Interviews are not all about getting the job. It is about building relationships to see if you want to work with this person/team for the long-run. You do not want to 'win' every single interview because your values may not be aligned. Working for a company with different values than you is not fun. You want great mutual understanding and trust, even if that means they screen you out or you screen them out. It's not personal. These are huge decisions for you and prospective employers. Be honest, vulnerable, concise, thoughtful, and get to know your interviewers well. These meetings should arm you to make a decisive decision should they make you an offer.
I write this sitting at Coeur d’Alene Coffee, a local cafe known for friendliness. They know everyone’s name and consequently people always smile when they enter and they have a loyal contingent. Employees need the same personalized attention to feel known, to feel cared for, understood, and to feel safe.
This is not tawdry advice. Consider every toxic environment you have seen; did people feel known, understood, cared for, and safe?
Conduct offsite reviews quarterly with subordinates in a relaxed environment.
Ask them a series of questions before discussing their performance from your perspective.
1. How they are meeting their expectations. Personal responsibility and accountability should precede external management.
2. What they want to change about their role? Ask this before you find out they took another job to make those changes.
Our busy economy blesses and curses us with zero unemployment of qualified candidates. Everyone (good) has more work than they know what to do with and the challenge of finding the right team members has become the new key to delivering great solutions, in any field.
How then should you recruit in this kind of market, differently than a recession market where candidates find you? More than ever your brand, process, and effort will define success in hiring the best people.
Do you consider your hiring process as key to your competitive advantage?
If not, you are failing to compete at a fundamental level.
Companies are their people. The quality of your company and solutions is determined by your people. Your ability to acquire the best people directly impacts your customers and market stature.
A good hiring process is a rigorous and disciplined affair. Recording the interviewing team’s opinions of the candidate, derived from a consistent set of questions, is key to evaluating your interviewing prowess, or lack thereof. Immediately recording opinions, before debriefing and persuasion, is important. With objective ranking of candidates you can determine the quality of your interviewers.
We have interviewed thousands of candidates. Here is our concise advice for extracting the most value from interviews, not in order of importance.
Don’t blindly follow an interviewing model or hiring formula. Think carefully about the culture you are perpetuating with the very beginning of the interview process and be intentional about each step. Map out your process and test its effectiveness.
Ask for questions to three simple questions along with their application. Tailor those three questions to highlight the exceptional candidate you are looking for….
Employee satisfaction in their work relies on three factors, per the excellent book ‘3 Signs of a Miserable Job’ by Patrick Lencioni.
Relevance. How do they help improve other’s lives? These people may be customers, coworkers, or their boss. People feel fulfilled when their work has an appreciable positive impact on other people’s lives. The more you can connect their efforts to positive impact, the better. Having a culture of gratitude for their work is an important first step in relevance….
We hear many hiring authorities complain about the employees that THEY HIRED and THEY MANAGE. Some realize their complaints are in part a reflection of their own leadership ability and rise to the challenge, others flounder, wondering why people don’t perform as expected.
Our most capable, stable, and competitive clients value elevating leaders over securing their own positions. They care more about their employees success than their own short-term goals.
Email is pervasive and inescapable now. The unwary can easily sign up for a deluge of unnecessary newsletters (except ours, of course), or be drowned in a deluge of verbose information from inside and outside the company. Email can consume hours of each day.
Consider the GTD method of email management. That’s the ‘Getting Things Done’ philosophy applied to email.
Quality and speed matter to good hiring. Go slow enough to know the candidate well but fast enough another competitor can’t seize the initiative.
Minimize time elapsed between application, interview, 2nd interview, and offer. This is an easy improvement. Simply maintaining momentum advantages you over slower competitors.
Question: If speed and relationship building are both important parts of hiring competitively, how do you get them to work together nicely?
Answer: Implement an assessment (DISC, MBTI, PI, Profile XT, etc) after the first interview and share and discuss the results with the candidate. Ask them if they agree or disagree and how they handle various situations that could happen with other personalities and styles.
“What has been your experience with recruiters?” I asked.
“It’s been disappointing.” Came the quick response. “We have paid several recruiters fees for people and none of them have stuck with us longer than a year.”
Puzzled, with a warning flag waving in my mind, I ask “Do you feel like the recruiters did something improper?”
“Well, yes, we feel like they ripped us off".
“Hmmmmm… What would you do differently to avoid the situation again?”
“We don’t know. We haven’t been very impressed with recruiters.”
They didn’t appreciate hearing that recruiters cannot guarantee retention. It’s impossible.
What are your expectations for success when you hire someone? Do you feel relieved and enthusiastic? Does the wary probationary period start? Is the path for success in your organization (performance expectations) immediately clear to them or do they need to prove they can figure your system out on their own? What gives you those feelings?