General Question

chelle21689's avatar

As an employer, what would you do to find trustworthy employees?

Asked by chelle21689 (7770points) July 11th, 2012

My parents have owned this Asian grocery for 30 years. A big majority of people that have worked here are my uncles, aunts, sisters, and close family friends. I asked my dad why he only hired people that were like family. He said because sometimes people he hire that aren’t family end up stealing merchandise and he can’t trust them. My parents have grown to not trust people.

I was just thinking, if I were to own the store one day…I can’t always depend on family to work for me (especially since they’re getting old). Is it really that hard to find DEPENDABLE and TRUSTWORTHY workers? Maybe my parents just suck at hiring because I sort of notice sometimes they give people they know work because they NEED a job.

One other question. My parents are at the store every day and it is open every day. If I am the owner one day, is it possible to have 2 days off a week if I have enough help or is that unprofessional to you?

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18 Answers

Trillian's avatar

You’re not so much un-professional as perhaps un-dedicated? They’re a team with shared goals for which they’ve both worked hard to realize. They’ve put aside other things to make the store a success.
There’s something to be siad for gratitude, and possibly the people they’ve hired who they know needed work feel that towards them. And loyalty as well, I shouldn’t wonder.
You sound more like you want to hire people to manage in your absence, which is fine.
So you spend the money to do background checks, learn how to understand the books, and maybe invest in some good security cameras.

laurenkem's avatar

I agree that a good background check would definately be in order, as well as contacting former employers. While most large companies won’t divulge the circumstances behind someone’s termination, if this is a mom & pop store, former employers might be very helpful indeed.

I also agree with @Trillian on the good security camera idea. One of my friends is the owner of a small local pub, and she actually has it set up where, while at home, she can actually view 9 different shots of what’s going on in the bar. This way she knows what’s going on whether she’s there or not. It gives her a lot more freedom to take a little time off.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What would you do to find trustworthy employees? I trust everyone until they prove me wrong. The best way to find trustworthy employees is this:
* Write a realistic job description of what is entailed. Talk to employees that already do the job and do it well to get their input. The more detail, the better. Don’t sugar-coat it.
* Require an application be filled out for anyone interested in the job. Make sure it contains legal questions to ask. Ask for work references which includes a name and contact number.
* Pay for background checks and drug tests. While not cheap, it’s less expensive than having an employee that is more likely to cause problems.
* Conduct reference checks. It amazes me how many hiring managers don’t do them. The information provided by previous managers of an applicant is very insightful.
* Most importantly, learn the basic laws when it comes to hiring and firing employees. Retain an attorney that specializes in this area. They often only charge for the time/advice you ask for. Again, it isn’t cheap, but it can pay off in the long run.

Is it possible to have 2 days off a week if I have enough help or is that unprofessional to you? Yes, it is possible, and it is the way that it should be.
* If you hire good people and treat them well, then they hope that you will trust them with your business while they are on duty. Pay and benefits are nice, but recognition and rewards seals the deal on employee loyalty. Communication is another factor. Make sure that they have the tools, training and resources to do their job well.
* The other key factor is to make sure that there are solid checks and balances in place. This includes tracking inventory, proper accounting practices, and even security cameras that actually work.

laurenkem's avatar

Oh, and don’t forget – trust your instincts! If you’re interviewing someone and you basically feel like they’re feeding the answers you want and/or bullshitting you, go with that instinct. Always.

chelle21689's avatar

No, you’re taking it the wrong way @Trillian. I just think that 2 days off a week is usually a standard right? Heck, even if it’s just one day off. After all, you got to have some time off right?

chelle21689's avatar

Pied Pfeifer, I’d choose you as best response lol

Thanks everyone.
I’ve been working at my parents store since I was 13 so for about 10 years now. I am thinking about learning more about the family business with finances, inventory, etc. but I don’t think my dad plans to retire any time soon even though he is 66. He’s pretty healthy for his age.

