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Hiring A-Players: How to Avoid the Alligators


By Eric Herrenkohl

Editor’s note: The example in this article refers to hiring an executive. It is advised that you consider utilizing these methods when hiring anyone to join your team. Some of the most serious mistakes in businesses occur in hiring the wrong person.

As I lead an executive search, I conduct reference checks early and often. Here’s why. Years ago, I was conducting an executive search for a person to assume a leadership role in manufacturing. The ideal candidate would be someone who was running a very large facility, had strong personal leadership skills and had the continuous improvement experience that is important in manufacturing.

One day, I was referred to an individual who met all these qualifications and more. She was senior, seasoned and had progressed through the ranks quickly. There were a couple of potential concerns, including that she had jumped employers several times. However, her résumé and our subsequent phone conversations were strong enough that I flew to the West Coast to meet her.

The face-to-face interview confirmed the picture portrayed by her résumé. She was seasoned and accomplished, a “been-there and done-that” person. She also had a long track record of success in the continuous improvement approaches in which we were very interested.

However, I did come out of the interview with one concern: I had not seen beneath the surface of this individual. We spent over two hours together, during which she told me everything that I could want to know about her professional progression, experiences and accomplishments. We also talked about personal things – her kids and family, what she enjoyed doing after work and where she grew up. But as we walked out of the restaurant, I felt that I did not really know her.

 Read the full article in the Members Only section

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RRetailers, Servicers, Suppliers: A Call for Industry Participation

For more than 75 years, the North American Retail Dealers Association has been the voice of independent appliance, electronics, bedding and furniture retailers. Through education, representation and a host of benefits, NARDA has worked diligently for all retailers.

Here’s how you can help both the industry and your own enterprise: NARDA is now moving forward into new areas and seeks volunteers that can give an hour or less each month to help guide the association. Please indicate your interest and you will be contacted and given more information.

Your name:

Contact number:

NARDA also is asking you to identify the areas in which it can assist you and your business. Whether it is legislation, education, legal services, publications, repair service or cloud-based services, please indicate which issues are most important to you. The very best suggestions will receive a $100 gift card.

Please express your willingness to volunteer and suggestions to

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North American Retail Dealers Association
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2100
Chicago IL 60606
Phone: 312.648.0649 or 800.621.0298 (US Only)
Fax: 312.648.1212

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