XChange 2012: Testing Is Key To Attracting The Best Employees


Attracting, identifying and retaining the best employees is a major challenge to any employer, but it's seemingly more so in the world of information technology, where enthusiasm and skills development frequently leads to rapid increases in value, and by extension, an increased ability to command higher compensation packages.

As part of XChange 2012 in Dallas this week, Terry Booton, president of Atlanta-based Advanced Marketing Instruction, delivered a presentation aimed at helping attendees think through the key points that lead to successful workforce development.

"How many of you have hired someone you wished to God you hadn't hired?"Booton asked the gathering. Virtually every hand in the room rose, somewhat tentatively. Booton went on to explain that the key to success lies in matching the right person to the job for which they are best suited. But, identifying that person requires a thorough examination before an offer is ever tendered. "If you make your decision based on an interview alone, you've got only a 14 percent chance of success," he said.

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The speaker explained his belief that Generation Y employees may be tech savvy, team-oriented and family-oriented, but they often come "from an upbringing where everybody gets a trophy, and don't know if they've done something wrong."

Booton urged the channel partners to closely define what constitutes an A player for the particular role in question, and then match the individual to that role using extensive testing for background, character and other attributes. He recommends one testing product that he believes is especially effective and difficult to spoof by applicants who might choose to answer based on the perceived preferences of the employer, as opposed to the truth.

He also answered affirmatively when asked if he were an agent for that company.

He also added that 53 percent of unengaged employees are also unproductive employees. He also added that 24 percent of those unengaged employees will tend to stay with their current employers, rather than leave to pursue new opportunities.

Booton said that various benefits, such as flex time and other perks can be used to retain good employees. As to the recruitment of new ones, he recommends that employees maintain prospect databases and monthly newsletters, while at the same time leveraging newspaper ads, technical journals, job fairs, and social media.

PUBLISHED AUG. 21, 2012