The Most Effect Hiring Strategy is Process-Driven
If you're not consistently seeing or hiring enough top people, it might be time to evaluate everything you're now doing from a different perspective. The concept of zero-based budgeting offers a useful approach.
The essence of zero-based budgeting is that you can better determine true departmental expenses by justifying every cost item. The alternative is to justify only the incremental increases, assuming what's now in place is okay. The benefit of zero-based budgeting is that unnecessary processes and bureaucracies are eliminated before they get embedded into a company's culture.
Zero-based hiring is based on a similar concept. Don't assume that the hiring methods you're now using should automatically be continued. Many built-in process are either unnecessary, ineffective or counter-productive. You should consider zero-based hiring if you answer yes to any of the following three questions:
While we'll discuss the details of zero-based hiring in future articles, here are some of the highlights:
Top candidates however, tend to always look, they have polished resumes, they will take the time to apply, they're always well-prepared, and among other things they make a good first presentation. How you source, assess and hire the best employees is fundamentally different than how you source, assess and hire the best candidates. It seems that most companies have designed their hiring processes around the needs of best candidates. This is one reason they're not seeing enough top employees.
The best employees don't want the same job, they want a better job. You'll be able to separate the best candidates from the best employees during the interview. First, tell your candidate what's expected on the job. Then ask them what they've accomplished that's most comparable. Dig deep (10-15 minutes on three or four accomplishments is about right), and you'll quickly know which group you're dealing with.
At the end of the interview, objectively assess the candidate's first impression and it's impact on you. You'll discover that about 50% of the people you thought were great aren't. You'll also find that many people who you thought were weak are really good — some even great. Along the way, you'll also learn a lot about yourself and your biases, and that's the real point of this item.
I recommend a modified version of behavioral interviewing called performance interviewing. This interview relies on just two performance-oriented questions. The key is to develop comprehensive details about a candidate's most significant accomplishments in comparison to the deliverables described in the job profile (see point 2 above). The interviewer then needs to look at the trend of these accomplishments over time to determine competency, motivation and potential.
A better way is to make the candidate earn the job by conducting an in-depth interview (see points 2 and 6 above). Describe the challenges in the job, and make the candidate prove to you that he or she can achieve them by getting detailed examples of what they've done that's most similar. When an interview is conducted this way, the best employees will actually attempt to sell you if the job offers growth and opportunity. This is the way you recruit a top person. You can't tell the person the job is great: they've got to figure that out for themselves. All you can do is guide them along. This is what great recruiting and interviewing is really all about.
To improve it, don't worry too much about where you are now. First, figure out what it would take to reduce sendouts per hire by 50%. Put all the big changes needed in priority order, and then start working on the list (this is called a Pareto analysis, and it's a rough approximation of what Six Sigma black belts do). Plan on completing the task list in six months. If you don't have the resources to do this, don't compromise on the six months: get the resources.
Make hiring the best a repeatable business process. Incremental improvements won't work. If you're not hiring enough top people, it's time to implement zero-based hiring. Stop making excuses and figuring out why it won't work. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
If you want to make an impact, be like the best employees you want to hire. They tell you how they made things work. They get the resources, they break the rules, they fight bureaucracy, they change the culture, they take risks, they overcome challenges, and they exceed expectations. Isn't it time you started hiring the best employees? In six months you could be famous.
Credit for excerpts of this article is generously given to erdaily and Lou Adler, creator and CEO of Power Hiring - Best Practices for Hiring Top People.
- Professionalism - Commitment - Results