5 ways to maximize your effectiveness in hiring
As a voice major, in the music department of a liberal arts university, I spent a great deal of time getting my voice into shape. I did this so that I could consistently give killer performances on stage with confidence.
Today we’ll talk about how you can get your hiring practice into better S.H.A.P.E. These five keys or techniques will ensure that every time you need to hire your effort has the best chance of ending on a high note!
Speak the words that they are already thinking.
Talk shows have been hits for decades because the host discusses things that are on the minds of their guests and the listeners. Odds are you know what the people in your industry are talking about. If not, how do you find out?
The easiest way is to join groups online, in person or both. Online you can quickly catch up with the chatter and discover what is on the mind of those that you want to attract to your company.
Another thing to consider is to make a note of the questions being discussed. Especially questions that get repeated over and over again.
What is really going on in those questions? What is bothering them or what are they interested in?
Fill the void they have by contributing to the conversation or providing the solutions they seek. If you do this, they just might be interested in working for your company.
Help fight the real source of frustration. Find the real enemy.
Too often hiring decision-makers can be heard saying they cannot find the right talent. If you take that at face value, you might conclude that there is a shortage in the talent pool. Or, that the hiring person is too picky or unrealistic with their expectations. Either assumption could be correct, or both could be wrong.
The truth is the hiring manager could be overburdened with busy work and does not take the time to draft a well thought out position description. She may know what she wants but has not communicated it effectively verbally or in writing. It is not entirely her fault; let’s blame it on the system.
For example, let’s do a compare and contrast exercise. If we were discussing the functions on an athletic footwear production line and the time required to complete perfectly each function, we could do it. The production manager (an industrial engineer) could tell you exactly how much time down to the seconds each operation requires to produce the product. Yet, when we talk about the various functions that one needs to hire effectively, the process is not clear. The lack of a clearly defined process is the real source of frustration and the real enemy to hiring effectively.
Accept the fact that you are not defined by your past results.
Failure hurts. But as the author John C. Maxwell says, “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn.” Take your successes and failures in hiring and determine what you can learn from those experiences.
Try to implement the tips described in this article into your hiring strategy. Move beyond what you have tried in the past and try another way. Once you are successful, repeat. Don’t let past mistakes get in your way. What you perceive as obstacles might actually be the way forward.
For example, your pay scale must be competitive with other companies within the same market. Otherwise, you cannot compete for the same level of talent. So what’s your strategy? Perhaps it’s to offer different types of benefits than your competitors, or better working conditions, etc.
Push away doubt and insecurity.
Have you ever told someone don’t worry about it, it will be fine? Did they stop worrying? Did this advice really work? I don’t think so.
Let me pull out a few ideas from my experience as a search consultant and executive coach. This is a better way; I will lay it out in 3 steps.
- Accept the point that hiring is a skill and requires training and practice. Acknowledge that the apprehensions you feel are real and to be expected under these circumstances. Also, recognize that both parties in the interview feel pressure and want to do well. As my wife used to say every day to our sons, “Do your homework.”
Make sure that your position description is well thought out. Prepare interview questions in advance of the interview. Instead of selling, or telling them what you expect from them at the beginning listen more to what they have to say. In the beginning, you want to determine what this candidate is all about that, and you cannot accomplish this if you are doing all of the talking.
- Practice good listening skills. Not as a judge but more as a sounding board. Listen to uncover any blind spots to what’s really going on and then leverage that to achieve the preferred scenario. This helps the hiring manager and the candidate to discover if the person is a good fit for the job. For example, perhaps you discover the hesitation is not the compensation, the job or company but really their children’s schooling.
- Develop the skill and habit of asking open-ended questions. Discuss with the candidates the possibilities, what do they want instead of what they have been getting? Accomplish this by using open-ended questions which encourages them to think. Open-ended questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no response. It’s hard to determine a candidates suitability when all you have uncovered are answers that correct 50% of the time.
Encouragement is enhanced by mentors.
We know that whom we make friends and spend the most time with affects us greatly. Have you noticed that sometimes we attract the wrong crowd? The wrong individuals can steal our energy and weaken our spirits. It happens to me.
We need to surround ourselves with those individuals that can really help us grow and prosper. We all need mentors and coaches. They can be formal but most often are informal. One strategy is to identify 5 Key relationships and then nurture them. One could be a financial adviser, another a fitness coach, and another a search consultant etc.