Hiring: The Most Inefficient Business Process

Why does the hiring process used in most companies – both large and small – result in so many bad hires?  The answer is that hirers do not identify whether candidates have the natural talent to do the job and the passion to perform at a high level.  More likely, they wrongly fixate on experience in like jobs for which they are hiring.

What do the words talent and passion mean in the job hiring context?

Talent is a combination of brainpower, behavior and interest that fit the job in a specific company.  Do candidates possess the natural thinking skills, behavioral traits and interest areas that match the job?  You can test to learn about a candidate’s predisposition in these areas.  Unfortunately that information will only be partially helpful unless you have characterized your job opening along the same lines.  The best way to do that is to examine (and test) your best performers in that job.  Your best performers are models for what you are looking for and the key to finding the candidate that fits your job.

Passion is a well known word in hiring but little understood.  The best definition for passion in the workplace that I have found rests on two principles:

  1. A person enjoys the day to day tasks involved in the job
  2. A person feels at home in the culture of the organization

Both have to be present for a person to be emotionally fired up for work on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, I have seen too many cases where an employer is trying to fit an associate into a job that does not match their basic skill and interest areas.  The result is frustration on both sides.  The best solution is to better prepare for and execute your interviewing process via behavioral questioning (behavioral interviewing is a topic for another day) and sharpening your listening and observation.  You need to carefully look to unearth evidence that will inform whether person is not only qualified by experience and intellect but also, will like the required job activities and fit in the company environment.  All are critical to success in hiring.

Stop Talking and Listen

The other night I was at a Chamber of Commerce event.  I introduced myself to a younger man and woman whom I did not recognize.  The man said that he was a new employee of one of the member organizations involved in community relations and sales.  He then I asked what I did and I happily replied in 15 – 20 seconds.  I then stopped and asked him to describe to me in more detail what his job entailed.  What happened next should be a reminder to all of us networkers.  The man turned and looked at his female friend and said “My isn’t that refreshing!  I have been to several of these types of events and everyone is …” as he made a hammering gesture with his hands. We laughed and had a conversation that could end up in an opportunity for either one of us down the line.

The age old, but never quite learned lesson is that selling is more about questions and listening than talking.  Everyone says they get it … but they don’t.

The Importance of the First Step

What better way to take my first dive into blogging success thoughts for your business than to write about the importance of taking your first action toward change.  There is a formula for change that is sometimes referred to as Gleicher’s Formula (more about that in the future) that defines the elements needed to overcome one’s natural resistance to change.  The key element that I focus on today is “First Steps”.

Making meaningful change in one’s business or life becomes much simpler when you take your first step toward achieving that goal – no matter how small that step might be.  There are many books and articles that address this phenomenon.  The thought is simple – create momentum for change by taking a series of steps in the desired direction.  Focus on the act of taking steps rather than on the size or quality of those steps.  The hardest of those steps will be the first one – kind of like putting your foot on the floor when you awaken on the Monday of a typical work week.  Once you get the first step out of the way everything else somehow seems easier.  So if you find yourself wanting to be in a different place just answer these 2 questions:

  1. What is the vision of what I want to be?
  2. What is one thing I can do today that will move me just a little closer to that goal?

That one thing can be a phone call, a to-do list, a meeting or an action of any kind.  What it cannot be is a decision to do nothing.  Inertia is the #1 killer of change.  Once you have completed that first step – commit yourself to taking the next action and before you know it you are covering some serious ground toward your vision.

A bias toward action is near the top of a list of key attributes I find in all successful business owners.  They all plan, assess risks, contemplate strategies and calculate costs but more importantly, they do!  Take that First Step today and feel the refreshing wind of action in your face.