Hiring is a 50/50 shot – there is so much you just don’t know. The best we can do is shoot for 51/49. You need to put yourself and your organization in a position to help move the needle to 51. Small changes make a big impact. In this three-part series, I will be giving you a lot of suggestions. Don’t get overwhelmed and try to implement them all at once. Pick a few suggestions and try them out the next time you conduct an interview and see what works
Part 1: Slow Down! Hiring Too Fast Is a Major Pitfall in Productivity:
“Interviewing is just like college – there are certain steps that will weed people out.” – Chris Flickinger
The pain point around the interview process is that so many companies do the opposite of what they should be doing! Is your company quick to hire people and slow to fire people? If so, that’s a bad combination! The wrong hire is going to cost you a ton – morale, productivity, and money to name a few.
The first step is to slow down the hiring process. Don’t be quick to hire the first person who shows up. I call this “Hire slow”. The hiring process is just that, a process. The goal is to add steps to slow the process down. The steps involve: review resumes, have phone screenings, conduct personal interviews, and somehow test them to see what they can do! In this post, I’m going to share proven ways to get better results with interviews, tests, and needs evaluation.
The old way of doing interviews is just that, it is in the past. The future is in infusing scenarios into the interview process to actually see what they can do – not just hear about it. The great thing about this process is that there really isn’t a right or wrong answer to these scenarios yet you, as the interviewer, get to see the potential candidate in action. You get to see the process they take trying to figure out a real world challenge. You get to see their emotional intelligence first hand. The goal is to add steps to slow the process down.
Present candidates with situational interviews as opposed to generic questions or even behavior questions. Behavioral questions tend to look at the past and looking at the research evidence, these types of questions are not as effective at predicting success on the job. Behavioral questions are challenging because it is so hard to compare all of the candidates work histories because there are so many factors to consider. Situational interviews are more effective because you put all the candidates in the same situation and ask them what they would do. This equals the playing field. Instead of asking what they would do, ask them what you think other people would do. Give them a scenario with other people’s names. Naturally, their taker and giver tendencies will come out. A crucial way to get around interviewees attempts to look good during the interview is presenting a challenging scenario and asking what they think another person in the scenario would do. We tend to project onto others what we would do ourselves in situations, so takers may give themselves away in their answers, revealing how they themselves would actually behave without even realizing it.
Slow down the process however you can. When giving the candidates a test, have them do something that you really need done! This assignment will give you a fresh look at a project that you do and you can see the quality of their work. But wait… don’t forget to add a little pressure too!
Here’s a real example. When I was looking for my Office Manager, I had it down to a few candidates after the interview stage. I wanted to see if they really could do the work. I told them that by Wednesday at 9am I would send them an email. It will contain an assignment with an article. They had to dissect an article and find some good points and then turn it into a PowerPoint. My hack – have the candidates do something that you actually need to have done! One candidate didn’t even do the assignment – he/she self selected out. Other candidates – well, their quality of work wasn’t as good. Thus, Jen was hired!
You can successfully hire new staff just like the NAVY seals! We teach a similar model that the NAVY seals use in their selection process to find and keep high performers.
Look at three things:
- Skills – what base level skills / competencies must this person have / be able to do to even be considered. Example: NAVY Seals selection – you have to be able to do at least X amount of push-ups and hold your breath for Y amount of time. These are base requirements.
- Values – You must possess – at a minimum – our core values (this is non-negotiable) for any and all positions…. (but it does beg the question – what are the core values). Then the question becomes what peripheral values does the company have that this person / position require? Example: NAVY Seals – CORE VALUES: follow orders, be mentally tough and be willing to be vulnerable (ask for help). PERIPHERAL Good Character, Integrity, Drug Free
- Training – Given the position and needs, what is the tolerance for training. Example: NAVY Seals – under normal, non-wartime conditions, the tolerance is high. The NAVY will show you how to use a rocket launcher and the stealth helicopter and the new gadget. BUT during a wartime, the tolerance for training time may be diminished as we need to get these folks operational ASAP.
So, which of these tips would really help you? Now, go out and try one of these suggestions the next time you interview a new candidate.
Steve Jobs once said, “Hiring the best is your most important task.”
If you want to learn more about interviewing techniques, reach out to Chris!
Follow Chris on social media and come back next week for Part 2 of this 3 Part Blog Series: Speed Up! On-Boarding and Stopping Buyer’s Remorse.
Co-authored by: Betsy Moore, Industrial/Organizational Psychology Consultant & Health Coach