Archive for the ‘Selection’ category

Make Recruiting Everyone’s Responsibility

July 14, 2017

When leaders are asked what their greatest talent challenge is, most will say it’s finding “good people.”  Regardless of the economic conditions, hiring managers can never find enough top talent.

Human behavior dictates talented people normally hang around other talented people.  If there are top performers on a team, there is a very good chance they know other stars and some of those stars could be the “good people” hiring managers are trying to find.

Google is known for attracting and hiring great talent. In their book How Google Works, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg describe Google’s approach:

“… why let only recruiters handle recruiting? If everyone knows someone great, why isn’t it everyone’s job to recruit that great person?

The simple way to keep recruiting in everyone’s job description is to measure it. Count referrals and interviews. Encourage employees to help with recruiting events, and track how often they do. Then make these metrics count when it comes to performance reviews and promotions. Recruiting is everyone’s job, so grade it that way.”

Leaders who empower their top performers to recruit other top performers will successfully find “good people.”

Let The Selection Process Be An Evaluation Tool

July 7, 2017

What if there was a way to know before someone was hired how well they respond to emails, manage timelines, and coordinate meetings? A good selection process can do just that.

Most selection processes include email communications, assessments/tests, and reference checks. Observing how candidates handle those steps and the space between the steps can give hiring managers great insight into the candidate’s ability to handle certain situations.

When hiring managers send emails to candidates (like a core values email screen), they should ask the candidate to respond in a particular way (i.e. “short and to the point” or “as if you were replying to a customer”) and watch how the candidate follows those directions. When hiring managers ask candidates to take assessments or tests, they should ask that they be completed by a set date or ask when the candidate expects to complete the task; then watch to see if the candidate finishes by that date/time. When conducting reference checks, hiring managers want to ask the candidate to arrange the meeting times between the hiring manager and their references to see how well they coordinate the meetings.

A candidate may do very well in their interviews and have all the right skills, but if they don’t follow directions, meet deadlines, and setup meetings well in the interview process, it’s unlikely they will do much better after the job offer.

Empowered hiring managers use a selection process that challenges candidates to perform business basics and experience better hires.

Avoid A Common Hiring Bias

June 9, 2017

Hyperbolic discounting is the tendency for people to prefer a smaller, immediate payoff over a larger, delayed payoff. Much research has been done on decision-making, and many factors contribute to the individual decision making process. Interestingly, delay time is a big factor in choosing an alternative. In fact, studies have shown most people would choose to get $20 today instead of getting $100 one year from today.

Leaders often make similar mistakes when selecting new hires.  Many times, hiring managers are seduced by certain hard skills a candidate can immediately apply and may pass over a stronger candidate who needs time to develop those skills.  Remember: most employees are hired for hard skills, but fired for lack of soft skills.  When selecting new hires, hiring managers must consider the candidate’s future contributions; not their immediate productivity.

Empowered hiring managers understand human behavior and how they can overcome their natural tendencies to make more successful hires.

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.