Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blow the Sucker Up?

For those of us who follow the articles posted daily on ERE (Electronic Recruiting Exchange) the name Kevin Wheeler not only comes as no surprise, but when mentioned is often accompanied by the nodding of heads coupled with an assortment of facial expressions which convey the respect and acknowledgment that comes when people feel you really have earned a "thought leader" merit badge. Makes no difference if you agree or not, Mr. Wheeler is clearly a thinker who, and happily for the rest of us, is also a very effective communicator of ideas.

Kevin recently posted a piece entitled Blow the Sucker Up? in which he challenges a fair amount of the conventional wisdom on a number axioms surrounding the care and feeding of staffing strategies that have been around since the days of help wanted ads on sandwich boards. The article is much too long to reproduce here, but if you haven't read it, I would certainly recommend it.

Below, however, are five of what Kevin considered the most critical notions that people should consider "blowing up." It is an interesting list and if it stimulates your curiosity, as I would think it might, then you have some appreciation of the challenging perspectives he presents.
* Only passive candidates are the best.

* It's not possible to keep people as candidates for more than a short time.

* Most candidates want to apply with a resume and don't like online screening or profilers.

* Each candidate will have to be interviewed in person.

* There is no way to show a direct correlation between the sourcing and interview process, and the eventual performance of the candidate.
While I had read Kevin's piece a few days ago, I was reminded of it again today as I was being interviewed by HR Executive who had called ExecuNet regarding some of the data that had come from our Executive Job Market Intelligence Report part of which talked about the degree to which senior level executives were not happy campers in their current jobs and the implications of this in light of the current issues surrounding both recruiting and retention.

One of the things we talked about was the fact that organizations that were really serious about winning their battles in the "war for talent" had best come up with innovative solutions. I suggested to the reporter that one of those folks who has demonstrated that he really is thinking about this stuff is Wheeler and that I very much admire the way in which he gets people's attention by challenging the status quo without making the reader feel too much like a jerk for not thinking about some of this stuff themselves.

1 comment:

Neil Licht said...

Yes there is a way to show a direct correlation between the sourcing and interview process, and the eventual performance of the candidate.

Step 1. Do a benchmark assessment of your leaders, your key executives and their subordinates. Don't confuse this with the usual personality tests or assessments. Its a core traits/behavioral traits assessment that you must do.

This scientifically defines the traits and behaviors that your top performers have that have led them to being successful in your company with your people, your customers, your industry and your way of getting things done.

Its totally unique to your specific business in your specific market with your specific needs and job.

It reveals the accurate roadmap for seeing under the hood to the hidden person, the one you really hire, not the one you think you hire.

Its job fit, not personality, not experience that governs selecting the right person for your job. If you have ever hired your competitor's top performer only to see them fail, you can relate to that.

Step 2. By administering the same on line assessment used to benchmark the core behaviors and traits of your successful employees, every candidate and current employee can be measured against against the success core traits benchmark.

Use the results to predict and prevent a bad hire befor you make the offer, to assess and then identify the "right" talent, leadership and, in a sense "the right stuff" early on. With a candidate or employee you can determine job fit before you make the offer or start the infamous 90 day probation. You can even chart their development and coaching path effectively from the results.

Moreso, you will always find and have the folks needed to step up to the plate at moment's notice. Its succession planning at its best!

Step 3. Make these core benchmarks for the key jobs in your company. You then have several job specific benchmarks established by this process that come from the top performers results and then can administer and match them against existing employees results.

This reveals who is worthwhile, who can be groomed and for which position from internal employee pools. It also reveals the same for any candidates for jobs from outside the company.

This process does connect the pieces of the hiring process so it works for you with good accuracy and pedictability of results. It yields who to hire, develop promote or replace based, not on interviews alone, or gut, or great references, but instead on knowing if they really do have the inner core behaviors and traits that made your top performers successful in YOUR work environment. It reveals a true job - fit, exactly what is needed to be successful.

Neil Licht Director
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