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Karin A Fleischhaker-Griffin

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Books by Karin A Fleischhaker-Griffin
Hiring by Temperament
By Karin A Fleischhaker-Griffin
Last edited: Saturday, May 31, 2008
Posted: Monday, May 26, 2008

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Hiring people by temperament is the only way to add profitability to your company and to retain your employees.

How to Hire People


If you hire a good person, they will do a lot for themselves.  They will motivate you instead of you training them.  Do not hire weak people.  Sometimes well dressed persons are not always the best to hire.  Forget appearances. Look beneath the surface.  Research has proved that the previous criteria utilized in hiring are not always correct.  And education has not always proved to be imperative.


We pay too much attention to the outer qualities of a prospective employee.  90% of the psychology tests likewise should be discarded.  One must make a determination of how far the person being interviewed can go?  And if the individual does not work out, do not consider terminating their employment.  Rather find out what may be more suitable to them and move them into another position.


Most of the differences reduce to Temperament.  If one has the right temperament, they will like their jobs.  If a person does not have a position in which they are temperamentally suited for, they will have too much stress and ultimately kill themselves.   Temperament plays a large role in like or disliking a job.   Temperament is being the real you and liking what you do so that a job may be well done.


You may ask what temperament is.  It is doing your own thing in your own style.  If one secures a position that requires something different that the traits you hold, it could kill you.


We have been born with certain qualities.  There are limitations to changes. Real temperament does not change and a person who hires others must identify the individual’s temperament before hiring the individual.  That means spending time with the individual you are interviewing.  Even with training you cannot change attitudes, expect a higher degree of creativity or new knowledge if it is not there.  Remember Leaders are born.  Sales people likewise are born but of course salespersons must be developed.   You must always start with the right qualities.  Management in itself is just an attempt to change the attitudes of people to your own way of thinking and is not always right or successful.


For instance, one with dominant and creative instincts could be an excellent salesperson.  This type of individual cannot be a bookkeeper because they are too competitive and will not stay long into such a position and will go on to something else.  Make certain the individual in front of you is good with people.  They may be able to sell but you may not wish to work with them.  


One who is not dominant could not make it as a manager or a specialist.  They are not competitive, are too relaxed, may look great and no matter what education you may be able to provide the individual to make him or her manager, it will not work.  Formal education does not change temperament.  Pay little attention to the candidate’s personal appearance and their ability to talk. Remember, you may not judge a book by its cover alone.



In an interview, the candidate is trying to be special and may interview well.  The candidate may have answers for everything.  And, you may be biased and prejudices may get in the way.  YOU MAY FEAR SOMEONE SEEKING YOUR JOB and may hire someone you really wouldn’t want to hire.  YOU SHOULD NOT FEAR COMPETITION AND NEW IDEAS.  The person who may desire your job may be the best person to hire.


If you have difficulty placing it all together, there are tests for temperament.  You may also hire an industrial psychologist.  Remember to secure information, the candidate must feel at ease.  Do not write during the interview.  Ask whether you may ask questions at the end that you may have forgotten.  Sell the candidate on the interview to make certain he or she wishes to cooperate.  “Your interview is a way of letting me know the good things about you.”   Let the candidate do most of the talking.


Do not use direct questions whereby the candidate may use a “yes” or a “no”.  Instead, “Could you please give me a summary of your work experience?”


How do we measure temperament?  The following are points to size up in an interview:


ATTITUDES – If one likes your organization, he or she will like you.   Alternatively, if one is looking for the most rewards without effort or requiring only the ideal job, the individual is too negative to hire.


APTITUDES – Although this is difficult to determine in sales, one must look into the individual’s background, which cannot be changed.  Pick an individual with an aptitude to learn and have the ability to be flexible.


STABILITY – Choose someone who is strongly persistent.  They do not give up no matter what the odds.


MOTIVATION – Usually motivation results from middle-class families.  These individuals were indoctrinated early and it stayed with them.  Pick out a person with a fair amount of motivation.


