5 Steps to Smarter Hiring
Most hiring managers tell us that they are frustrated by how many unqualified people they must meet in order to find a candidate they would like to hire.
Over the past 25 years, Bond and Company has learned how to improve the success ratio, so that it takes only four interviews to yield one successful job offer.
Making a great hire sounds easy but is almost impossible without a solid plan. We recommend a 5-Step Plan.
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” – Winston Churchill
STEP 1: Define Success
As a wise man once said, “You can’t find what you are looking for, if you don’t know what it is.” That’s why it’s important to develop a Position Description which defines what a successful new hire will be like. List the top goals you want accomplished by your new executive. The more specific this document is, the better.
For example, if you have a Management By Objective (“MBO”) goal, include that objective as part of the job description. You can then search for the person who has the right skill set for, and demonstrated track record in, achieving such goals. Whomever you hire will know that he or she will be expected to help you achieve your objective to be successful.
STEP 2: Search Selectively
Avoid using the general sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, which generate too many unqualified candidates and are largely populated by the active job seekers. Unless it is used selectively, the searching via the Internet can be like trying to drink directly from a fire hydrant.
Instead, use as many alternative, niche-oriented sources as possible, with as many as feasible related directly to the job. Avenues which have been productive in the past for Bond & Company include: graduate school postings (free), professional societies, niche websites, referrals from service providers (bankers, CPAs, etc.) etc.
STEP 3: Get To Know the People You Are Considering Hiring
As a hiring manager you are probably looking to distinguish yourself by driving positive change and improving profitability. You will increase your chances of achieving those goals by spending more time getting to know fewer prospective candidates who are more likely to be part of the solutions you seek. To do this, screen candidates who have:
- Only the best motivation to change jobs: Their jobs are secure, but they are open to a better opportunity and/or company. Or they have a very good reason to be looking.
- An orientation to accomplishment: Professionals who can cite specific examples of improvements they made in their current or previous job (e.g., “Reduced bank fees by $250,000, while improving services.”).
STEP 4: Hire the Best Candidate – Not the Best Interview
Make each candidate objectively explain to you how he or she can help you solve the problems laid out in your Position Description and have them relate specific examples of relevant accomplishments. Delve deeply into what each candidate has contributed in the past. Feel comfortable with how they operated and how they approached problems and crises. Evaluate candidates on what they have actually achieved, not on what they say they can do.
STEP 5: Hire with a plan and quantified MBOs
(from the Position Description)
Go back to the Position Description and lay out the objectives for the new hire, along with a preliminary timetable. Get agreement on the plan before the new employee starts, so that everyone is working toward the same goal.
Many jobs are difficult to fill because they are unusual; the field is rapidly evolving or requires esoteric skills and innovative thinking. If you are facing a particularly difficult search, we may have the expertise and experience that will help you fill the spot more quickly with someone who is qualified enough to be promoted.
Give us a call at 800.472.4028 to talk about your particular circumstances. We’d love to see if we can help each other.