The 92nd annual National Association of Flour Distributors (NAFD) convention made history as the association elected its first female president, Erin Ruhl, George R. Ruhl & Son Inc. Other officers include first vice president Dominic Valente, Valente Yeast Co. Inc.; second vice president Phillip Zilka Jr., Zilka & Co. Bakery Supplies; and chairman of the board Gerry Burns, Bono Burns Distribution Inc. Theodore Heim Jr., Inter-County Bakers Inc., is the outgoing president.
The four-day event, held last month in Amelia Island, Fla., included several social activities as well as educational sessions. Barry Deutsch, Impact Hiring Solutions, recommended companies begin using “Just in Time Hiring,” where you seek people to fit where you will be, not where you are. You might not be able to hire them right away, but you’ve identified who you want, which will speed the process when you do need them.
“Everything we know about hiring is wrong,” Deutsch said. Job descriptions are useless and advertising attracts the bottom one-third of candidates, he added. To avoid common hiring pitfalls, make hiring a process, not an arbitrary event. Focus on defining expectations, make the interview more like real work, use a structured assessment tool to collect feedback and use five core questions to predict future feedback. The questions focus on an example of when the candidate demonstrated high initiative, flawless project execution, significant success in leading a major project, demonstrated one of your critical success factors in the past and how implementation of this success factor would be different in your environment from the one they’re in currently.
Deutsch recommended asking for multiple examples and probing deeply for the why, when, how and what, getting all the details of size, scope, complexity, effort, team issues and dates. You must be a detective, he said.
Pam Bilbrey, Table Group Consulting, discussed how companies can best manage for employee engagement. “If you have a healthy work environment, it shines a light and makes the smart smarter,” she said. The first six months of an employee’s tenure is the most productive he will be unless you provide a healthy environment with minimal politics, minimal confusion, high productivity and low turnover.
Bosses often have a better view of how good an employee can be than the employee himself. Therefore, managers need to learn how to coach their employees to be better.
The next convention will be held May 16-20, 2012 in Key Biscayne, Fla.