Make the Call about Team Members

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

We can waste a lot of our leadership energy worrying or complaining about and then trying to fix the flaws in our team members. As we and they dance around our uncertainty, the whole company suffers.

So let’s make the call. Either we believe they can do it and we support them to get there or we believe they can’t and support them to find a better place. And if we aren’t sure, then let’s give ourselves a deadline for making the call.

All will be better off when we make the call.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: As you can see, we can make calls like this in line with our values and with full transparency & care. Or we can be jerks about it. Let’s not be jerks.

PPS: Here’s a magic trick you can use especially for people who you think are close but not quite there. Try believing they can do it even if evidence doesn’t yet support the idea. Make this call and watch them bloom.

 

Today’s photo courtesy of Alexas_Fotos.

The Value of Value

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading, Money, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Hire this person who has the experience or wait to find someone who fits our culture? Discount out of fear that this client will leave or hold out for clients who appreciate and pay for our value?

If we make decisions for expediency and against our values, we give away the value of our values.

Right?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: BullionVault Bullion bar in sea of coin via photopin (license)

Hire The Expert…?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

Who would you rather hire: the expert or the novice? Which we should hire depends on what we mean by “expert.”

Often we think we need experts who know how to do the work really well and who can be up to speed quickly. They already know how to make the sale, work the numbers, write the code, design the things, or make the decisions.

But what if someone is expert in leading, following, contributing, collaborating, taking accountability, organizing, coaching, promoting, engaging, problem-solving, and communicating, and caring? What if they are expert at being good people we trust? Most of the time, this is the sort of expert we really need.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Given the large cost of searching, hiring, on-boarding, and turnover, it’s usually cheaper to hire people who are experts at being good people and train them in any technical skills they may be missing.

 

Today’s photo credit: Karen Baijens cc

What Not to Focus On When Hiring

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

What to look for when hiring? It’s not what usually appears on people’s resumes. It’s not grades or degrees. Google has proven that for us. And it’s not experience or accomplishments; these are too tied to the work of past collaborators and to past companies’ cultures, industries, and market conditions.

Instead, focus on the role. Determine the personal traits such as communication, resilience, self management, and personal accountability that would be needed to do a great job. Then hire for those traits.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Look at grades, certifications, and accomplishments, for sure, but don’t put too much weight on them. Past performance is simply not good enough of an indicator.

 

Today’s photo credit: Alice cc

Attitude etc.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

Most of us hire employees based on their skills and experience. We believe that these are the best predictors of success. We filter for them on resumes. We test for them in interviews. And we think we need to find people who will be productive right away.

But as the old adage goes, “When we hire for skills and experience, we fire for attitude.” Personal qualities such as attitude, self management, win-win, and a sense of accountability are far more valuable. Lack of these qualities are what we usually fire for.

Let’s run with the new adage, “Hire for attitude etc. and train the rest.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Cost it out. Assume a new employee won’t be productive at all during their first 90 days while they learn the ropes. The price of training them for those 90-days is 1/4 their annual salary plus any course fees and a relatively small portion of their manager’s, mentor’s, and other close colleagues’ time. The oft-sited, conservative price of turnover due to poor attitude etc. is twice the person’s annual salary.

 

Today’s photo credit: bwrabbitgirl cc

hiring

A Real Pain in the Assumption Biases when Hiring

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 2 min.

Bias in hiring is not limited to discrimination against people belonging to specific groups or having certain traits. We must also watch for assumption biases. Without careful thought, we may select people based on hidden assumptions about the role, the environment, ourselves, and the candidates.

For example, take this assumption: “I have to get along with the person we hire.” Though it sounds natural, it is a huge, undocumented bias that leads to selecting people because they are like us rather than because they will be effective in the role.

Of course, we are not looking to hire people who are offensive. We merely want to expose and balance that desire to work with comfortable people. Maybe the answer is to expand our definition of what “get along with” means. Or maybe the answer is to expand our comfort zones.

Other big assumption biases include what work needs to be done by the role, how we’ll measure success in the role, and how the job should be done, managed, and rewarded.

