What if you could create up a selection process that would be the envy of others? Well you can, by following this recipe for Selecting for Success. Here’s what you need to begin:
Prime ingredients I recently joined a fish share that provides me with fresh fish delivered within a day of the catch coming in. I consider myself a "foodie," but I have to say, I've rarely experienced such flavors at home, even though I frequently purchase fish from the local seafood store. The fish share supplier is going straight to the source. He meets the boat daily that pulls into port on Cape Cod. He's extremely selective about what he is providing to his customers, and it shows.
I wonder if you are being as choosy as you should be when selecting employees who are going to be representing your brand. I suspect that for many of you, the answer is probably no. I say this because I can only think of a handful of companies where service is truly exceptional. How about you? How many can you think of and is your company one that quickly comes to mind?
Delivering the finest customer experience should be the number one goal of every executive and team of managers. Anything less is unacceptable. This begins with hiring the absolute best to achieve this noble goal. But in order to do so, you must have a culture that treats employees as well as you treat your customers and clients.
When I think of memorable experiences, I always think of my experience at an Apple store. Let’s face it. Most people don’t grow up dreaming of one day working in a retail store. Yet this company doesn’t seem to have a problem attracting top people while other retailers settle for those who have to rely on a cash register to make change. Every employee that I’ve interacted with at an Apple store appears to be hand selected.
The next time you are tempted to hire a new employee, ask yourself, "Is this person good enough?" If you can't say, "Absolutely!" right away, then pass. Remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea. You need to be patient and wait for the right catch to come in.
Go back to the basics Applicant tracking systems are all the rage these days, but are they really effective? Most screen applicants out, rather than in. Is that really your intent?
If your operation is small enough, go back to the basics. Have your hiring managers personally go through each application to ensure that small gems aren’t being looked over.
Make hiring managers fully accountable for the selection of their people. Encourage them to pass on candidates who don’t appear to gel culturally, and allow them to make an offer without asking permission. In other words, allow them to do what you hired them to do: manage.
Give managers a hiring process that works You don't see many recipes with only ingredients and no directions, do you? That's because people usually need to follow a process in order to achieve consistent results.
Most companies that I’ve encountered some how expect their supervisors and managers to appear on the scene fully trained on how to select top talent. I’ve been brought in to train people on Selecting for Success who have been managing for years. Every session I hear, “I wish I had known this years ago!”
In fact yesterday I conducted a Selecting for Success workshop for experienced association executives. I noticed a huge shift in their mindset as we practiced in real-time how to assess candidates for fit and how to quickly move through interviews when it’s apparent that the person in front of you isn’t the right person for the organization. I’m confident that this group of experienced leaders will dramatically improve their ability to hire the right people for their organization in 2013 and beyond. Can you say the same about your leaders?
Accelerate I’ve also noted that companies are taking too long to hire good people. As the economy continues to improve and businesses begin to grown again, speed will be imperative. Vacant positions will lead to poor reviews on sites like Yelp, which will live forever. Mediocre staff will make customers feel that they aren't really that special. Some may return, but most will look for a place where they feel welcomed.
Bring in a master chef I see too many organizations using shortcuts when it comes to training their staff in how to assess talent. Some actually believe that you can learn this skill by watching a 45-minute video. It doesn't work this way for the majority of people, and if the majority of people are responsible for hiring in your organization, then you better consider bringing in an expert who can work side-by-side with your people as they practice their craft.
When I work with clients to accelerate and improve their ability to hire top talent, we always begin by working off of one recipe. Prior to the program, we create a recipe that is unique to the company by clarifying the values or traits that the company is looking for so everyone is on the same page. We then use this as our base and add other ingredients as necessary. Everyone in the room is given the opportunity to practice basic skills in a safe environment. No one is sent to the front-lines to interview until they are confident they can present themselves in a good light to all candidates.
Benefits of selecting right the first time around
Besides the obvious benefit of hiring good people the first time around, there are a number of other benefits that aren't mentioned all that often. They are as follows:
- Reduced stress I know many CEOs, executives, and managers who have lost countless nights of sleep worrying about how they were going to fire someone who never should have been hired in the first place. Do this right the first time and you can eliminate stress that may be weighing you down.
- Improving repute In any business, your people are your brand. Hire the right people and you can bet that others will be singing your praise.
- Decreased cost of employee turnover If you really knew the true cost of turnover (and I'm not talking about some silly formula that says it's one times, two times, three times annual salary), then you'd be taking names and heads would be rolling. The cost of job postings, recruitment fees, salaries of your own recruiters, drug testing and background checks, opportunity cost, refunds for poor service, and matters that didn't get done because you were busy focusing on disciplinary problems all add up to quite a hefty number. The list goes on and on, as do the costs.
Some recipes are worth keeping and passing from generation to generation, and others should be tossed. How would your clients rate your hiring recipe for selecting for success?
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