Caution – Using Online Information To Not Hire Someone

Q:  Is there a legal problem if a company looks online, and then uses this information as part of a no-hire decision?

This is one of the hottest topics for many companies right now. Most companies are using the Internet in some form to check out candidates before they hire someone. I would suggest checking with your labor attorney to make sure you aren't violating any federal or state laws. In addition, it is becoming more important that companies protect themselves by having some social media or Internet policy.

Since this is beyond my scope I asked Laura Fleming, a labor attorney and partner with the Newport Beach law firm Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, for her advice.

It is lawful to check publicly available, online information regarding a candidate.  However, there is a caveat.

Employers may not discriminate based on any “protected class” (race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation or veteran status).  An employer's online search will likely uncover much information irrelevant to the job position, including protected class information.  Thus, if a manager does conduct Internet background searches, they must not allow irrelevant, protected class information to influence the hiring decision.

In addition, since some online data is shared only with certain parties (for example, Facebook information which is limited to friends), employers should not use deceptive or intrusive means to view such information, as this could lead to an invasion of privacy claim.

If a manager discovers publicly available information regarding a candidate, they may use such information to reject the candidate, as long as they are not making that decision because of any protected class.  For example, it is lawful to reject candidates because of inappropriate pictures or comments, or even political views that are incompatible with the employer's culture (although this may eliminate an otherwise terrific candidate).  Again, the employer must ensure that such criteria is not intertwined with any protected category.

You can explore our audio library, download free examples of compelling marketing statements, download a summary of our research project that identifies the biggest hiring mistakes, and get our culture assessment tool by clicking the links. All of these are free.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please forward this to your contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or anyone you think would benefit from this post.

Brad Remillard

You Can Shorten Your Hiring Process

Q. We are a mid-size company that doesn’t hire that often. It seems that when we want to hire it takes a long time just to find qualified candidates. Is there a way to shorten the time it takes to hire someone?

A. Hiring fast rarely includes hiring the very best. The best way to shorten the time it takes to hire someone is to have a pool of qualified people available when you need them. The problem is that most companies start the hiring process when they need someone, which often happens after one of their best people just gave notice. Companies then expect that at that exact moment in time a highly qualified candidate will also be searching, the stars will magically align and they should be able to hire this person. Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you were looking, highly qualified candidates were also looking? It just doesn’t work that way. Most hiring processes are reactive. To change your situation your hiring process must become proactive.

Highly qualified candidates don’t search based on your hiring schedule. They search based on their schedule, so hiring can’t be a one time event that happens when you decide you are ready to hire someone. This option will only provide you the best available candidates at that moment in time. Companies that excel at hiring top talent know that hiring is a process and having a queue of qualified candidates is critical. Your hiring managers should always be on the lookout for potential people, even if your company only hires once a year. Every manager should have at least two or three potential candidates for the key positions in their department. This means that your hiring managers will have to dedicate at least some time each month to hiring. They should engage potential hires, identify who might be a potential hire, attend professional groups where these potential hires exist, respond to unsolicited resumes that have potential instead of deleting them, use LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates and follow up with potential candidates when contacted. None of these takes a lot of time to do, maybe an hour a month. These small things can dramatically shorten the time it takes to hire someone and also increase the quality of those hires.

You can explore our audio library, download free examples of compelling marketing statements, download a summary of our research project that identifies the biggest hiring mistakes, and get our culture assessment tool by clicking the links. All of these are free.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please forward this to your contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or anyone you think would benefit from this article.

Brad Remillard

Why Is Recruiting Sales People Like High School Sports?

In many companies, the recruitment process of trying to find top talent for their sales team resembles the process high school sports teams use to add players. They take whoever shows up at their doorstep and considers that the candidate pool. Discover in this audio program the key elements it takes to fish in deep waters to find the best talent. In this program, we describe the four primary pools that candidates come from. We'll also identify which pool is the sweet spot for recruiting top sales talent and the techniques you can use to get those candidates to come forward and apply for your job opportunity.

To download this radio show CLICK HERE.

A Candidate’s Background & Experience Are Irrelevant

Just to clarify, I said “irrelevant.” I didn't say “not important.”

Since most people have been taught interviewing is about the candidate's dbs background and experience, the interviewer tends to ask a lot of questions about the past. For example, “What have  you done in this area?”  or ” Have you ever done _____?”  Those trained in behavioral interviewing will just simply take those same questions and convert them into an example. For example, “Give me an example of where you have done X” or “Tell me about a time when you had X as an issue?”

All of this may be good stuff to know, but the fact is you really don't care about any of this. The fact is when a candidate shows up on Monday morning, you no longer care about all of the things they have done. You only care about one thing, whether or not they can do the job you are hiring them to do. That is all you really care about. Nothing else matters anymore. They may have the best background and all the right experience, but if they can't do your job, then you really don't care about their background and experience.

