Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Most Classic Hiring Mistake

Before jumping to any conclusions on the statement about to be made, hear me out. The most common hiring mistake is to hire someone who has the right experience. Crazy, right?

(This is from the book How to Hire and Develop Your Next Top Performer, 2nd edition: The Qualities That Make Salespeople Great, @2012, McGraw-Hill Professional; reprinted with permission of the publisher. )

When you’re putting together a help-wanted ad, what’s the first thing you write?
“NEEDED, candidate with five-years experience.”

Experience always seems to out-weigh the opposite when hiring candidates. If one candidate has a seemingly less amount of experience under their belt, the more experienced candidate would likely beat them out for a position. It is expected that the more experienced candidate will surely hit the ground running and keep the flow of their work going almost ASAP.

But how many times have you come across someone who has five-years of experience that adds up to just one year’s bad experience repeated five times?

Don’t fall into the trap of relying too heavily on experience. It is an easy approach, but it can be very costly. Don't go and steal from your competitors, as they may in all actuality be given a favor in doing this. Let your competitors steal from each other. Instead of focusing on what someone has done, look, instead, to what they can do — to their potential.

Mark Dennis, vice president of sales and marketing at Veolia Environmental Services, put it succinctly: “I have finally come to the point where I could care less whether somebody has industry experience. I’ve had way too many instances of hiring people who have industry experience who just get in their own way because they are set in their ways. They believe they know it all. And they are not open, willing, or flexible enough to want to change, to look at the industry from our perspective. So training them can become an absolute nightmare.”

Experience, often can keep you where you are rather than helping you to advance and see new possibilities. Would've thought as much, right? Sounds as though someone needs to inform whomever posts positions on job boards to forgo the "experience" portion.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Everyone Loves a PASSIVE, But We Hire Mostly ACTIVES

Attend any recruiting conference, or read just about any recruiting blog, and you’ll find a steady drumbeat about passive candidates: Why they’re better; How to source them; What to say to convince them to work for you, and; What you need to do to attract them and then keep them.

Active candidates are OK. But current fashion is to go find the people who don’t want your job.
Now we find that some of America’s biggest companies — collectively hiring hundreds of thousands of workers annually — hire only active job seekers, while more than two-thirds of them fill three-quarters of their jobs with actives.

These no-so-surprising revelations are in a new survey from the recruiting consultancy CareerXroads.
“There is a tendency by recruiters and hiring managers to believe that passive candidates are better,” says Gerry Crispin. But, “They’re hiring a mix that’s mostly the active candidates who come to the career site or (apply) through job boards.”

Crispin, who with his partner Mark Mehler, is a founder and principal of CareerXroads, described the survey as “interesting,” though it can’t be considered as representative of hiring practices generally. It was conducted only among the consultancy’s clients — 34 participated, many of them leading employers in their industry hiring thousands of workers annually.

Besides just getting estimates of the passive vs. active hiring the companies do, the survey asked the recruiting leaders to offer their view — and their perception of what hiring managers believe — about the qualities of both types of candidates.

For instance, 24 percent of responding recruiting leaders believe active candidates are more likely than passives to “perform the job.” By the same percentage, they say they think hiring managers feel the same way. But at the other end of that scale, they say they believe 47.1 percent of hiring managers think actives don’t perform as well as passives. 38.2 percent of the leaders report believing that themselves.

Actives do better when it comes to the currency and relevancy of their skills and abilities. By a significant majority, recruiters say they believe (73.5 percent), and they think hiring managers also (79.2 percent) are neutral to strongly positive on the statement that as compared to passives, actives have relevant and current skills.

Even though no broad, industry conclusions can be drawn from the survey, Crispin said its purpose is provoke discussion. Both the perceptions part of the survey and another part about how recruiters are engaging passives and actives are grist for conversation about recruiting strategies and practices.

“There are elements here that I think are kind of interesting,” says Crispin. “Our perceptions may not have anything to do with the actual performance of the people we hire.”

The survey does serve as a reminder that “we have biases and we need to operate against them … There”s a huge gray area embedded in the passive-versus-active discussion. These are perceptions we have that recruiters need to consider. What’s valid here?”

He adds, “It’s knowledge, skills, and experience that predicts future performance, not the status of employment.”

article found on "ere.net"

Hire Candidates with These 5 Traits - OR ELSE!!!

