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Starbucks Staffing

By January 31, 2012February 14th, 2014Leadership

Ever had a bad experience with a staff member at Starbucks? Order a double chocolate chip frappuccino with a hit of peppermint, one white chocolate latte, and a double espresso, then sit and watch the bistro work. They are methodical, repetitious, exact, and yet friendly. What a combination! If you have never hired workers, you have no idea how hard it is to combine attention to detail with solid people skills. When you order your favorite beverage from Starbucks the person behind the counter makes you feel like they are your friend. Starbucks continues to be one of the best at helping people enjoy spending four times the normal price of coffee.

When most organizations hire they look for specific skill sets. If you are hiring in sales, connecting with people cannot be avoided if you expect them to sell anything. If you need someone in order fulfillment then details must be part of their DNA. If you are hiring an art director, then creativity and multi-tasking comes into play.

Starbucks manages to screen their people and find the kind you enjoy talking to while running late to work in the morning. Notice they talk while working and yet they look like they are having fun. They obviously have a certain system they use for hiring. Do you have a system?

Picking the right people involves basic practices that some overlook, which dooms them to either repeat the process or suffer the consequences. Analyze the résumé to see a pattern of what the trajectory of the applicant. Realize less than stellar interviews do not mean the person is not an ideal candidate. He or she may not provide great conversation or talk about yesterday’s game, but the lack of social prowess may conceal an introvert who misses very little in detail-oriented tasks. Use a personality assessment; this can be the most effective tool you use for hiring. I recommend the Leading From Your Strengths assessment offered by Insights International. Whatever tool you use, it must carry weight in the search process. Call references and ask each reference for a couple more references to check. Ask around about how the candidate handles certain situations that give you insight into the daily tasks you are looking for.

When you do the hiring, remember not everyone gets to wear the green aprons.

Ron Hunter

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