2014 Resource Directory

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M i d - M a rc h Printwear | 13 12 | Printwear M i d - M a rc h 20 1 4 bad habits they picked up doing low- quality embroidery in someone else's shop. Or, in another example, my artists ideally already have proficiency with the Adobe suite. But faced with the following choice, I'm better off with a fast-learning, computer savvy (but Adobe inexperienced) candidate with an artistic eye than I am with a slow-learning person who can already use Illustrator. I can teach the former candidate how to use AI just the way we need, and they'll keep getting better every month, every year. The latter will hit the ground running, but they won't improve, and in just six months, the former candidate will have left them in the dust. One Bad apple Ruins The BaRRel Some pretty significant research has gone into proving that this adage is true in the workplace: your weakest link determines the strength of the whole chain. Don't skimp on hiring. Spend the time it takes How To... Hire THe rigHT people to find the right candidate, and test them to make sure their skills are legitimate. If you don't find a great match, re-post the ad and start all over. A few times over the years, I've let myself hire an okay candidate because I was giving in to time pressure or laziness. Those people sure brought morale down until I finally recognized my mistake and let them go, at which point I had to start all over again anyway, but not until I had let them damage my company culture. If you don't have a good fit, keep trying until you do. You won't regret it in the long run. Keep iT COnsisTenT The best way to make a decision between different candidates is to arrange for an apples-to-apples comparison. This is why I recommend using the same script for all phone interviews for a specific position. Similarly, for each opening, I try to start all in-person interviews with the same questions. Rather than a generic get-to-know-you conversation, these questions should be carefully targeted at identifying the non- trainable traits that you require for this role. Each candidate will bring something unique to the table (hopefully), but starting with the same structure for each interview helps you compare the must- have traits from one candidate to another. dOn'T TaKe iT On FaiTh A skill listed on a resume may or may not actually exist within the actual person (ironically, I've seen many resumes where the candidate misspelled "detail oriented"). It's critical that you test candidates during the interview process, especially for the most important non-trainable traits. For example, I have a data entry task I use for any candidate who needs to be meticulous, reasonably capable with numbers, and able to accurately follow directions. It's a basic spreadsheet with columns for order number, quantity, price, Line 1 (this is for embroidery on scrub tops), Line 2, font, etc. I supply them with PW_MidMarch14.indd 12 2/28/14 1:02 PM

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