Take a brief moment to read over this statement from this year's Global CEO Study from IBM. You’ll find it either unsettling or reassuring based on your recruiting practices.

For years, organizations have been embroiled in the so-called war for talent. The challenge has historically been a shortage of particular skills. But today, it’s virtually impossible for CEOs to find the future skills they will need — because they don’t yet exist. Bombarded by change, most organizations simply cannot envision the functional capabilities needed two or three years from now … CEOs are increasingly focused on finding employees with the ability to constantly reinvent themselves.
Soooo, how do you feel after that passage? If you are one of the many that hire on skills alone, I completely understand if you're getting that sweaty palm, almost queasy feeling. Many of the skills listed on the resumes of the last dozen people you hired could be passé by the presidential election.

But if you hire beyond skills and personality and hold out for certain character traits, then you have actually future-proofed your organization.

Straight from author, Jim Roddy; here are 5-Traits that you should look for next time when hiring employees to fit on your team.

  1. Ambition: Is driven by desire to realize personal potential and improve self, your organization, and society. Key Questions: What would you like to be doing in two or three years? What’s your career goal in 10 years? You’ll need to ask follow-up questions to validate the candidate’s initial response, which could be an Interviewing 101 answer. But after this conversation, you’ll have a decent gauge if the candidate plans to transcend your organization or just collect a paycheck.
  2. Ongoing Education: Engages in a lifelong process of introspection, searching, self-improvement, learning, and knowledge application. Key Questions: What books have had the greatest effect on your career? Part of emotional maturity is acquiring self insight; give me an example of something you recently learned about yourself. Nobody is prepared for that second question. The most common answer I hear is, “Ummm … hmmm … well …” You learn that some people just aren’t committed to bettering themselves. They’re living and working, but not really learning.
  3. Responsibility: Is decisive and self-reliant; a dutiful grown child, sibling, spouse, parent, and employee. Key Questions: Tell me about a recent split-second decision you made on the job; why you made that decision, and how things turned out? Give me an example of when you made a mistake and fell short of your outcome. The first question will uncover if the candidate embraces critical thinking or reacts with emotion. During the candidate’s response to the second question, you’ll learn if they take 100% responsibility for a situation, rationalize the problem, or deflect accountability. If they can’t think of a time they made a mistake, that’s a red flag that the candidate lacks …
  4. Humility: Is willing to admit personal faults, apologize, accept criticism, and give credit where credit is due. Key Questions: Give me an example of you changing your behavior for work reasons. How do you feel about the level of recognition you currently receive? You may be wondering how humility will help your company adapt for the future. If employees aren’t humble enough to embrace true transparency and quickly point out where they are failing, they won’t change course when necessary. The first question can uncover if the candidate is quick to admit, accept, and address shortcomings. The second question can elicit a variety of responses, ranging from “I do the work of five people and nobody appreciates it” to “I can’t take sole credit for that accomplishment — my teammates played a big role, too.” During a recent manager meeting at my company, an operations manager who was praised by the sales managers said, “Thanks, but you guys are the ones with the hard jobs. I really admire what you do and have learned from you.”
  5. Perseverance: Maintains focus and single-minded persistence in spite of obstacles. Exhibits endurance. Takes the long-term view. Key Questions: Many obstacles can prevent an organization from achieving its goals; tell me about a time when you met such an obstacle. Can you give me an example of a time when you had to solve a really complex problem that required multiple steps across weeks or months? Some of the best business advice I’ve received from a fellow company president is simple: “It’s a journey.” These questions will reveal if the candidate has the ability to endure journeys and minimize frustration along the way. At my company, we aim to hire juggernauts – people who are unstoppable because they provide steady, consistent force until an outcome is achieved.
Hire away!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: The Employment Point

Well, we have finally seen the end of the WWE (wrestling) Match...uh, I mean, 2012 Presidential Debate! One thing that each hopeful kind of mulled over; the employment-aspect. Are we sure that we are going to be in an economy where we (as individuals) can thrive?

The Mule and the Pachyderm bicker back and forth of grandiose ideas that each side may have, but ultimately...what's the deal? What is going on guys? We hear a lot of jobs training, tax incentives, labor unions and let's not forget about the off-shore drilling; however, neither side is strumming the right chord as far as the employment economy goes.

