Last month the Philadelphia Franchise Association (PFA) had a terrific meeting at Maggiano's in downtown Philadelphia.  I want to again thank our terrific panelist, Tom Monaghan, Steve Beagelman and Mr. Ade Lawal.  Each brought excellent stories and practical advice on how to recruit, hire and train key employees.

I believe the most insightful part of the presentation was the insistence by all the panelist that the hiring process must be exactly that, a process.  If a company can define what steps it needs to take and then follow those steps they will have a much better chance at being successful than those companies that wing it each time they have a need for a new team member.

Having a defined process will enable companies to refine and improve that process over time.  Key elements to a good process that we discussed were:

- Written and consistent interview questions

- Simple outside and objective tests such as background, IQ, personality test, etc. (I was intrigued to learn that some really helpful tests can be done for very little money)

- Hire for attitude, train for competence

- Hire slowly and fire quickly

The key of course is to actually implement what you have learned at a session like this and to be disciplined enough to be objective about your own systemic shortcomings.  The first step is to write down what you are doing, and then look at it objectively and write down what you ought to be doing. 

The final remark I heard after the meeting that really resonated with me is that a company is only as good as its people, no more and no less

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