Once we know about these unexpected biases in hiring, we can easily minimize them for everyone’s benefit.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Grzegorz Chrupała cc

turnover

Hiring Well: It’s Not About Skills Or Experience

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

Hiring candidates who have the skills and experience we need can be very risky. In the end, it doesn’t matter if they are provably good at budgeting, sales, project management, training, coding, operations, marketing, or any other skill.

To see why, consider the main reasons we have for firing people. They don’t care. They don’t understand and manage themselves. They don’t understand what is important to others. They lie. They are not confident; they may be cocky. They go for lose-win, win-lose, or lose-lose. They are defensive. They don’t listen. They damage other people’s work and attitude. They hate, distrust, manipulate, and/or bully. In short, they have a poor attitude.

If we hire people for their skills, experience, or interviewing prowess, and ignore their attitude, we should not be surprised when we have to fire (some of) them for poor attitude.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: When we take into account the huge costs of hiring, firing, and replacing people with the wrong attitude, it’s far cheaper to hire based on attitude and train for any missing skills.

 

Today’s photo credit: George Kelly cc

network

The Networking 20-60-20

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Hiring, Job search, Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 2 min.

Many of us fear networking. We often think people will feel put upon or even angry if we ask them for help. And that may be true for perhaps 20% of the people out there. For various reasons, they just don’t want to be bothered.

That means that about 80% of the people out there want to help you.

Around 20% of the people out there are excited to help. They are honored that you asked. They will happily introduce you to others. They may even follow up with you to check in and offer more insights or connections.

The remaining 60% are also happy to help if you make it easy for them. Here are some “make it easy” steps you can follow. Instead of asking when they are available, give them a list of specific times to choose from. Pick a location (including over the phone or video chat) that is convenient for them. Promise and follow through on your promise to keep conversations focused and brief (say, twenty minutes for a phone call, thirty minutes for a coffee, an hour for a lunch, or whatever works for them). Be prepared to go over that time if they wish. Prepare your questions prior to the meeting. Catch up with them; learn what they are focused on this quarter and this year. Offer any information or connections that they might find helpful. Be warm and friendly.

Above all, plan on most people wanting to help you.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Because we likely can’t know whether a person is in the first 20%, the last 20%, or the middle 60%, use the “make it easy” steps for everyone.

PPS: When you bump into someone who doesn’t want to help, just graciously thank them for their time. No need to burden ourselves with judgements of them or us.

 

Today’s photo credit: Jun cc

Why We Needn’t Hire The Experienced

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

Back in day, when things were more Industrial-Age-same-same, we could hire people based on their experience. The question, “Have they done this successfully elsewhere?” was a decent proxy for, “Will they do this successfully here?”

Not anymore.

Everything is unique, now. That they did it there is no guarantee at all that they will do it here. Far more important is fit. We can only answer the question, “Will they do this successfully here?” by discovering if they have the talent, attitude, values, drive, and caring to deliver what’s needed for this role, in this organization, at this time.

Yes, this is harder than simply finding someone whose done it elsewhere. And it is necessary if we want to make sustained, successful hires.

In your corner,

Mike

PS: The good news is that, because we are no longer limited to choosing people with experience, we have a richer, broader pool to draw from.

PPS: When a role demands a certain amount of mental- or emotional maturity, we will often but not always find that in people with more life experience.

interview

Hire Better People By First Interviewing The Job

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1 min.

Too many hiring decisions fail because, lacking reasonable tools, we make guesses about what sort of person we need to hire and who might fit those criteria.

Instead of guessing, here’s an approach that helps quite a lot: let’s interview the job itself before we interview the candidates for the job. Of course, the job can’t speak. But a representative group of (5 to 7) people who know the job can speak for it.

We start by describing how we will know that the job is being done well. A short list (3 to 5 statements) of measurable outcomes works perfectly. Then we determine what small set of qualities (i.e. what talents, motivators, and style) in a person are needed for that person to best generate those results.

Once we know what the job needs, we can interview and select candidates based on those criteria. No guessing.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: aussiegall via photopin cc