Monday, August 6, 2012

Judge the Book by Its Cover

I often hear the analogy "the mechanics car doesn't run", or "the housekeeper's home is the dirtiest house". Is that the standard you want?
When hiring any professional - be it to work on my car, in my home, or in my business I treat their entire presence as their resume. If I drive into a mechanics, and there are broken and battered vehicles in the employee lot, I look for other signs that could show me what type of business this is. Are the employees happy? Well groomed?
The same holds true to the people you invite into your business. Do you practice the same due diligence here that you would when entrusting your car or your home with someone? Would you hire an HR firm that has high turnover, or pending or past law suits from current or ex-employees?
We tend to buy from people we like. A good salesperson will be able to establish the rapport, and build the bridge of trust with you. You trust that salesperson. Do you have confidence in the company they represent? When spending a few hundred dollars, or many thousands, I encourage you to practice your due diligence on the company you are hiring. Interview them the way you would a potential employee, as in essence that is what they are.
Here are some quick tips:
1. Google them - look for complaints - both unresolved and resolved.
a. Google them with lawsuit at the end of their name.
b. Google the owner's name(s).
2. Check with their local BBB.
3. Do they have client testimonials? Call them.
4. Look for industry specific websites or forums - for instance if you are hiring an HR firm, look at their reviews on Glassdoor. Look at their job postings to assess their rate of turnover.
5. How current are the articles on their website? What do they say? Do they reflect the vision of the company?
6. Look them up through their local Clerk of Courts website, for legal actions, or filings.
If any of these points reveal anything, that is your clue to dig deeper. You may still choose to do business with them, but at least you know who you are dealing with.

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