Archive for August 2014

Not All Resumes Are What They Appear To Be

August 25, 2014

Before he was famous, Leonardo da Vinci in 1482, at the age of 30, wrote out a letter listing his capabilities and sent it off to the Duke of Milan in hopes of getting a job.  He is credited with submitting the first resume (see copy here).

In a recent Harris Poll on resumes conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder, 2,188 HR pros and hiring managers were asked to cite common exaggerations (i.e. lies) on resumes.  Unlike Da Vinci’s letter, most resumes today are reported to contain exaggerations or be flat out wrong.  Here are the common resume falsehoods and percentages reported:

  • Skills — 57%
  • Responsibilities — 55%
  • Employment dates — 42%
  • Job titles — 34%
  • Academic degrees — 33%
  • Past companies worked for — 26%
  • Accomplishments and awards — 18%

When conducting interviews and reference checks, be sure to validate resume facts.  Challenge candidates on the resume’s veracity and have little tolerance for inaccuracies or embellishments.

Empower your hiring managers to dig deep into a candidate’s resume, and you’ll make more successful hires.


Succession Is A Good Thing

August 13, 2014

We recently met a General Manager who has had an assistant manager working for him for the past six years.  The GM has groomed the protégée well, and the assistant is prepared for a more challenging role.  Unfortunately, the GM is not ready to move on and there is nowhere for the superstar to move up within the organization. Instead of enjoying the luxury of having a competent direct report staying on as his right-hand man forever, the GM strongly urged/requested the direct report look for a GM’s role in another organization.  The GM was beaming like a parent watching their child graduate from college as he told us about all the great opportunities for which his direct report was interviewing.

We admire the GM’s vision, altruism, and business savvy.  By realizing it was time for the direct report to leave and encouraging him to do so, the GM can now develop other leaders in the organization and will have a close colleague he can turn to within the industry.  If the assistant had stayed on, he would lack challenges and growth, would stagnate, and perhaps his work would suffer.

One of our favorite interview questions for leaders is to ask them to describe the accomplishments of their direct reports. How they have developed others provides great insight about their potential as a leader.

Empower your direct reports to gain the skills for them to outgrow their role, encourage them to move on to more challenging roles internally or externally, and you will both experience more success.

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

August 8, 2014

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 the new hire starts working for you 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 losing them.

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

Use Job Accountabilities During The Selection Process For Better Hires

August 1, 2014

In his book, The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, Leigh Branham lists the causes workers quit their jobs as:

    1.    Job not as expected

    2.    Job doesn’t fit talents and interests 

    3.    Little or no feedback/coaching

    4.    No hope for career growth

    5.    Feel devalued and unrecognized 

    6.    Feel overworked and stressed out

    7.    Lack of trust or confidence in leaders

#1 and #2 are a result of not using a job accountability or job definition document in the selection process.  If you don’t have the open job clearly defined before talking to candidates, you are doing them (and you) a disservice.  

Share the job accountabilities with candidates early and often (we suggest before the first phone screen).  Thoroughly cover the job accountabilities during the first face-to-face interview. Share the job accountabilities with reference checks when vetting candidates.  Review the job accountabilities with the candidates one last time before sending the job offer.  Candidates should have little doubt what is expected or whether the job interests them before they accept the position.

Some experts estimate the cost of a poor hire to be two to three times their annual salary.  The cost of developing job accountabilities and using them is nominal.  Empower your selection team to use job accountabilities during the hiring process, and you’ll experience better hires.