A post podcast interview with Jan van der Hoop!

Jan G. van der Hoop is a Guelph alum who started his career in operations as a management trainee with Hilton International, eventually becoming the youngest Director of HR in their system at the age of 27. Since then his career has taken him in some pretty interesting directions – largely because, as he describes it, he’s been ‘open to reinventing himself’. He is currently co-founder and President of Fit First Technologies.

We interviewed him briefly after recording the podcast, to chase down some loose ends.

UGSRP: Jan, can you expand a little on why you and Tim started Fit First Technologies?

Jan: One of the things I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I have a real issue with inefficiency and waste. It drives me bananas. And as I look back on my career, I have had a tendency of picking away at problems until I come up with a solution. And to say there’s an awful lot of inefficiency in the process of hiring people and then trying to manage those who shouldn’t really be there in the first place, is an understatement. Gallup puts it at about 23% of payroll wasted.

UGSRP: For an industry facing all kinds of revenue pressure, that’s a big deal.

Jan: You bet it is. And it’s honestly not that hard to reclaim those dollars.

UGSRP: In the podcast you referenced the old saying, ‘hire slow and fire fast’ – and you said that your systems are geared to help your clients ‘hire slow, but in a small fraction of the time’. What do you mean by that?

Jan: The whole point of ‘hire slow’ is about taking your time to really get to know the person. To learn about their character, how reliable they are, how they will click with the rest of the team, how hard they’ll work – and maybe most importantly, how they’ll treat your customers on bad nights or when the pressure’s on.

But the truth is, I don’t know anyone who has the luxury of time, so we end up going with our gut and getting to know them on the fly. Unfortunately, it’s too late; if they aren’t right, there’s going to be damage, expense and wasted effort.

So we speed up the ‘getting to know them’ process for you by embedding a psychometric assessment into the online application process – we actually measure the traits and attitudes of every person who applies, and compare them to the traits that are most critical to success in your establishment. The beauty is that it only takes them 8-10 minutes, and they appear in your dashboard with a FitScore™ beside their name. You’ll see at a glance who’s going to be most compatible with you, your team and your clientele.

UGSRP: And you were saying you have launched some new products?

Jan: Yes, just launching now under the ‘MyHiring.Guru’ theme – so www.RestaurantHiring.Guru and www.QSRHiring.Guru are two examples. We have literally taken all the guesswork out – just sign up and turn on a job. The platform will place the ad for you, collect all the résumés and screen every applicant, sort them all for fit… it even generates a unique interview guide for each applicant based on how they compare to the ‘ideal’, so you are asking each person exactly the right questions. Saves an enormous amount of time and takes all the guesswork out of the process.

UGSRP: Sounds very cool. What’s your target market for this product?

Jan: Time will tell but early indications are that it’s ideal for smaller establishments that typically don’t have a professional HR person on tap, but it’s also perfect for chains and franchises – multi-unit organizations that want to standardise the customer experience across the system and know they need to support their unit managers (who do the hiring in the field) in making better people decisions. So for example we’re in conversation with a couple of small hotel chains right now – this is perfect for them.

UGSRP: Good luck with it – sounds like exactly what the industry needs. Jan can be reached at Jan@FitFirstTech.com… and the primary website if you want to learn more about the science that’s packed into the MyHiring.Guru platform, is www.TalentSorter.com

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