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Tips for Hiring the Best Employees

By Donna Jolly, RJ, Director of Marketing, American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories

Looking to hire? Finding the right candidate is a crucial component of your business’s success. It can save you money in the long run and the right candidate can increase sales or productivity. Here’s some advice we gleaned from HR and hiring professionals’ websites.
  1. Hire full-time, not part-time. There is a belief that hiring numerous part-time employees allows you more flexibility in scheduling, however, you may end up with more employees disengaged with your store’s brand, especially if you they have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.
  2. Observe the candidate’s people skills. How did they act when they came through the door and were greeted by a team member? Did they look you in the eye, have a firm handshake, and what was their body language? Craft your questions so you can have a better understanding of how they get along with others, such as, “How do you display quality client service?” Also, “Can you share an example of effective teamwork?”
  3. Ask questions that reveal their past behaviors. It can be an indicator of their future behavior, “How do you resolve situations with difficult clients?” Everyone experiences a client who has unrealistic demands or is plain rude. Your candidate should demonstrate an ability to resolve situations like this with professionalism, skill, and patience.
  4. Don’t forget, interviewing is a two-way street. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that employees want to be more selective in their employment. You have to sell them, too, on why they should come work for you. A great applicant will want to know if you are a good fit for their style of working, and if so, will be more likely to take the job if you offer it.
  5. Throw them some unexpected questions. It may force an honest, unrehearsed answer. Ask something like, “We all have room for improvement. Tell me about a time when you were under a lot of stress; how did you handle it?” A solid employee should be able to tell you about an instance where they would have done something differently if they had another chance.

Additional tips:

  1. Be strategic. Determine the most important questions, consider the skills you consider vital for the role, and ask questions to help uncover those abilities. Hiring for a leadership position? Ask them how they have dealt with failure in the past. How they handled challenges is telling.
  2. Ask the same questions for each candidate. It can help you make a reasonable comparison. It also makes the process more manageable.
  3. Let them talk. Keep your questions open-ended. For example, instead of asking, “Have you ever experienced conflict in your job?” ask them, “Tell me about a time you experienced conflict and how did you resolve it.”


Average number of days it takes a company to hire talent.


Employee vacancy costs the average company spends daily.

10 Days

Average length of time the best candidates are in the job market.

Do you have any hiring advice and tips you’d like to share with the AGS community? Let us know at [email protected].