Archive for July 2013

Use An Email Screen in Your Selection Process

July 26, 2013

Most hiring managers have some sort of process they follow when filling an open position.  Common processes include job definition, phone screens, behavior based interviewing, behavioral assessments, reference checking, and on-boarding. Adding an email screen to your process is also beneficial.

The email screen should be done after the phone screen but before the first interview.  There are three objectives of the email screen:

insure the candidate is email savvy,

assess the candidate’s writing abilities,

assess the candidate’s ability to follow directions and meet time commitments.

We recommend hiring managers ask candidates to describe in an email how they have demonstrated one or some or the company’s core values in their prior job(s).  This provides additional insight into how well the candidate may fit into your culture.  For example, “Here at ABC Company, one of our core values is ‘find a way to say yes;’ give me an example of a time when you had a difficult customer and you had to find a creative way to say ‘yes’.  Respond to this email as if you were replying to your boss.”

You’ll be amazed at the responses you get.  Email screens provide insight difficult to get from interviews.  Best of all – they are free and require little of your time.

Empower your hiring managers with email screens and your new hires will be even more successful.


Be Creative When Sourcing For Candidates

July 19, 2013

It wasn’t all too long ago that when businesses needed to hire, they simply placed an ad in local newspapers.  Hiring managers only needed to decide how large an ad to run, what newspapers, and for how long.

Today recruiters rarely use newspapers and instead have moved to online job boards like Monster, Craigslist, and CareerBuilder for sourcing.  Now those sources are becoming less effective and hiring managers are being forced to get creative.

It’s okay to recruit candidates you encounter while they are working.  If you receive great service while dining or shopping, hand the associate your business card and encourage them to contact you about a great opportunity you might have for them.  Enterprise Rent-A-Car is known for developing great salespeople and has the “we’ll come pick you up” service offering; it’s not uncommon for hiring managers to recruit Enterprise sales associates while they are being “picked up” or driven around.

Be on the lookout for good people you might come across while you are out and encourage everyone on your team to do the same, and you’ll increase your chances of finding successful hires.

Take Care Of Your “A” Players During Tough Times

July 15, 2013

All businesses experience highs and lows.  Though uncomfortable it’s the difficult times that make organizations stronger.  Challenging business cycles force leaders to reevaluate their processes, people, and expenses. One common approach leaders take during these times is to cut or reduce wages. As one challenged leader said, “A 5% across the board cut is what we need to get through this.”

In the social sciences, unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the ones intended by a purposeful action.  Cutting everyone’s pay, including “A” players, often causes unintended consequences.  Payroll is often the easiest expense to cut and an simple target for cost cutting leaders.  Beware of the impact this has on superstars.  Generally superstars can easily leave and find another job.  The assets a leader needs to work through difficult situations may leave if they feel their compensation is not being handled fairly.

Empower yourself to consider all the consequences of cost cutting measures and you’ll successfully weather difficult times.

Stay In Touch With Your Future New-Hire After Your Offer Has Been Accepted

July 5, 2013

You just finished following your selection process and you are ready to make an offer to a superstar. The superstar accepts your offer and commits to starting in two weeks. Now what do you do?

If you found a superstar, someone else is about to lose one. Expect the superstar’s current employer to try to keep them from leaving by offering increased pay, more responsibility, or a promotion. You are at a disadvantage here as the superstar has some allegiance and may have second thoughts. All your hard work and expense following your selection process may be for naught if the superstar decides to rescind their acceptance.

After your offer is accepted, stay in touch with the future new-hire. Coach the superstar on how to handle their company’s offer to stay. Ask them, “What is your current boss likely to offer you to get you to stay? What are you going to do if you are offered more money to stay? What are you going to tell your boss if s/he offers you a promotion?” Give them tips on how to answer. Simply planting these seeds, will help your chances of not losing your superstar. Additionally, regular emails and calls are essential to letting the superstar know you really want them. Meeting for lunch before they start is a good idea. Your superstar will be excited after deciding to come work for you; keep that excitement from wearing off and avoid the risk of loosing them.

Empower your future new-hires for success and your career will soar.

Administer Critical Thinking Assessments For All Positions

July 1, 2013

We’ve all experienced the frustrating wait server who just doesn’t seem to get it.  No matter how they try, they have a hard time working through complex orders.  Conversely, hopefully you’ve had the pleasure of being waited on by the sharp, quick thinking server who finds creative solutions for the unexpected curve balls.

Critical thinking aptitude is important in all jobs.  Unfortunately, many hiring managers do not bother assessing for critical thinking skills for lower level jobs.

A strong critical thinking aptitude may not be necessary to complete job functions and may not be a hiring criteria but that doesn’t mean hiring managers shouldn’t test candidates for it. Knowing the mental horsepower of every team member allows leaders to develop appropriate succession plans and assign workloads appropriately.

Empower your hiring managers to assess the critical thinking skills for all roles, and you’ll build a stronger organization.