NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Applicants wait to enter a job fair on June 11, 2012 in New York City. Some 400 people arrived early for the event held by National Career Fairs, and up to 1,000 people were expected by the end of the day. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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During the 1990s I worked as a personnel manager for a ten-store chain in San Diego. I was responsible for hiring and firing all the employees who worked in that organization.

I wish there was some kind of standardized test that would tell you that an employee is going to be exact fit for the position needed.

But only time on the job will reveal the true work ethic of any employee.

There are many aspects of finding the right employees and creating a positive work environment where they can improve their skills and enjoy their work.

What Makes A Good Employee?

Most hiring starts with resumes that are submitted by candidates who either answered an ad or were sent by some employment agencies we contracted with.

After a review of resumes and applications prospective employees are interviewed for employment.

If the interview is successful the applicant is offered a position where their skills and experience will benefit them and the company.

What Makes a Bad Employee?

I’m not sure there are really “bad employees.” There are employees who are not a good fit for the needed employment situation. Some employees thrive in certain conditions and others do not.

I do believe that there is about 3 percent of the population that are not hirable.

Can Working Hurt Your Chances of Being Hired?

One of the things personnel managers look for is a gap in the applicants work history. There are usually good reasons for gaps.

But the other “red flag” is working at positions that don’t reflect your skills or expertise.

If you are a PhD waiting tables for a long period while there is a known demand for your area of expertise would raise some questions.

It’s not a deal breakers but there needs to be some good reasoning for your decision not to pursue your skill set.

Some Final Thoughts

Job-hunting is not fun. Finding good applicants is not easy. Forming a lasting relationship, positive for both parties, from looking at a piece of paper and a half hour conversation is a crapshoot at best.

The additional challenge for job hunters is the longer you are out of work the most out of date your skills become. Human knowledge doubles every 13 months.

Freshman in college will be asked to solve problems that don’t exist yet. It’s a brave new world.

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