MATURITY – How ego centered is the person.  If the person is weak, he or she will want to know “what is in it for me”.  They will wish to expand too quickly and want to conquer the world.  Determine if this individual can even see himself or herself realistically.  Usually these individuals dislike being wrong and even if they are wrong, they will not admit they are if they are immature.  Immaturity is prided by ego and one feels the world evolves around them.  They feel they are entitled. If you are mature, you can make good decisions and look ahead to the future.  You have self-control but do not always agree.


The interviewing process is of utmost importance.  Ask the following points in leading questions so that they are answered so that you may make a final assessment in hiring.


  • Work History – Does the individual stay at the job? Were they progressive in their job? Were they promoted?  Did they receive awards? Pay attention to the candidate’s claims.  Make the candidate give examples.  Weak people that can’t make the grade tend to over-claim their achievements.  If the candidate talks about how good he or she is with people, get examples. Beware of halos.  Everyone has weaknesses.  Find out what his weaknesses are.  Use the word “shortcomings” when inquiring.


  • Social History – Do they like people?  Were they a leader?


  • Hobbies – Are they involved in physical competitive sports such as golfing, racquetball, softball, etc.?  Or do they provide such hobbies that requiring paying attention to detail such as needlepoint, crafts, artwork, fishing or watching sports by television?  If you are looking for someone who is more dynamic and competitive on your sales force, look to the one who has outside interests.  If looking for a bookkeeper, check the secondary area.  And, if there is a mix, you may have a great salesperson, which may pays attention to detail or have additional creativity to the mix.


  • Early Family Life and present family life - Determine the candidate’s motivation. Don’t counsel because you are not qualified to do so.  Be supportive showing understanding of the candidate’s situation.  If the candidate is negative about something, play it down if he or she realizes their mistakes.  If you show negativity, the candidate will clam up.  Be a good listener and draw the information out.


  • Health – The candidate may not wish to or have to divulge. Nevertheless, if you have open statements or bring up the topic, they may add to the conversation so you may assess this.  Ask the candidate if he or she would have any objection. “Would you mind telling me about this area?”   Would I be out of order if I asked you about your early family life?”  They will usually say “No” and you may proceed with an opening question.


  • Philosophy in life


  • Past Jobs and the Future - What has the candidate told you about his or her past job and about his or her future?  You can always ask negative questions.  Ask them if it was their previous bosses that caused the problems at the candidate’s last job.  If the candidate agrees, and does not mention any weaknesses he or she may possess, you do not need that individual because he or she lacks maturity.


  • Military – was the candidate a leader?


  • If you were going to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?




What are the fundamentals in which you may get more miles from your sales force?


Balance – The salesperson must be able to sell enough, must be able to meet production dates and be able to administer finances.


Production – must be able to produce and to close


Administration – must be able to produce within the price levels and know what your costs are.


Company edge – You cannot take in business if you cannot keep up in production or if you advertise extensively and utilize money explicitly for advertising.  You could then find no money left for production and filling orders, and thus bankruptcy.   Consider your company edge in the quality of work, whether there is slow delivery or if you can meet schedules and delivery dates (price should not be an edge), the size of work to be done, the location is a factor, and the personality of management can be an advantage or detriment.  As a company, no one will borrow you money, unless they know you can get the money back.  This depends on your past and future customers.


Price Correctly – you have to decide the costs month by month and place money aside.  Do you have a philosophy?  “Hit them where they have not been hit”.  If your competitor delivers in three weeks; try to deliver in two weeks.  Do something to differentiate your company from that of other companies.





Sales Training:


  • Have a job description of what is required of your sales personnel


  • Use inside company salespersons rather than outside sales persons.  Inside sales personnel will be more dedicated to selling your product.


