Over the past 40+ years I’ve interviewed thousands of candidates for manager, director and VP level positions. Very few of these candidates actually applied for the job being filled at the time. Most were found via LinkedIn or a referral. Nonetheless, I was dumbfounded that many of these people weren’t great interviewees, yet most were all remarkable people doing their jobs.
While asking a bunch of standard behavioral questions might help eliminate weak candidates, that approach will backfire when interviewing the strongest candidates. In fact, I’ll contend that with just two basic questions you can accurately predict ability, motivation, fit, performance and potential. One question involves digging into the candidate’s major accomplishments, the other how the person would figure out how to solve a realistic job-related problem.
The past few months have been challenging for the staffing industry. LinkedIn has just announced its first layoff as companies reduce their Recruiter seat licenses, ATS vendors are reducing their teams and scaling back, HR tech vendors are cutting costs and rethinking their futures, live recruiting and sourcing conferences have been put on hold and staffing firms and RPOs are scrambling for more business as their PPE loans run dry.
One of my first posts on this LinkedIn Influencer site, The Most Important Interview Question of All Time, was read by more than 1.5 million people. It’s still worth checking out. Following is the quick summary with a helpful twist for job seekers.
The cost of your company’s bad hiring decisions can be staggering. To calculate this cost, I tell my clients to add the first-year turnover rate to the percentage of people who the company wouldn’t rehire. This number is your company’s Bad Hiring Rate (BHR). Next, I ask them to multiply the BHR with the total increase in payroll for new hires to calculate the cost of bad hiring decisions at your company.
A Win-Win Hiring outcome means the hiring manager and the new hire both agree it was the right decision one year into the job. While defining hiring success at the one year anniversary date rather than the start date is a worthy goal, it requires some significant process reengineering efforts to achieve it on a consistent basis. The first is recognizing what works and what doesn’t and then asking two critical questions during the interview.
In part 1 of this series, I suggested that in order to increase interviewing accuracy beyond the 65% standard of behavioral interviewing, you needed to first ask this question when opening up a new job requisition
At the beginning of a recent corporate recruiter workshop a hiring manager I had worked with previously at LinkedIn, asked if he could tell a Performance-based Hiring interviewing story.
In their landmark study — First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently — Gallup introduced their Q12 employee engagement survey. The Q12 describes in priority order what the best managers do and need to do to create high performing teams. Number one on the list? “Clarify Expectations Up Front.” Whether […]
In my supposed semi-retired state, I’ve been asked to help some PE and VC boards hire a number of C-level officers. Most of the job descriptions sent my way start with the classic laundry list of “must-have” experiences and competencies. As a result, they all get my classic response: “This is not a job description, it’s a person description. Let’s put the person description in the parking lot and first define the work the person needs to do to be considered successful.”
I’ve long contended that personality style tests like Predictive Index, DISC and Myers-Briggs are inappropriate for screening candidates in or out before they’re interviewed. The problem is that these tests measure preferences, not competencies. More important, most people can modify their preferred style to meet the needs of the situation, something not even considered by these types of questionnaires. As a result, there are just too many false positives and false negatives to make these types of tests good enough for filtering candidates early in the hiring process.
From the company perspective, one of the biggest disruptors involved replacing generic and skills-heavy job descriptions with the answer to this question: “What does the person taking this job need to do over the course of the first year to be considered both successful and highly satisfied?”
The answer resulted in a list of 6-8 KPOs (key performance objectives) describing the work the person needed to do and its importance.
Whether a person will accept a job offer, reject it, or back out later should never come as a surprise. Any surprise factor can be avoided as long as you follow some fundamental recruiting techniques.
The most important: Never make an offer you’re not absolutely sure will be accepted.
Underlying this rule is the need to test every component of an offer to determine if the candidate will accept it before formalizing the offer in writing.
Testing can be as simple as asking the candidate if he/she would accept a fair offer and be able to start by a certain date. Any evasiveness is a clue the offer won’t be accepted.
A more formal approach to testing involves getting “yes” answers to the ten following questions. It’s important to note that getting a “no” is not a bad thing. Converting the “no” into a “yes” is called recruiting.
In the process of writing the 4th edition of Hire with Your Head, my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., wanted to know what has changed from when the first edition was published in 1997.
Not much, I said. Despite the enormous investment in technology and process improvement, companies still struggle to find enough top-tier talent to fill high-demand positions just like they did 20 years ago; they just struggle differently now.
My firm was involved in a project last year that started with a call from a talent leader trying to figure out why the company’s hiring managers needed to see so many candidates to make one decent hire. She was under a lot of pressure to get her team to perform since many of these hiring managers were starting to revolt and use external recruiters to get their positions filled.
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