Archive for the ‘Selection’ category

Assessments Alone Should Not Be A Hire/No Hire Determinant

April 28, 2017

Recent advances in behavioral science have created many precise behavioral assessment instruments and the Internet has made administering these instruments easy for hiring managers.  Given the perceived accuracy of the results, hiring managers often let one assessment alone determine whether or not to hire a candidate.  Hiring managers should use a variety of assessment instruments to measure many different aspects of a candidate’s behavioral profile along with other screening approaches.  Using one assessment alone is to assume people are one-dimensional without having various skills, abilities, strengths and weaknesses not possibly evaluated through just one tool.

Regardless of the number of assessments and their validity, relying only on assessments to hire or not hire someone is committing leadership negligence.  Aside from compliance requirements (the US Department of Labor states assessments should not represent more than one-third of the hire/no hire decision and must be directly tied to success in the position), leaders must include other screening mechanisms with candidates.

Assessment results should generate more conversation with the candidates and/or references to verify how the individual performs in real life.  If a decision is made based solely on the assessment without follow-up, then the assessment has become a go/no-go decision point which is not only in direct violation of the EEOC guidelines, but just isn’t fair to the candidate.

Empowered hiring managers use sufficient tools and processes to make the right selection decisions for success.

Have A Consistent Selection Approach In The Organization

April 21, 2017

Consider this:  One hiring manager believes they are a good read of people; knowing in their gut whether or not a candidate is right for the position/organization and their candidates breeze through the selection activities.  Another manager has a rugged, structured, and consistent selection process and their candidates respect the organization’s thoroughness.  Additionally, their peers have an increased respect for the new hires knowing what it took to get hired.  How are the two managers viewed throughout the organization?  How is the leader viewed throughout the organization?

Though we strongly recommend a formal selection process, it’s just as important to have all hiring managers following the same approach to hiring.  A consistent selection approach sends an important message to all candidates and new hires that the organization has structured people-processes and they take their talent seriously.  Inconsistent and haphazard approaches to talent within the same organization lead to bitterness and animosities within the ranks of the team.

Leaders should develop a structured, challenging approach to selection, empower hiring managers to consistently follow it and their organization will be more successful.

Hiring Managers Should Recruit Their Own Talent

February 17, 2017

It wasn’t long ago that most leaders had assistance booking their travel, typing their memos, and printing and copying their reports.  Now, with today’s technology, most leaders book their own travel on-line, type their own memos, and have high-speed laser printers for printing their reports.  It’s time for leaders to use technology to do their own recruiting as well.

Today, just like in the days of having assistants typing memos, most leaders seek assistance recruiting their next hire – typically from HR.  These HR experts, while well intentioned, are working with some handicaps.  They typically don’t know exactly where the industry or profession-specific experts are to be found, and if they find the superstars they typically aren’t given access because they lack the credentials to “enter the fold.”  If they do get access to an industry or professional group (online or in person), the passive candidate superstar wants to talk to the industry expert to understand what might be alluring about the work being done in the department with the vacancy, not the HR person.

College athletic coaches understand this the best.  When they recruit superstars, they personally contact the recruit, meet with them, and pitch them and their family on joining their team.  College coaches do not rely on someone from the admissions office to recruit their talent.  Hiring manages shouldn’t either.

There are many easy to use technological resources for leaders to recruit their own talent.  Aside from the common job boards, industry sites, and LinkedIn are often inexpensive ways for effectively reaching passive job-seeking superstars.

Leaders empowered with the tools to recruit their own talent make more successful hires.

Surrounded By Great People

January 20, 2017

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” – Anonymous

In the over 10,000 executives we have assessed, we have seen a wide range of assessment results for leaders.  It is shocking how poorly many leaders score.  When we ask those leaders about their results, they are not surprised. They confidently confirm our findings demonstrating humbleness and self-awareness.  However, without exception, those successful leaders have intentionally surrounded themselves with people with better skills than they have.

Although it seems obvious leaders would select direct reports who are smarter than they are, it takes a great deal of humility and self-confidence for a leader to do so.  These leaders enjoy scoring without the ball, perfectly willing to let their competent team run up the score, knowing at the end of the day they will be successful.

Empowered leaders hire better people than themselves and are more successful.

Google Candidates As Part Of The Selection Process

December 9, 2016

Several years ago there was a report of a highly recruited law school graduate who was offered and accepted a job with a prestigious law firm.  Prior to bringing the new hire onboard, the law firm searched the Internet on the new hire and found several compromising photos from her recent spring break.  The law firm rescinded their job offer claiming the photos if/when viewed by their clients would compromise the firm and damage their reputation.

