( ) Poor
16. Dependable: ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Maybe
17. Committed: ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Maybe
18. Will fit company culture: ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Maybe
19. Compensation is expectable: ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Maybe
20. Question they asked me:
21. What are their expectation of the job:
This is for the most part an evolution of the process I have always done to hire people. Even when I was home based, I did some thing similar to this. This takes out a lot of the emotion I may project on a candidate and eliminated me waisting time on people that don’t really want to work. I hope you find it useful and it helps you find better employees. This way we can build a stronger industry. Have a Balloontastic Day!!!!
Thank you David Mahoney for sharing the procedure that you have refined over time that works best for you in finding the right staff!
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