Four Things Companies Do To Shoot Themselves In The Foot When Hiring – Part 2

I recently asked over one hundred CEOs and their key executives, “Is hiring top talent critical to the success of your organization?” Not surprising that everyone replied “Yes.” Not simply important, but critical. So then I asked,”If it is critical, then how many of you spend time each month focusing on hiring, excluding when you are actively looking to fill a position?” Not surprising, only three people raised their hand.

WOW, something that is critical to the success of the organization, gets virtually zero time unless there is a current need. Is that the way most critical issues are handled in your company? No strategic planning. No thought or action discussed or taken until the problem arises? Only once the problem arises is it dealt with it. Until then it is that famous management strategy, “Out of sight, out of mind?” or “We will cross that bridge when we get there.”

I believe this management style only happens with hiring. Most other critical issues are regularly discussed, on-going programs such as, cost reductions, product development, increasing sales or market share, customer service, improving operational efficiencies are all constantly discussed and often major components of the company's strategic plan. In fact, I have seen many strategic plans that all have great plans for growth. Yet few ever include a strategy for hiring the people needed to execute the plan as the company grows. Strategic hiring is rarely part of a strategic plan.

I believe companies that truly want to hire top talent and do it on a consistent basis must avoid these four major land mines when hiring:

1) Untrained Managers – Discussed in part 1.

2) Poorly Defined Job – Discussed in part 1.

3) Finding candidates – This is one of the biggest problems faced by companies. This happens as a result of number two. Most companies search for the least qualified to start with. Then they complain that all they are seeing is unqualified candidates.

The other issue causing this problem is that most companies start the hiring process too late. They wait until they absolutely need someone. Then they expect that when they are ready to hire someone, at that moment in time, top talent will also magically appear on the market, find them, and be so compelled after reading the minimum job description to update their resume, and respond. YEAH and a multimillion dollar customer will also magically call too.

Reactive hiring is a thing of the past. Hiring top talent requires proactive hiring. This means your hiring managers must be in the market engaging people all the time. They should be connecting with people on LinkedIn, involved in professional associations, and commit at least an hour or two a month to hiring. Few managers spend any time engaging potential candidates when they aren't actively hiring. In fact, many even discard resumes as they come in if they aren't hiring. Finding top talent doesn't take a lot of time each month, but it does take a consistent monthly effort of an hour or two.

4) Disrespecting the Candidates – Top talent, especially those candidates who are working and in no hurry to make a job change (referred to as passive candidates) will walk away from a manager or company if they aren't respected in the interviewing process.

Some common complaints that left candidates feeling disrespected include:

  • The hiring manager being late for the interview. Few managers would accept it if the candidate was late, so why should it be OK for the manager?
  • Lack of  preparation by the interviewer. Again, if the candidate came in unprepared would that be acceptable?
  • Taking calls during the interview.
  • Finally, telling the candidate that if they have any further questions to call them. Then ignoring the calls. If managers don't respect the candidate during the hiring process, it isn't going to get any better once they are hired.

The interview is a PR event. These candidates will make sure others know how they were treated. They may post it on a website or hear about a person they know is interviewing and ask them about their experience. Bad PR is never a good thing. This is an easy thing to fix. It only takes treating candidates the same way you would treat a customer.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, You're NOT The Person I Hired. Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

Four Things Companies Do To Shoot Themselves In The Foot When Hiring – Part 1

I recently asked over one hundred CEOs and their key executives, “Is hiring top talent critical to the success of your organization?” Not surprising everyone replied “Yes.” Not simply important, but critical. So then I asked,”If it is critical, then how many of you spend time each month focusing on hiring, excluding when you are actively looking to fill a position?” Not surprising, only three people raised their hand.

WOW, something that is critical to the success of the organization, gets virtually zero time unless there is a current need. Is that the way most critical issues are handled in your company? No strategic planning. No thought or action discussed or taken until the problem arises? Only once the problem arises is it dealt with it. Until then it is that famous management strategy, “Out of sight, out of mind?” or “We will cross that bridge when we get there.”

I believe this management style only happens with hiring. Most other critical issues are regularly discussed, on-going programs such as, cost reductions, product development, increasing sales or market share, customer service, improving operational efficiencies are all constantly discussed and often major components of the company's strategic plan. In fact, I have seen many strategic plans that all have great plans for growth. Yet few ever include a strategy for hiring the people needed to execute the plan as the company grows. Strategic hiring is rarely part of a strategic plan.

