According to a post from Dec. 30, 2014, on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website, “Jobless rates were lower in November than a year earlier in 341 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 27 and unchanged in four. Nonfarm payroll employment was up in 313 metropolitan areas over the year, down in 55 and unchanged in four.” After years of a much bleaker jobless rate environment, it appears that more U.S. businesses are adding staff and hiring once again.

And, while hiring in the water treatment business comes with its own unique challenges, most water treatment dealers are welcoming the ability to hire new employees. But, do you remember how to hire correctly? Are you adequately filling the pipeline with talent for future stability? Although too many businesses base hiring decisions on money, there are some other factors you should be aware of before, during and after the interview process.

After all, hiring can be viewed as your business’ way to plan for success. Water treatment, especially point-of-use and point-of-entry, is a customer service business. Without quality, motivated employees, regardless of job description or title, repeat customers and word-of-mouth advertising are at risk.

In this month’s cover story, I spoke with hiring expert Stacy Feiner, PsyD, executive coach for the middle market, to discuss how small- and mid-sized businesses can hire properly. She shares that research indicates — after considering the total cost of hiring — hiring the wrong person for the job can cost an employer as high as 10 percent of that person’s salary.

Dr. Feiner also states that performance responsibilities during the interviewing process are evenly split, 50/50, on the candidate and the hiring manager. It is important that you are prepared to hire and motivate future employees from the first minute you meet them. Your attitude and seriousness about the interviewing process should match the candidate’s.