YORKVILLE – Hiring good employees is not something business owners should be working on only when there is a staff vacancy.
Rather, identifying and interviewing potential employees should be part of a business owner’s or manager’s regular routine.
When employees move on, they almost inevitably go in bunches, leaving unprepared leaders scrambling to fill the jobs and finding themselves forced to take up the slack themselves until they do so.
But managers who have developed a list of possible hires and kept their interviewing skills sharp will be in a good position to bring a new employee on-board.
That was the message from Yorkville business consultant David Youhanaie, featured speaker for the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at Kennedy Pointe Restaurant and Pub on Feb. 8.
Youhanaie emphasized that there are no short-cuts to finding and hiring good employees.
“It takes time, effort, persistence and hard work,” Youhanaie said. “You have to be unwavering in your commitment to find someone to fill that position and who can be successful in that role,” he said. “If you’re not getting qualified applicants you have to go find them.”
In order to retain good employees, business owners need to understand what motivates their workers, Youhanaie said.
“You need to know why people leave and why people stay,” Youhanaie said, emphasizing that what workers want and expect from their employers is changing.
“What gives an employee a good experience is going to be wildly different from five years ago,” Youhanaie said.
If a business has a disorganized environment, a good employee is unlikely to stay.
“Competent people will leave that environment in search of success,” Youhanaie said. “People are driven if they feel good about where they work.”
Youhanaie owns and operates Fox Valley Business Consulting, working from his home in Yorkville and serving clients both locally in Kendall County and in many states.
After graduating from Oswego High School in 2001, Youhanaie attended Waubonsee Community College before earning a degree in business management from Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu.
With dreams of becoming the CEO of a big company, Youhanaie soon was managing 30 Starbucks shops and then later became an operations consultant for the ubiquitous coffee chain.
When he started, the stores he was overseeing had heavy employee turnover, Youhanaie said.
“I had to figure out what was getting in the way of my managers,” he said.
Youhanaie drastically reduced the turnover rate by making the hiring process a careful, deliberate act.
“You need to find the person with the right skills,” Youhanaie said, and then set goals.
“What does success look like for this person in a week, in a month, in 90 days?” Youhanaie asked.
However, after many years in the big corporate world, Youhanaie returned to Kendall County in 2019 to start his own firm.
Youhanaie is using the lessons he has learned as the basis for a self-help book he is writing, with the working title of “How to Live a More Fulfilled Life.”