Expert Interview with Mel Kleiman Of Humetrics on Recruiting and Hiring the Best

By Cheryl Morgan

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Recruiting and hiring"When it comes to hourly employees, most Human Resource Departments are still stuck in the '70s."

This is a quote from our interview with Mel Kleiman of the company Humetrics when asked how things had changed since he entered the field of recruiting in 1976.

The way we recruit new employees has irrevocably changed due to increasing interconnectedness, access to a global workforce, and changing values' but the way that we hire - for a lot of businesses - remains rooted in the past.

It is now possible to hire the best of the best - if you know how to find them.

Humetrics has been on the forefront of hiring and recruiting developments since the mid-'70s, keeping tabs and taking stock of the changes and seismic shifts in the business world to best take advantage of the resources at their disposal.

Can you tell us a bit about Humetrics? What's the main premise? What inspired you to start the company?

In the mid-'70s, I was working for the Research Institute of America, and they asked me to tackle the employee turnover problem they were having with their salesforce. While they were investing at least $25,000 to train each new Account Executive, employee turnover in this group was 100%. So, I did my homework, hired an industrial psychologist as a consultant, and we developed some tools that were added to the hiring system - and voila, problem solved.

I wasn't crazy about the next assignment they proposed to give, though; and at the same time, I noticed most of the people in my neighborhood owned their own businesses. So once again, I did my homework; and I found that while all kinds of hiring systems were available for the professional white-collar workforce, no one had come up with a system to recruit, select, and retain the best frontline hourly workers. I'd found my niche to fill.

Who is your main clientele, and what are some ways you meet their particular needs?

Our clients are primarily employers who depend on frontline hourly workers to get the job done: retailers, trucking companies, health care providers, oilfield operators, and manufacturers; many are franchisers. We meet their needs by helping frontline managers understand the tremendous, obvious, and hidden costs of hourly employee turnover, and give them the tools and procedures they need to efficiently and effectively make better hiring decisions.

Humetrics' motto is "Because No One Regrets Hiring The Best." What are some of the metrics you consider when looking at a new hire to decide who's the best? What are some ways that a job seeker can emphasize these skills on his or her resume?

There are four simple things we look at, and they are summed up tidily in the acronym CAPS:

    • C is capacities, both mental and physical. Is the person smart enough and strong enough to do the job?


    • A is attitude. We're looking for applicants who have a history of taking responsibility and solving problems. Do they want to learn and grow? Is the quality of the work they do important to them?


    • P is personality. Personality isn't really a factor in the hiring process because people with the right attitudes will manage their personalities to get the job done. However, when we're aware of an employee's particular personality traits, we can use that information to better manage those we do hire.


  • S stands for skills. We always advise to hire for attitude and train for skills; but when skills are mandatory, we prefer someone who not only has the ones required, but who also has the talent to learn new skills as the tools and systems they work with change.

Therefore, job seekers should do what we tell employers to do, and that is come up with a list of the top 10 reasons quality people should want to work for them. Applicants who can come up with a list of the top 10 proven, demonstrable reasons they should be hired will be the standouts.

Humetrics was founded in 1976. What are some ways you've seen the human resources change in that amount of time?

When it comes to hourly employees, most Human Resource Departments are still stuck in the '70s. While they have automated much of the process, in effect they're using the Internet and computerized screening tools to hire more bad people faster.

Can you tell us about about your pre-employment attitude testing? What attitudes make for the best employees? How do you test for them?

We offer a complete set of tools and procedures to recruit, screen, and select "the best" with the lynchpin being our online, pre-employment attitude assessment that employers use to ensure the most important questions get asked during the interview.

For people who are looking for work, do you have any advice as far as using social media to make themselves attractive to a prospective employer?

While job seekers are on the other side of the coin we serve, I'd just caution that everything that's posted on the worldwide web stays on the worldwide web. Today, most employers research promising applicants on all social media sites before making a job offer.

For employers, what are some ways they can use social media to attract the right employees?

The best way for an employer to ensure a steady stream of highly-qualified applicants is to position themselves as a great place to work and then to "walk their talk."

Another of your guiding principles is "Hire Tough, Manage Easy." What are some ways people can weed out undesirable employees in the hiring process? What kind of resources can someone save in the long run by doing so?

Many of those with hiring responsibilities shoot themselves in the foot right off the bat because:

    • a. They don't clearly define what it is they're looking for in terms of CAPS. How can you hit the target when you don't know where it is or what it looks like?


    • b. They fall into the "desperation hiring" trap. They only recruit when there's a pressing need and then take the first warm body who shows up. Then, when someone leaves or is fired, they have no pipeline or backlog of promising applicants to call.


  • c. They don't realize each step of the hiring process needs to be viewed as a test. If an applicant doesn't follow the instructions on your job application form or fill it out completely, they've just failed the first test and there's no good reason to call that person and do the telephone pre-screen. Just send the "thanks, but no thanks" email.

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