Since I’m graduating with my bachelor’s I’m going to go into corporate world and gain some outside experience. I guess it’s nice to take a break from our family business and learn something about the outside world. Maybe when my dad is ready to really retire then I can take over. I want to improve it, make the aisles a little bigger, make the place look more clean and professional, build an online grocery shop for dried goods and gifts, etc.

Cruiser's avatar

I can say with great certainty that you just don’t know what people are truly capable of doing at your place of employment. We have a very careful and thorough hiring process and I have been here now 18 years and can’t think of one employee out of the 20 I have seen rotate through our doors that hasn’t taken something. 2 were fired for flat out stealing and 2 were let go from doing other business activities while on the job.

Me I almost got fired by the original owner for using an 18 cent company stamp to mail a personal letter. We weren’t even allowed to pay for the stamp if we used one.

Jaxk's avatar

When you are running a cash business, theft is hard to curtail completely. The truth is, your presence is the best deterrent. Any good POS system will provide good feedback on abuses but don’t shortchange peoples ability to beat it. Unfortunately employees will see hundreds or thousands of dollars coming in everyday and assume you’re making a fortune. You mus be rich with that much cash. We seem to have evolved into a society where stealing from the rich is not really bad. It’s It’s OK because they have it and should be sharing it with you. The attitude is prevalent today, and makes allows some employees to justify their bad behavior. Be aware. Your parents are using a lifetime of experience to deal with this store. If it is successful, that’s not an accident.

chelle21689's avatar

@Jaxk, I would plan to be there but as I mention before i hope that if I do run the store one day that I am still able to have a break now and then (2 days or maybe even 1 if it has to come down to it)

Trillian's avatar

@chelle21689 Maybe I misspoke myself. Your mom and dad had each other to cover for them, right? So there would always be one or the other at the store if something came up, or whatever.
A good partner might be something to think about;sibling or other relative. Someone who has ownership os a lot more vested in doing things right than an hourly employee.

Cruiser's avatar

@chelle21689 The previous 2 owners of this company were control freaks who really had problems being away from the business. I formed a team of employees I can trust to run this business in my absence. You can find responsible people who take pride in the job they do to manage the business in your absence…the hard part is trying not to think about how much fun they are having with you out of the building!

Jaxk's avatar

@chelle21689 Ownership of a small business like this is always time consuming. That doesn’t mean you can’t leave but it is difficult. We have taken off for the weekend twice in the past few years and both times we had to make a quick return due to problems that came up. You will gain some freedom because you are the boss but you will lose a lot because you are the boss. Good luck with the whole thing.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Go to a temp agency that does a back-ground check and reviews the applicants. This also takes all the taxes ( income, SS and unemployment ).

Nullo's avatar

You’re going to have to take some risk. Maybe you could run a background check, or hire friends or people who can be vouched for.
And don’t be a jerk employer; a happy employee will treat the business well. Sam Walton famously said, “Let’s take care of our associates, and they’ll take care of our customers.” Oh Sam, if you could only see what your successors are doing.

chelle21689's avatar

We’ll see in however many years when they decide to give the business away to one of us. My sister and her husband opened up their own day care, it is hard to find help but once they do have it they have more free time. It’s easier for them to have some time off because they are closed Sat and Sun.

Jaxk's avatar

I should add that hiring relatives will have difficult problems as well. Trying to fire you sisters son or daughter creates family problems. Or even firing your own grandkids will be difficult. A lot of people won’t hire relatives for this reason. Owning a business is not easy and there are no simple solutions. BTW, a Temp Agency is expensive. Probably not the best answer for low wage jobs.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I agree with @Jaxk‘s statement about hiring relatives. It’s a double-edged sword. Hiring relatives can feel like the easy way out, but in the long run, unless you are willing to hold them to your standards and those that are applied to non-relatives, then it can become messy in the long run.

chelle21689's avatar

I agree. My dad still gives his brothers a salary if they call off =\ and sometimes they call off 3 times in a week. Well not often but they do and he still pays them. Also, they like taking trips to Thailand once a year for 1–2 months.

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