Most Company’s Hiring Process Is Not A Process

We find that this occurs because the hiring process really isn't a process in many companies. Many hiring processes tend to be random and with incompetent, untrained people. This is not a knock on the people, it is just a fact. So why do companies expect hiring to be accurate and to attract top talent with a random or unstructured  process?

I know this sounds so obvious. Come on, who in their right mind would expect any business process to be reliable if it  produced expected results only 56% of the time.  A company wouldn't allow it. They would fix the process or shut it down. Would any company have incompetent or untrained people processing incoming checks with unstructured procedures? Lose just one check and everything stops, procedures and controls are assessed, people are retrained or fired, and the CFO personally oversees that it never happens again.

This is true with most processes except hiring. Most companies accept a high failure rate. Why any company accepts this is beyond me when this can be improved with some relatively easy fixes.

The fact is that most hiring managers have little or no training on interviewing and hiring. Many only do it once or twice a year. So even if they have some training, by the time they hire someone they have forgotten most of the training. There are no college level courses focused on hiring. Most people learn on-the-job. One day they are an individual contributor and the next day they are promoted to a manager and told to hire their replacement. So how did this person become competent at hiring overnight?

This new hiring manager is going to hire the way they were hired. This new manager will follow the same methodology whether it is good or bad. Where do you think this person will get the interviewing questions  to ask the candidates? Generally, from the people who hired them. And where do you think the person who hired them got their interviewing questions? And so on, until we finally hit Moses.  Many hiring processes have not really changed with the times. We call this “tribal hiring.”  It is just passed down from generation to generation.

The fact is that this new hiring manager is not prepared for hiring.  Another fact is that people often assume that because someone has hired a lot of people, that  makes them good at hiring even though no one has validated the performance of those hires.

For any process to work it has to repeatable, be structured, have competent people, and have some measurement of accountability so when things go wrong (and they always will) one can identify the problem and fix it. In my thirty years as a recruiter and 15 years helping companies implement a structured process I have yet to find a company that does this.

In fact, I have seen only a few companies that include hiring top talent as part of their performance management system. Why not hold managers accountable for poor hires the same way companies do for other poor performance? At least this would begin to establish a process where a company can identify those  managers that need training, so they can become better at  hiring.

There are at least five distinct steps to an effective hiring process. These steps have to be repeatable,  with competent people and accountability to correct and improve the process. For many companies this falls to HR. However, since the vast majority of companies don't have an HR department, then it has to fall where everything else in an organization should fall, with the CEO.

The five critical steps are:

  1. A job description that  defines the expected standards of top performance for the position. Not the standard job description that defines a person's background and lists the basic duties, tasks and responsibilities. The candidate should already know all of these. Maybe companies should ask the candidate to prepare a job description just to see if the candidate knows the job.
  2. A sophisticated sourcing plan that will attract top performers that are not actively looking for a position, but are open to a compelling opportunity.
  3. Probing interviews with competent people doing the interviewing that tests the candidate's ability to the job BEFORE you hire them. This means that the candidate must be able to explain exactly how they will deliver the performances standards defined in the job. They must detail how they will do these in your company, with your resources, within your culture and your budget, with your management style, with your customers, and with all of the the things that make your company different.
  4. There must be proper feedback or discussion of the candidate's ability to do the job  immediately after the candidate interviews. Not two days later standing in a Starbucks line while  you wait for your coffee. Not just asking the question, “What did you think of the candidate?”
  5. There must other tests, presentations,  and assessments to validate that what the candidates said they did, they actually did do and did it at the level and with the results they claimed.

These five steps are absolutely critical in every effective hiring process. Just having them isn't enough. There must be some metric that determines if the process is working and where improvement needs to occur.

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 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

Should Human Resources Be Responsible For Hiring?

In many companies the answer to this question is, “Yes.” I believe that this is the wrong answer. HR may be accountable for  hiring and working with managers to provide candidates, but responsibility for hiring is not HR's. Especially since the vast majority of companies don't even have an HR function so what would they do if HR is responsible for hiring?

The only person in the company responsible for hiring is the CEO. They are responsible for everything that happens in the company. Remember back to management 101A in college, you can delegate authority but you can't delegate responsibility. The CEO can't delegate the responsibility for hiring in the company to HR or anyone else. Since hiring often fails, many CEOs want to blame HR, but the CEO needs to take responsibility for the failures.

If the CEO decides that their company will be known for the best quality products in the industry, what happens to quality? If the CEO decides that customer service will be the best in the industry, what happens to customer service? If the CEO decides hiring top talent is critical to the company's success, what happens with hiring?

