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Seek customers’ input before hiring

How do you determine which characteristics are important in the people you hire? How about checking with your customers: what’s important to them?

According to an article in the June 5 - 11, 2005 issue of Workforce Weekly (one of three online newsletters from, the St. Paul, MN police force asked citizens what kind of officers they wanted. What the force heard changed how rookie officers are recruited.

Other organizations could use a similar ask-a-customer approach when planning to hire staff:

  • patients could be asked what traits separate an adequate nurse from someone who makes a difference for them
  • hotel guests could describe how they like to be treated when checking in
  • students can recall teachers who were special to them and why
  • shoppers in grocery or hardware stores know how clerks enhance their shopping experience and encourage them to return
  • airline passengers can describe the qualities of the best flight attendants
  • employees can explain why some supervisors lead happier, more productive work teams

Knowing which characteristics customers appreciate can help you hire people who deliver service that brings customers back.

During his Interview Right to Hire Right workshop, Nelson Scott trains managers and supervisors to attract the right candidate, interview effectively, make the right hiring decisions and to use meaningful staff recognition as a tool to improve staff retention and reduce turnover.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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