Sometimes we are too myopic trying to emulate the success of others. We look for a model proven by someone completely different than us.
Each of my successful clients interview people differently, some radically so.
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….
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?
Richard Branson's philosophy that “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” is key to this assertion. Hiring is the most important thing a manager or owner does, so get good at it. You cannot solve all your company's problems but you can hire all the right people to solve them and then your company will be successful.
Here’s a controversial idea. As a headhunter I talk to lots of companies (hundreds in a year, sometimes thousands) and many of them have no interest in my services, sometimes dramatically and emotionally so. That is perfectly ok, of course. However, there may be a little trend in why these firms cannot see themselves productively engaging a recruiter.