I believe companies that truly want to hire top talent and do it on a consistent basis must avoid these four major land mines when hiring:

1) Untrained Managers – Hands down the number one reason hiring fails. This is the biggest problem with hiring in most companies. Few managers are actually properly trained on how to hire. Most managers have never even attended one course or read a book on hiring. For the few that have had training, it is usually limited to interviewing training. Granted this is better than nothing, but interviewing is only one step in an effective hiring process. If you aren't finding qualified candidates, all interviewing training will do is validate they aren't qualified. If the job isn't properly defined then where you look for candidates may not be the right place, resulting in unqualified candidates.

The fact is the vast majority of managers use the “Tribal Hiring Training” program. Too often a person learns to hire from the person that hired them. And the person that hired them learned from the person that hired then, and so it goes all the way back to Moses. All this really does is perpetuate hiring mistakes from one generation to another. It doesn't resolve the problem.

If companies are serious about improving hiring, step one is to develop an effective hiring process and then training their managers in all aspects of the process.

2) Poorly Defined Job – This mistake results in the search going sideways before it even starts. Traditional job descriptions for the most part aren't job descriptions at all. Most describe a person. Does this read like your job descriptions; Minimum 5 years experience, minimum BA degree, then a list of minimum skills/knowledge and certifications, and let's not forget the endless list of behaviors the candidate must have, team player, high energy, self-starter, strategic thinker, good communicator, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Of course there is also the list of the basic duties, tasks and responsibilities. These are really important, but as a person with 5 years of experience, who doesn't know these already? This traditional job description defines a minimally qualified person, not the job. So before the search starts it is all about finding the least qualified person. Any wonder why the least qualified person shows up at your door?

Instead of defining the least qualified person, start by defining superior performance in the role or the results expected to be achieved once the person is on board. For example, Improve customer service feedback scores from X to Y. Reduce turnover from X% to Y% within the next twelve months. Implement a sales forecasting process that includes a rolling six month forecast that is accurate within X% of actual sales. Now this is the real job. It defines expectations, not some vague terms or minimum requirements. For every job there are usually at least four of these results required. The job is being defined by performance. In order for the person to be able to achieve these results they must have the right experience. Maybe it is five years, maybe three or maybe ten, it doesn't matter. If they can do these it is enough. Now go find a person that can explain how they will deliver these once on board and you have the right person.

3) Finding candidates – See part 2

4) Disrespecting the Candidates – See part 2

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

 

Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions – Audio Program

We thought you might like the audio version of our Hiring Mistakes Series. This particular audio program is titled “Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions“. The audio file is approximately 6 minutes in length and can also be downloaded through our iTunes listing of “IMPACT Hiring Solutions”.

This mistake is made more often than any other error in attempting to hire great employees. It is the primary cause of hiring failure that occurs over 50% of the time at executive and managerial levels. We've also created a video version of this hiring mistake which you can find by clicking here.

If you prefer to read about this common hiring mistake in a blog post, please click here.

If you've not yet taken our Hiring Assessment, click here to download this simple tool to discover if your organization is capable of hiring top talent and great employees.

Barry Deutsch

 

 

 

Hiring Mistake #1 – Inadequate Job Descriptions – Video Version

Inadequate_Job_Descriptions_Graphic

 

Below is our video version of the Number One Hiring Mistake that leads to hiring failure. This 6 minute video highlights why NOT defining success before interviewing leads to frequently hiring the wrong candidate.

 

Hiring Hot Tips Video Series–Hiring Mistake #1–Inadequate Job Descriptions

We’ve also written an in-depth blog article on Hiring Mistake #1 – you can read it by clicking here. You might be interested in our series on the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes. Be sure to read our blog article giving an overview of these mistakes by clicking here, or you can view our in-depth 12 minute video stepping through each of the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes most commonly made by executives and managers by clicking here.

What if you could use a Success-based job definition to ENSURE your next hire will achieve your desired results? Click here to take the first step down the path of defining success through our complimentary offer to review your Success Factor Snapshot for a critical role.

Have you ever made this hiring mistake?

Share with me an example of when you last hired a candidate – who said all the right things in the interview – but could not live up to your expectations.

Barry Deutsch

Hiring Mistake #6: Performance Bias

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Hiring Mistake #6 is Performance Bias, which is the tendency to become enamored with how the candidate “performs” or “presents” during the interview.

Have you ever hired a candidate who said all the right things in the interview, only to realize after they start that the reality of their skills, knowledge, and capability does not live up to what you heard in the interview. I'm not even talking about outright lies, embellishment, and exaggeration. Sometimes, when you look back at those interviews where we “fell in love” with the candidates, you realize with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that the candidate didn't lie, embellish, and exaggerate their capability – you just didn't probe, ask specific questions, and validate whether they could do the job.

