Hire New Employees With Your Clients In Mind
When you find yourself in the market for new employees, how you hire and who you hire can make or break your client base, and ultimately your business, according to Lee Kroll, president of Kroll Direct Marketing, a list management and brokerage firm based in Plainsboro, N.J.
“Too many of us hire new employees without consideration for our clients,” Kroll says. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Will this person fit well into our work environment?’ and, “Will they be able to satisfy our clients’ needs right out of the gate?’ Remember, without your clients you don’t have a business, so when you hire a new employee for your business, in essence you’re also hiring him or her for your clients.”
According to Kroll, it takes three to six months for new employees to find their comfort zone on a new job, and maybe another six months after that to be considered truly competent. To maximize that investment, Kroll suggests creating a business environment in which the new employee is encouraged to ask questions, and is gently chastened for minor mistakes.
“It’s important that the new hire be comfortable with what they’ve learned, and comfortable asking about what they don’t know yet.”
Direct marketing is an industry built on relationships and trust, Kroll says, and often that trust is built over a period of years, not months. Experience, hands-on learning, and time are what separates the rookie from the wily veteran. Conferences and trade shows, however, aren’t part of Kroll’s overall new employee strategy.
“Conferences, for the most part, are a waste of time for new employees,” he says. “The jargon goes over their heads, and they generally don’t benefit from them nearly as much as immersing themselves in books and magazines covering the industry.”