Business Small Business

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Feargal Quinn: What to look for in a new employee

Published 24/01/2013 | 16:48

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QUESTION My business is expanding again after a few years of contraction. How did you employ people in Superquinn? What should you look out for in a new employee?

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Congratulations on the growth in your business, that's something to be proud of in this poor business climate.

For many years I sent our key training managers around the world to look at the recruitment and training polices of some of the world's best companies, companies such as Virgin Airlines, Disney etc.

They all reported back with the same view – good staff are recruited for their attitude and personality, not just their skills.

You don't mention the type of business you are running but I assume there are customers of some type involved. You need to be very sure that every staff member you employ personifies your business. Rule number one is to make sure they smile. Happy people make great business ambassadors. Rule number two is to give them the best training you can afford. I never allowed staff on to the shop floor without spending time with our training team so they could get an understanding of the Superquinn ethos.

It is so important that a new employee really understands the culture of the business, not just the rules and regulations.

Finally, allocate some of your own personal time to meeting new employees so they get an opportunity to hear what you, the owner, expects of them.

I made a point of meeting around 300 new staff every year to help them better understand what our business stood for and to set the tone of the company with them.

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