Have you ever hired a person that had all the right experience, interviewed well, had all the right answers, their resume read like the job description, and when you hired them they fell flat on their face? This has happened to just about everyone.

Why does this happen? I contend it is because the person's background and experience are not primary indicators of their ability to do your job. These are at best secondary and more often than not misleading indicators. Yet, these are the indicators that most hiring managers rely on.

Instead, let's focus the interview on the primary reason for interviewing, “Can they do your job?” This is the focus behind the Success Factor Hiring Methodology.  The key to a successful hire is having a process that puts the candidate in the job BEFORE you hire the candidate. It is not about determining if the candidate's background and experience fit.

This is why we believe behavioral interviewing falls short. It was once a quantum leap forward in how interviewing was performed. However, in our opinion, it too has run its course. Great interviewing is more than getting examples of the past. It is about doing your job. The tag line for behavioral interviewing, “past performance is an indicator of future performance” isn't always the case.

In our hiring methodology training workshops, we teach how to change the focus from the person's background and experience, to how will they adapt those to your job. If they can't adapt to your company and your position, then they may be a great X but they aren't the right X. That is generally what goes wrong when we hire a person with all of the right background and experience and then they fall flat on their face. The candidate wasn't able to adapt their background and experience to your company and your position.

So how do you put the candidate in the job BEFORE you hire the person?

  1. Stop asking questions that start with “have, what, have you, tell me about a time when, etc.” These are all fine to know but they should be used for probing after the example and not for the example. That is a huge difference. The famous, Who, What, When, Where and Why questions are for probing deep and not for opening questions.
  2. How questions should be used for the opening question. One of the biggest issues we face when working with hiring managers is getting them to shift to asking “How” questions. After that you can then begin probing with the five W's. For example, “How would you decrease costs by 10%?” “How would you increase gross margins by X%?” “How would you go about implementing a complete systems upgrade of our ERP system?” “How would you increase market share in your territory?” Then probe deeply with the five W's.
  3. Now the interviewer is shifting the interview from background and experience to having the candidate explain how they would apply these to do the job. If the candidate can't apply their background and experience to the new job, then one has to question whether or not they are the right person regardless of background and experience.

The reason most interviewing fails is because it is easy for a candidate to talk about their experience. Some might even embellish in this area. It is significantly different  to explain how they would apply those experiences.

You can evaluate your hiring process for free. Just download our 8-Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard. This will  help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your hiring process. CLICK HERE to download.

Are you committing one of the “10 Biggest Hiring Mistakes?” This research study is available to download for free. If you are committing one of these ten, it is not hard to fix so that it doesn't happen again. CLICK HERE to download the summary.

For more information on workshops that will ensure you put candidates in the job BEFORE you hire them CLICK HERE.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Boost Productivity in Tough Times By Getting Connected to Your People

“Watch your words: they become your thoughts.
Watch your thoughts: they become your actions.
Watch your actions: they become your habits.
Watch your habits: they become your destiny.”

Frank Outlaw

Personality tests not only help when hiring, they just might be a manager’s best tool to connect with employees.

You can manage the hard way or the easy way, the choice is up to you.  The hard way is to be the “my way or the highway” type of boss.  You know the kind, always forcing workers to do things in a way that isn’t natural for them. Wouldn’t it be better to use your understanding of personality traits to tap into the natural flow so you can get the best out of your people? Of course, knowing your employees, understanding their concerns, and developing connected relationships with them should be the normal procedure for all managers.

What is the payoff to a manager for developing connected relationships with employees using personality assessments? Here are three good benefits. First, it enables the manager to better anticipate what roadblocks might occur with a worker, and what to try to reduce this resistance. Second, understanding where employees are coming from will help you plan out how much participation you need from them, and will give some clues as to how change should be communicated to them. Third, building connected relationships builds commitment and loyalty.

Take The Connected Leader Test

How connected are you as a manager?  To find out, we asked our colleague Dr. Bruce Heller, an industrial psychologist with 20 years experience, to help us design a quick connected leader self test.  Once you answer the questions, we will provide you with specific tips and ideas that you can begin to implement immediately.  For most managers, leadership does not come naturally.  The tips we share will help you to become a better listener and a more connected leader.  Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand their needs and concerns, and to lead using your natural style.

To read more about this topic and how to use in-depth work style and personality assessments during your selection process as well as gathering mentoring and coaching ideas, you can order our book, Cracking The Personality Code by visiting www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com.

To begin taking the connected leadership test, please click here.

To sum up, we all want to be understood. Employee buy-in comes when a manager is able to listen attentively, understand them as people and to lead naturally.

Dana Borowka

P.S. Discover the importance of personal style and fit when trying to hire top talent by taking our Hiring Methodology Assessment. After determining that the candidate can achieve the required results, you can then determine how you'll get along with them and whether they'll be a fit in your culture. Style and fit are two important elements to measure for a successful hire. Take the assessment and discover whether you're effectively measuring these two elements.