FALLING IN LOVE WITH INTERVIEW PERFORMANCE

You fall in love with the candidate because they interviewed so well. You extrapolate the dominance, assertiveness, rapport, personal warmth, intensity, energy, and enthusiasm demonstrated in the interview onto your fantasy of a perfect candidate. Who wouldn't want to hire this person?

You must first ask yourself – what mode are most candidate in when they interview for a job? If you answered “sales mode” you can start to see why the interview process is flawed. You’re not seeing real style or behavior – you’re witnessing interview performance or an actor on the stage.

Do you believe that the style someone exhibits in the interview is the same style they will show on the job? Raise your hand if you think there is a direct correlation between interviewing well and on-the-job performance. I ask this question in every workshop I conduct and NO ONE raises their hand. So, if we don't believe there is a direct correlation, why do we get so hung up on focusing on the interview “presentation” or “performance”?

POOR CORRELATION OF INTERVIEWING

Brad and I have been working together in our executive search practice for over 25 years. We've done over 1,000 executive searches and interviewed well over 250,000 candidates. We cannot find ONE single shred of evidence linking how someone interviews with their on-the-job performance – as interviewing is conducted in most companies. This holds true even for roles in which “performing” or “presenting” is critical, such as sales, business development, or marketing roles. Is that a scary statistic? What does it say for how most interviews are conducted at your company?

To the best actor goes the job. Let's STOP hiring outstanding actors and start hiring great employees. Let's STOP making Hiring Mistake Number 6 – Having a Performance Bias – giving too much credit to the way in which the candidate presents or performs in the interview. Let's STOP making the mistake of assuming the “presentation” or “interview performance” the candidate makes is indicative of their on the job success. I frequently ask the CEOs and Key Executives in my workshops, seminars, and webinars – what are you hiring:

A candidate who presents/performs well in the interview

OR

An employee who can deliver the results you need with a set of behaviors and style that is consistent with your culture and values?

STOP HIRING MISTAKE #6: PERFORMANCE BIAS

In order to make a fair, rational, and objective decision, the emotions of the hiring manager must remain in check. Ask questions and uncover details that deal with the candidate’s ability to do the job, not the personality and communication styles he or she prefers.

Many hiring managers pride themselves on being able to tell as soon as someone enters the room if they are qualified for the position or not. Fundamental hiring mistakes can happen when the hiring manager sees, prefers, and hires in his or her own image. This is terribly unfair to the candidate, and unwise from a business perspective.

You could pass right over the perfect person with assumptions and judgments such as these. In fact, our research indicates that most hiring managers make mistakes on at least 2/3 of the candidates they meet in the hiring process – mistakes which are spread among all the TOP TEN HIRING MISTAKES. Performance Bias contributes to many of those mistakes.

Do not let your own agenda, biases, or preferences enter into this process; they have no place. It does not matter if you “click” with the person in the first interview. What does matter is his or her ability to do the job and what talents and abilities the individual can add to your organization. One of the most important elements of effective interviewing is to stay objective and rational, not letting your propensity to become seduced by an enthusiastic presentation ruin a hiring decision.

Here are some tips to help you remain as objective as possible:

  • Reject first impressions. They are often misleading and based on emotions, stereotyping, biases, style, or chemistry.
  • Avoid making decisions too soon. You require time to find out all of the details you need to know. The more you dig for information, the more data you have to support your decision. The more data you have about a candidate’s past performance, the more likely you are to make informed hiring decisions. You are also less likely to base your decisions on subjective elements.
  • Realize that some of the negative traits you might be witnessing could be directly related to nervousness. Most people loosen up and feel less nervous as the interview progresses. Do not automatically interpret such traits as slow responses, no eye contact, lack of warmth or confidence negatively. It could very well just be stage fright.
  • Ask a pre-determined set of questions that focus on achievement, accomplishments, and comparability of previous outcomes to your desired results. We call this a 5 Core Question Interview.
  • Be sure to follow your pre-determined questions. This will eliminate the tendency to judge the candidate on anything other than the work and his or her capability to execute it. We call this the Magnifying Glass Approach to conducting an effective interview – peeling the layers of the onion to get to the truth.
  • Listen more than you talk. You will collect more evidence of past performance if you tune in and listen to every word. The candidate should speak about 85 percent of the time you have together.
  • Be the devil’s advocate. If all you are hearing and perceiving are things that appear only positive, or vice versa, reserve judgment at all costs. There has to be a flip side—your job is to find it!

Download a FREE copy of our book to learn how to overcome each one of the Top Ten Mistakes In Hiring. Learn how to overcome Hiring Mistake #6 – Performance Bias by conducting a rational and objective interview. Click the button below to get a copy of our FREE Book – You're NOT the Person I Hired.

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