Best Practices in Hiring

We all know how difficult it is to find and retain top talent in any industry.  While that is certainly a challenge, it is just as important to be mindful of putting the right steps in place to validate that the candidate you selected to work at your company has the experience, education and background you were searching for.  Here are some best practices to follow:

Use a Standard Employment Application

Every employer, whether big or small, should have each candidate complete an employment application.  The application allows for employers to give consistent, due consideration to all applicants about prospective employment opportunities.  It also gives an employer the opportunity to pre-screen and pre-qualify applicants based on the information provided.  Make sure the information you request/require for your applicants is the same across the board regardless of the position they apply for.  It is also important to keep in mind that there are federal and state laws that mandate how long employment applications should be retained for.

Check References

On the employment application, you should ask for a minimum of 2 personal and 2 professional references.  Take the time to contact at least one reference to reconcile the information provided by your candidate about their previous work history, salary, work habits, etc.  If you are not using an employment application to collect this information, it’s ok to ask your candidate to present you with references independent of an employment application.  Pay attention to the tone of voice that the reference uses when answering questions about your candidate.  That may be more important than the content of their words.  For example, when you ask a reference if they would ever consider re-hiring the candidate, listen for pauses.  If they pause and take a deep breath before answering the question, you should listen very closely to their answer.

Background Check

If you are not currently running a background check to verify information about your candidate, you should seriously consider doing so.  There are many background check vendors that offer a la carte services that would be suitable for your business.  If you decide to use a background check as part of the pre-hiring process, remember to ensure that you are following the protocol as established by the EEOC (“Equal Employment Opportunity Commission” – www.eeoc.gov.).  Most companies see an increase in applicant quality when using background checks which allows for less discrepancies with information provided by your candidates.

In addition to those best practices, some employers will ask their candidates to participate in a pre-hire drug screen.  This, too, is helpful in making sure that the person you are hiring is going to be a good steward of your company, use good judgement and most importantly, be reliable and available when they are needed to work.

Remember, a resume is just a marketing piece presented by your candidate.  Verify the information they provided you is accurate.  You can’t go wrong putting one or more of these best practices in place for peace of mind for the success of your business.

Tune in next month for more tips and information on recruiting and retaining your best and brightest employees.

All About Axiom

As of October 31, 2012, access to R*Connect has been shut down, making Axiom your only DISH sales entry tool! Don’t sweat – we have plenty of insider tips to help you through this transition.

Overview: The Basics

Axiom, the new DISH sales entry tool, is a more flexible, non-linear program that will allow you more control when you create, upgrade and view DISH accounts.  The new freedom within the system permits you to follow a path that best fits your customers’ needs and your sales process.  You can easily jump from tab to tab, with all the information updating in the summary section, and without having to start from the beginning.

The four flexible tabs are Programming, TVs, Household Info and Eligibility.  When you are within one of these four tabs, the information entered will always be updated in the Summary panel to the right of the screen.  Within the four flexible tabs you can jump from one to another, without having to complete each step in a particular order and without having to start over.  So, if you wanted to provide a quote, you would start with the Programming tab, but if you wanted to see what the customer qualifies for first, you would start at the Household Info tab and proceed to the Eligibility tab.

After the first four tabs, there are three additional tabs: Account Info, Payment Info and Check-Out.  You cannot move onto the final three tabs until the first four are complete because, at that point, your customer is qualified, agrees upon the services chosen and is ready to purchase.

There is also a search tab, which allows you to look for existing customers, leads and customers that are on-hold.  With regards to existing and on-hold customers, you can make reference notes about service dates, payment preferences and more.  Lead information is saved for 90 days, except any Eligibility information.  If the same information in entered in the Eligibility tab, a second credit check is not required, creating easy access and sales processing.

Tips and Tricks

Here are just a few side notes to help you out with some common questions and issues:

  1. In the Search tab, you can only pull up an existing customer by either account number combined with the phone number, or by name.  To search for a lead, you will use the Lead ID.
  2. Again, you must complete the first four tabs before you can move on to tab 5, the Account tab.
  3. If you complete the Eligibility tab first and run the credit check, you will not be able to pick offers until the Programming tab is completed.
  4. Only you have access to the Lead Information you create.
  5. To reprint agreements, you will need to visit the Retailer Care Site, which were previously located in the Promotions Center.  Axiom is an order-entry tool only and does not have the functionality to administer agreements.  Please access the new Agreement Center for this.

 Additional Information on Axiom

DISH has tons of jobs aids, detailed instructions and presentations to help you navigate through Axiom on the DISH Portal.  These are also located within the Axiom program for quick and easy reference.  As always, checkout DISH U, which has a training guide with quizzes and tests, just to ensure you have learned everything you need to know.  And, of course, you can call your DOW Electronics sales representatives, who are all up to date to help you with Axiom.