What's Trending Now?
  • Rapid growth of self employed
  • Explosion of the social media world (skills for sale market)
  • The emergence of job titles that relatively did not exist a year ago
  • Rejection of the ideas of a traditional employee
  • Fast growth of the social entrepreneur
  • Employees whom follow a skills path in lieu of a career path
  • Companies (not just virtual) that allow workers to work remotely (even in other countries)
Every year, the economy changes. Work is harder to find, as it is definitely not as easy as some of our parents or even grandparents have lived through. No longer can you just walk up to a place of work and hand your resume to someone; we now live in the days of job board posting, panel interviews, phone interviews, web/video interviews...you get the gist. So let's see if the GOP or the DEMOs can get their act straight and get the ball moving on securing stable working environments.

Elections are only a couple of weeks away guys!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

7 Questions to Consider Before Hiring

Almost ready to bring aboard a few new hires? Super, but wait a tick...there are a few questions that should be addressed.

1. How Fast Do You Want the Candidate?
How many times can you count on one hand that there is an "immediate need" for a candidate, but it seems that hiring managers are sitting on their hands, twiddling their thumbs in lieu of staging interviews? This could be a misinterpretation to your candidates indirectly showing them that you and your company are not interested in them, coaxing them to possibly take another offer elsewhere. Be clear and concise with you recruiters if you have planned a vacation, sick leave or if you are just plain unavailable so they can re-evaluate the best time to bring in a potential hire.

2. Is Your Gut Really Correct?
It's widely thought by many hiring managers that they are absolute of who they want to hire within 5 minutes of meeting with a candidate. I have actually been told this in past interviews, personally. These are for the most part biased, subconscious feelings and can actually overlook good candidates in favor of a candidate that closely resembles what the hiring manager sees as a greatly packaged product. This can be labeled as "Mirror-Image Hiring" and can be very detrimental to an organization as it can lead to a stagnant state or a plethora of brown-nosers. Nobody likes a brown-noser; sniffing too hard could be hazardous to your integrity. Step outside of your comfort zone to take a look at more skilled candidates that will possibly bring great challenge and promise to your company.

3. How Important are the Candidate's Skills?
There have been studies to back the notion that managers will hire for cultural preferences rather than for the candidate's raw talent. Not always the greatest way to go about this method of hiring. Try locating an assessment evaluation, which can be found online and it is automatically scored with easy-to-read/understand results, giving you a better outlook on your candidates.

4. Behavioral Assessments: Yes or No?
If anyone of us has been in an interview (and we all have), dependant upon the hiring company, they will give out behavioral assessment tests. Time consuming, sometimes redundant, but these are fairly valuable to the hiring managers. Not just to see who will take the time to complete these tedious pieces of work, but it will provide you with a much better understanding of you candidates. These also can provide lenghty and and in-depth interview questions to dig deeper into the candidate's behavioral aspects. If you're a 3-minute decision-making hiring manager; you may want to try this out.

5. Are You an Early Adopter?
Video interviewing will become the norm in the next few years as it helps reduce travel costs associated with flying in candidates, eliminates the scheduling hassles associated with phone screening. and proves its value as a more revealing tool when trying to determine who is worth bringing in for the face-to-face interview. The question may be: What are you waiting for? Do you fear process change or new technologies? Are you getting or giving push back when you are approached with new technologies that could make your hiring process easier? Are you still holding on to your rotary phone?

6. Are You Compliant?
Despite who your gut tells you to hire, you are required by law not to discriminate against protected classes such as race, gender, and age. If your gut for instance is always telling you your candidate is too old, too black, or too feminine, then you may run the risk of non-compliance with a cute-little band of fellows called federal entities such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Drawing their ire could bring fines, not to mention bad press and lower employee satisfaction, "YIKES!". As mentioned earlier you must step outside your comfort zone when hiring and employing a diverse workforce is a great way to do this.

7. Will Everyone But You Get Blamed for the Bad Hire?
Simplified answer; NOPE! You as the hiring manager will be partly to blame as well, not just the HR/recruiting segment of the workplace. HR cannot fully understand all the nuances, complexities, and skill requirements of each department. The hiring manager must be involved in the hiring process from start to finish ensuring they are getting the candidates that best match the skills and behavioral attributes necessary for the job. This way time is not wasted unnecessarily.

So, are you ready to hire some candidates?!