The fact is in today’s internet world, most people are researched online by their associates, customers, and prospects.  It is common practice to view someone’s LinkedIn profile and Facebook page before meeting them and managers should expect their customers are doing the same with their team.  Selection screeners must review the online profiles of candidates with the same scrutiny as a resume to prevent an embarrassing situation after the hire. 

Leaders who empower their team to add an online screen to the selection process have more successful hires.

Sales People Are The Toughest Interviews

November 21, 2016

When it comes to hiring sales people, hiring managers will likely enjoy the interviews more than a technical interview.  That’s to be expected – they’re sales people. If they are successful in sales, they should be able to make the conversation comfortable and easy.

The hard part is being able to peel the onion back and find out what’s really underneath.  Keep in mind: no one is perfect.  The selection process must be designed to uncover the weaknesses to determine if they are deal-breakers.

The best way to do this is to be clear up front about what is needed so the sales person doesn’t talk the hiring manager into buying something they don’t really need (or hiring someone that doesn’t fit). Assessments can help managers see the potential issues the salesperson would rather not be seen.  The assessment results allow the hiring manager to explore those issues in further conversations and reference checks.

If an organization is hiring a salesperson, empowering the team with a robust selection process that includes assessments creates the best chance of success.

Not All Resumes Are What They Appear To Be

October 7, 2016

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.

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, hiring managers must be sure to validate resume facts. They should challenge candidates on the resume’s veracity and have little tolerance for inaccuracies or embellishments.

Empowered hiring managers dig deeply into a candidate’s resume and make more successful hires.

Prepare For Interviews

September 15, 2016

All good processes begin with some pre-planning and this is particularly true in the selection process.  Get crystal clear about what is needed in advance to prepare for interviews.

The most important preparation is identifying the critical activities for that job and how they should be done — giving careful consideration to the traits that will increase the likelihood of an individual’s success in that job.  The key is to identify the key traits for each job.

Without careful planning, hiring managers may fall into the “I’ll know it when I see it” trap looking for traits they generally admire in people even if they may be detrimental or counterintuitive for the job.  For example, selecting a candidate who is outgoing and comfortable chatting up any topic in the interview may make sense for a sales position, but may be indicative of lacking the focus, attention to detail, and thorough consideration for a quality assurance position.

Hiring managers should prepare for interviews by determining in advance the accountabilities and traits critical to the job for which they are interviewing.  As interviewers, the likelihood of hiring managers selecting the best candidate for the position increases significantly as does the buy-in and support of the new employee once selected.

Empowered hiring managers are prepared for their interviews and make successful hires.

Selection Processes Reduce Chances Of Poor Hires

August 15, 2016

Select (verb) – To choose in preference to another or others; pick out (Random House Dictionary).

Process (noun) – A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result (Random House Dictionary).

A selection process should consist of a series of actions to bring about an ideal choice of candidates.  Many leaders rely on intuition, gut instinct, or some haphazard interview approach when choosing among candidates.  The best hiring managers use a defined, repeatable process for selecting talent.

The selection process should include three phases:

  1. Job and ideal candidate definition;
  2. Candidate screening;
  3. Candidate evaluation.

Define the job and ideal candidate in the definition phase clarifying what is expected of the job and what the ideal candidate will look like.  The screening phase should include consistent behavior-based questioning and assessments that tie back to the job and candidate definitions.  The evaluation phase should analyze gaps and discrepancies between observed candidate behavior and job and candidate requirements.

Hiring managers should define the steps in the selection process, stick to them, and empower those in the selection process for success.

Weigh The Steps In The Selection Process

August 5, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor stipulates that if hiring managers administer assessments to candidates, the results of the assessments cannot represent more than 33% of the decision to hire or not hire.  That means at least 67% of a hiring manager’s decision to hire or not hire must consist of other screening activities.  Hiring managers should consider the activities in their screening process and how are they weighted.

Below are the steps and percentages many hiring managers follow in their selection process:

  •  Phone screen (salary and basic skills fit) – 5%
  • Core values email (values and writing skills fit) – 10%
  •  First interview (skills, experience, culture fit) – 20%
  • Assessment results (personal skills, behaviors, culture, critical thinking fit) – 20%
  • Reference checks (screening concerns addressed) – 10%
  • Follow-up interviews (screening and reference concerns addressed) – 20%
  • Handle selection process (project management skills demonstrated) – 15%

While being in legal compliance is important, the reality is there is a strong business case to have multiple steps in a selection process.  No assessment is 100% accurate because humans are more complex than any one, two, or three assessments; however, they are a great basis from which to create exploratory conversations — with the candidate AND references.  It is equally important to see how a candidate does moving through a process and not just in each specific step in the process.

Empowered hiring managers consider many aspects when hiring and make more successful hires.