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Peer to Peer Hiring Advice from Michael Wilson

Posted By Nikki Enfield, Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Michael Wilson currently serves as the Legislative and Political Director at the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW).  UFCW represents 1.3 million members work in a range of industries, ranging from retail food service to food processing and manufacturing.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your career path, and your current job.

Hill staffer, ACTWU Leg Rep, USDOL Political Appointee, UFCW Chief Lobbyist.  Currently work with the UFCW as the Legislative and Political Director, where I Direct the legislative and political department of a major union, interact with local unions, other unions, non-labor allies, elected officials and staff.

What steps do you generally take to find a pool of talented, qualified applicants?

Always looking for good people; stock up on resumes even when you don't need them. Recognize up and coming talent from all over
You can expect a given candidate to do well - but never prejudge the process
Never have a pool of candidates of all one race and all one gender
To build a pool I rely on Word of mouth from my network, as well as Internet and Listservs to get the word out.

In general, which do you feel is more important in an employee:  good personality or specific experience?  Why?

Always is a mix of both - someone who is all exeperience or all personality won't solve your problem

What are your three favorite questions to ask in an interview and why?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What's the last great book you read?
What questions do you have for me?

What advice do you have for people who are hiring for the first time?

Don't rush - make a thoughtful decision about who to hire
Never let potential candidates dangle for weeks without a decision - or at least communication

Is there anything we haven't already covered that you'd like to share?

Every new hire starts with hope - but of course, they don't all work out. Try to make your best judgment, but nobody is perfect.

Tags:  hiring advice  interview tips 

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