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Eileen McClelland

Meet & Greet Your Next Star Staffer: GIA Career Fair Scheduled in New York

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Last year, when researching a package of articles for INSTORE about how to avoid “hires from hell!” , I got an earful as well as an education.

One retailer was so fed up with her hiring that she described an employee as “dumb as a broom.” Another inadvertently hired a practicing witch, who was not using her powers for good.

At the time, Kate Peterson, president of Performance Concepts, told me that finding team members who are flexible and can see the big picture – people who have the right wiring for your company culture, can be more important than having years of experience.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Clyde Bailey, owner of Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in North Carolina. Bailey, a third-generation jeweler, said he learned the hard way to “hire for heart,” and not just for what a candidate looks like on paper.

Before he took the time to get to know candidates, he said, his business was rife with conflict and he believed some of his staff didn’t really represent what he and his business were all about.

These days, the Clyde and June Bailey’s Raleigh location is the largest jewelry store in North Carolina. They employ a large staff in five stores, and consistently look to hire “happy hearts and big, warm smiles.”

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“That is the main ingredient that allows us to create the BEE – the Bailey’s Extraordinary Experience, he says. “You can teach a skill to someone but you can’t change a heart. We are a family business. If they’re going to come on board, we are a family business and they will be an extension and a part of our family.”

In order to make sure the new hire is a good fit, Bailey may interview someone as many as five times. He’ll want to know what they really want out of life, before he can decide if they’ll be a good fit for his company culture, and if his company culture will be a good fit for them, in turn.

Whatever your hiring philosophy, GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair would be a good place to begin the search this summer for your next staff member, and begin to get to know them — heart, credentials, talent, and all.

Gem and jewelry companies are invited to participate in the GIA New York Jewelry Career Fair on Monday, July 27. The program, sponsored by JA New York, begins at 8 a.m. and recruiting will take place from 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The annual recruiting event at the Javits Center will feature an expert-panel discussion, one-on-one career coaching and hiring opportunities for careers across the industry.

An opening panel discussion, “Job Success in Today’s Market,” will be moderated by Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO, and feature Jeremy Dunn of The Rephinery; Rhonda Edelman of Tiffany & Co; Myriam Gumuchian of Gumuchian; Michael O’Connor of Style & Substance, Inc; and Lee Siegelson of SIEGELSON.

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Recruiter registration is available online now, by contacting GIA’s Career Services office at (800) 421-7250 x 4100 or by emailing [email protected]

Remember, if you need to hire, the worst thing to do is to put it off until you’re in a real bind. Why? Because you’ll be tempted to practice warm-bodyism.

“When you hire reactively,” Peterson says, you hire the best candidate available at the time (any warm body will do), rather than hiring the best candidate out there.

Be proactive!

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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