Great Ideas for your Small Business: Use the BATH System for Hiring
Jay goltz has been an entrepreneur since he got out of school in the 1970s. He’s learned a lot about hiring and now has about 140 employees at his framing and home-and-garden stores in Chicago.
He’s found through the years that hiring good people is the toughest challenge for business owners. “Seventy-five percent of good management is hiring the right people in the first place,” said Goltz, author of The Street-Smart Entrepreneur: 133 Tough Lessons I Learned the Hard Way (LPC; 1998).
Although former employers are reluctant to provide references, try asking them if they would rehire the person. This is one good way to get an honest opinion.
Another way to gauge your current hiring strategy is to consider this hypothetical situation: An employee comes in this morning to tell you they have to quit because they are moving to California. Do you say “yippee!” or would you be sad to see them go? If you’re happy that they are leaving, Goltz says they are clearly not the best person for the job. Goltz helps other entrepreneurs by holding seminars he calls “Boss School.” He spends a lot of time explaining how to hire and screen workers.
His process is called the BATH test, and here’s how it works:
“B” is for buy into your concept. Tell prospective employees what your company is all about. You want to fit square pegs into square holes.
“A” is for ability. Find people who have done this job before.
“T” is for team playing. Will they tell you what is on their mind? You can spend your whole life playing psychoanalyst with your employees—and it’s a waste of time.
“H” is for hungry. “I need people who are hungry and want to work,” he says.
Consider using the BATH system when screening potential employees—it may help reduce your turnover rate. Since he’s begun using his BATH system of hiring, his turnover rate has dropped to 10 percent.
Goltz also likes to do a “gang interview.” He meets with groups of applicants to tell them about the business. Some folks ask where the bathroom is and run off. But, he says, it’s better to scare off the wrong candidates at the beginning.