Too often when I speak with CEOs they just accept hiring failure. They give many different reasons from we can’t afford top talent to we just can't find good people. However, they wouldn't do this for quality or customer service. The fact is companies don't have to accept poor hiring. All they need to do is the same thing they would do to improve quality or customer service; define hiring standards, develop an effective process, train people, re-enforce the standards and hold people accountable. Obviously the first three steps are the keys to successful hiring.

The CEO needs to step up and make sure that there is an effective hiring process in place and that competent and well trained people are using the process. Then hold managers and HR accountable to a standard of performance, just like they do with any process in their organization.

Hiring responsibility belongs with the CEO. Once they decide that hiring failure will not be tolerated and put a process and well trained people in place, then they can delegate the authority to HR for managing the hiring process.

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 for your FREE eBook.

Download this free assessment of your company's hiring process to see if your company will attract top talent. http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com/index.php/hiring-assessment-scorecard

I welcome  your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

Hiring In Another State Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Q. Over the next year we will be hiring a significant number of people outside of California. What are some ways to hire in other states other than running ads?

Hiring in other states will take time and commitment from the hiring manager. They must become actively involved in the process. The best people in the state where you are hiring may not be answering ads, but that doesn't mean they aren't interested in another compelling opportunity. How you search for top talent in other states really doesn't change that much from how you do it in California.

Start with LinkedIn. Begin by joining groups on LinkedIn that align with your industry and the functional area of the position. Have your hiring manager get connected with some of the people in these groups. Then search the groups for likely candidates, post the job in the groups and start sending out updates announcing the opening. These broadcasts can be very powerful. In addition, you can pay a reasonable amount of money to post an ad on LinkedIn that will target the types of people you want to attract. Finally, start engaging people who appear to fit or might know others that fit. This is easily done with emails, phone calls, or by meeting for coffee when you're in the area. None of these takes a lot of time, but they are very effective.

As your manager begins the process of building relationships, have them ask what associations and networking groups are in the area so they can tap into those resources. Ask people for referrals and contact the associations or networking group leaders. Ask if they will make an announcement or post the open position. Plan a trip or two when these groups will meet and attend them. Meet people and begin building a relationship with them. They will be your best resource for talent in the area.

The best advice I can give you is that you shouldn't wait until you need the person to start this process. Since you already know you will be hiring, start the process now so you will already have a queue of people when you are ready to hire. Top talent are out there and open to exploring opportunities. It just takes time and effort to locate them. Remember, top talent doesn't search on your schedule. They do it on their schedule. Hoping top talent will be available at the same moment in time as you are seeking them is not a very good hiring strategy.

You can now download a FREE copy of our best selling book, “You're NOT The Person I Hired.” Just CLICK HERE for your FREE ebook.

Download this free assessment of your company's hiring process to see if your company will attract top talent. http://www.impacthiringsolutions.com/index.php/hiring-assessment-scorecard

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

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What Can You Do When Hiring Isn’t Working?

Question: We have a pretty extensive interviewing process in our company. We spend a lot of time making sure the person has the right skills and experience, yet our last few hires didn’t work out. We aren’t sure what else we can do to hire people, any suggestions?

Companies often think that because they have an extensive interviewing process everything should work out. Extensive usually means that they conduct multiple interviews, review the person’s skills and experience, ask a lot of questions and the candidate meets a lot of people in the company. Unfortunately, none of these have much to do with making a good hire.

First off, skills and experience are completely irrelevant in hiring. They are important, just not relevant. You proved this by the fact that you spent a lot of time assessing the candidate’s skills and experience, yet they still failed. Why? As a hiring manager, what you care about is the candidate’s ability to apply those skills and experiences in order to achieve certain results. If they can’t then they may be a good candidate, but they aren’t the right candidate. The focus of an interview should not be on “Have you ever done X?” but rather, “How would you do X?” The first question focuses on their past. The second question requires them to explain how they will apply their skills and experiences. It is always better to ask, “How would you?” than “Have you?”

Secondly, interviewing requires competent interviewers. I would like to know if you have ever sat in and assessed others during their interviews to determine if they are even competent interviewers? So often we just assume that everyone is a great interviewer, when in fact they are not. Your interviewing process is only as good as your worst interviewer.

Join the other 10,000 CEO's, key executives, and HR professionals who have downloaded a FREE copy of our best selling book, “You're NOT The Person I Hired.” Just CLICK HERE for your FREE ebook.

Want to assess your hiring process? Download our FREE 8-Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard. How does your company rank on these critical points? CLICK HERE to download.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. If you liked this article and found it helpful, please forward it to others.

Brad Remillard