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January 16, 2015

Hiring Great People

Holiday season is over and teams are gearing up to meet new challenges and goals. It is also time to hire and look for great talent, some thoughts to help while you look to attract and hire people.

First and foremost always let your best people represent and hire. Your most equipped people have to front end.

Great talent has to be acquired, just like customers for your business. Being a leading brand and consistently being rated high as employer of choice across broad spectrum of publications and media is just entry pass to arena. Organisations have to be at the top of their game, when it comes to attracting top talent. Begin by putting your best foot forward. More often, we think that as long as final interviews are being done by best people, it’s a great hiring process. In reality, most of the damage has already been done by the time better equipped people get involved in hiring.

It will be prudent not to let front-line recruiter, recruiting analyst or HR assistant be the first contact. Similarly candidates for wide spectrum roles or leadership roles being interviewed piece meal for technical / skills screen is not smart idea, although widely prevalent. Instead start with best interviewer and let them candidly share the need for skill screen post their meeting with potential hire. 

Invest your time and effort to communicate what you are looking for and what is special about this opportunity. Only then you are going to get the special one. When you are contacting someone, you have to make them feel good and wanted (even if they are currently unemployed). People have to be able to trust you with their careers and need to feel valued. (Leadership Hiring: Experiences & Lessons Learnt)

Almost all articles, presentations and advice on hiring talks about cost of a wrong hire. But hardly any attention ever is given to talent lost during the process and it’s opportunity cost.

Avoid staged behavior and environment during interactions with potential candidates. People are sharp and perceptive, they are able to sense. This creates doubt in candidate’s mind. Some people will take their cue and adjust their response to play ball but a lot of them may not be comfortable in such situation. Net net you may not end up hiring the best. People need to trust you with their career and feel valued.

Get rid of your bias and conditioning to judge people as too eager, too enthusiastic, desperate etc. When your sales team is approaching a customer to acquire the account, would you want them to be less eager or enthusiastic? As long as candidate meets your values screen and have required skill set, stop guessing their motives and reasons.

So many times when hiring managers or key stakeholders tend to add too many reasons to eliminate candidates and end up supporting not the Best but most acceptable one. (Tips on Talent Management / Acquisition from West Wing)

Interviews are conversation with purpose. They are not interrogation. Asses people based on their response during conversation. Asking questions like, “give me an example of out of box thinking on the Job”, will not help. Who knows person may have applied out of box thinking just that one time and was too happy to share it with you to cover for his/her lack of creative thinking.

Never use interviews to coach someone in your team unless some coaching and one on one mentoring has been done. Organisation train people on hiring skills through class room training and certify them as Interview panel. People must be mentored and coached one on one ideally in internal hiring or allocation discussions and interviews before putting them in Interview panels.
People are work in progress. Don’t look for best or greatest but look for better and wanting to be better. They are better bet any day.  Hire for Potential, remember, you are hiring for future. It’s important to gather information and data for past performance and achievements. But never forget you are hiring for future. (Tips on Talent Management / Acquisition from West Wing)

“It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand  underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions"..... Steve Jobs

Warm regards,

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