This article offers insight into the process how to hire great people. In order to be able to effectively do that, it will help for you to join me for a special glimpse into some of the backstory (to the present) on why many employers find hiring great people difficult today.
Among the many, many, many things the Internet can be lauded or blamed for over the past decade or two is the paradigm shift it brought to that awkward dance team of employers and job seekers. If there is a list anywhere of the groups that benefitted from the web’s existence, interestingly both should be near the top. This shift has changed everything. And if you think about it, watching all of this unfold over the years has been fascinating.
To place all of this in perspective, here’s some of how each team scored:
- Broader recruitment marketing options — from CareerBuilder.com to esoteric job boards.
- Emailed resumes and resume-checking software.
- Applicant background research for resume fact-checking.
- Easy access to applicants’ social media, um, personalities.
- Company background research related to financial stability, the players, word-on-the-street, and overall vibe.
- Insightful websites like Glassdoor.com where current and past employees rank employers.*
- Individual potential employers’ and principals’ social media presence.
- Usually, somewhere, relatively detailed compensation information.
*Although like a set of Ginsu knives on eBay, digest reviews with caution.
So, you ask, how in the hell does anyone hire or get hired these days? There’s just too much information on everyone involved.
“That company had three weak financial quarters. My friggin’ paychecks are going to bounce.”
“That employment prospect dressed like a condom for Halloween.”
“The head of HR at that other company votes Republican AND is in the NRA! They probably blare Ted Nugent in the office all day.”
“And that other applicant saves whales or dolphins or muskrats or something in their spare time. Pinko. And do we really want people with spare time?!”
Well, the easy and not entirely incorrect answer is for everyone to just hold on a minute and collectively lower their standards. If I were a more literary man, I would add some quotes here like “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and that oldie but goodie “The pot calling the kettle black.” Well what do you know, I am?
Everyone has issues, interests, baggage, and a past. Both sides are far more sophisticated about information and sometimes too intimately knowledgeable of each other. Before the Internet, employees cowered and employers dominated. No more.
With all of that said, here are some of the new rules when trying to hire great people:
1) Remember, the employer/prospect dialogue, relationship, and process have never been more of a two-way street. Prospects’ options are broader than they’ve ever been, and they know more about you and your company than you’d like to think about.
2) Leave the outdated, ridiculous questions (“What is your greatest weakness?) and Myers-Briggs testing (I see, you’re an ISTJ. Who isn’t?) back in the ’90s. Be innovative, and show respect for the intellect of the person/generation/workforce you’re dealing with and hoping to cultivate winners from.
3) Like composing an email, plan on anything you say making it onto the Internet. It may not, but you’ve been warned. (See reference above to Glassdoor.com)
4) Hold a conversation. Plan it, and endeavor to learn what you need to from it, but kill the drill. Applicants that you aim to hire will be more at ease and open, and you will get a better idea of what they are really about. And evaluate HOW applicants respond to certain questions and topics. That is very difficult to prepare for or mask.
If you think you might have difficulty following most of these rules, hire a consultant to help you. I’d be happy to.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to revisit the “hire” topic soon.
Sales and Sales Training Specialist Frank Bastone can be reached 718 662 8581, or schedule time for a chat here.