  • If you wish to expand your sales, start with what you already have.  80% of your business is from 20% of your customers.  Analyze that 20% and see if you can get more of that kind of business.  If you are involved in manufacturing, use the same equipment but expand it by utilizing a second shift or adding extra equipment.


  • Utilize the Standard Industrial Code (SIC) which may be obtained from the Department of Commerce.  The code may be used to determine what kind of customers you are mainly doing business with.  Find the reason why customers by your product.  Use what you have already and increase the size of your business.


  • Black and White is for price.  Color is for results.  In printing four colors, you need not be as accurate as when only placing information in two colors.


  • Enlarge your sales territory.  By enlarging your territory, you make new customers and develop new products.


  • Keep some form of record as to where your business comes from.  Know which accounts you are using the most and expand your sales office and know where your business is coming from.  Zip Codes are essential.  Arrange your customers for the sales personnel in order to save time, gas and energy. 


  • Utilize Sales Forecasting by computerization.  List an account by account yearly average and review six months later to see how well you are going at your present goal.


  • Sales goals must be reached.  If a salesperson loses a client, he or she must go out and get another account to maintain his or her standard of living. Does the compensation system equal the profit margin of a salesperson?  Some companies pay a higher percentage of expense 60% to 40% for the salesperson.  Salespersons always pay a percentage of all expenses and company costs.  This shows product line profitability. 
  • Is your compensation system tying in with your profit system?  Tie the sales commissions in with the profit margins.  If a salesperson can get more out of a customer, he or she is free to do so.  If he or she cannot, there is a minimum amount he or she is guided by.  After the salesperson submits a sale, the company has the last decision.  The company may decide the credit is wrong. 


  • The salesperson always wants the sale but you want to make the money.


  • Control sales expense.  Pay a portion of the expenses of 60%.  Salespersons making 40% will make money under the system.  However, if a salesperson has to travel great distances for his accounts, he or she may not desire it so readily.  In this respect think about picking up the phone before spending money. You already may be providing reimbursement for mobile phone expenditures, and gas and car allowances as part of your expenditures.  These are a business expenses to you and are tax deductible.


  • Determine why your customers will buy your products and services.  A display assists greatly in making sales and increases sales credibility.


  • Our price determines our costs rather than our costs determining our prices.  Think of upward price increases instead of a flat cost.    How do you know when you have an opportunity for a price increase:  Whey you are back logged and long shipping dates are created by a backlog.  Your product is probably lower than that of your competitor.


  • If we do not get any customer heat, we are leaving money on the table.  We should not have false prices by not increasing prices for years.  Probe for a better price.  If you do not test the market, you do not know if your pricing is accurate.  You may lose some, but you have room for dickering by saying you’d have to check the price again.  Keep up with the economy.  If our discounts and pricing are the same, they must be wrong.  Things are not always the same.  Price is a rationing system.  The higher the price sometimes brings an increase in sales.  What you think is a fair and reasonable price may not be.  You may be able to increase your price.  Have some customers you do with business at a higher level. Bring in some creativity along with the pricing.


  • Do not let emotion enter into pricing or sales.




Checklist for Leaders:


  • Listen to others.  You do not have to agree but you allow them an opportunity to express themselves.  If you do not agree you can tell them why.


  • As the organization grows, let the next important person make the decisions.  If you expect to make all decisions by yourself, and you are not around, decisions will not be made.


  • Avoid negative assumptions.


  • Never damage someone else’s self-esteem.


  • Try to give positive signals.


  • Try to find out how to give people an opportunity to achieve.


  • It is important for an organization to follow their objectives for the climate of the organization.







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Reviewed by Lois Christensen 5/26/2008
You surely did take your time and covered it all. I agree with you on itand I am not a supervisor doing any hiring. In fact I did not stay at any job for long ,except Dept. of Revenue, the last job I worked at. I am now on disability and feel that sometimes when I went for job interviews I was misjudged too. Anyway that is in the past, not looking for work. but I hope people get fair treatment and you ideas and statements make a lot of sense too.

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