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Managerial Fit is the Key to Achieving More Win-Win Hiring Outcomes

Managerial Fit is the Key to Achieving More Win-Win Hiring Outcomes

It doesn’t take much research to figure out that for candidates who are hired primarily for their hard skills when they underperform it’s most often due either to their lack of soft skills, team skills or an inability to work with their hiring manager. These problems can be avoided by changing how candidates are assessed with more focus on the context of the job and the fit factors, not just their technical competency. The “how to do this properly” is fully covered in the 4th edition of Hire with Your Head (Wiley & Sons, September 2021) but the theme of hiring for the anniversary date, rather than the start date, is the real purpose of the book. This is called Win-Win Hiring.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Controlling Bias

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Performance-based Hiring is Win-Win Hiring

Performance-based Hiring is Win-Win Hiring

As part of the fourth edition of Hire with Your Head (Wiley, September 2021) we’re starting a unique book club for those who pre-order the book. Over the next several weeks I’ll be highlighting different themes from the book. This week focuses on the idea of hiring for the long-term rather than the start date in order to achieve consistent Win-Win Hiring outcomes.

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Posted in: Controlling Bias, Current Articles, Diversity Hiring

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8 Clues You're Interviewing an Exceptional Person

8 Clues You

On September 22, 2021, the 4th edition of Hire with Your Head will be published by John Wiley & Sons. As part of the totally revised edition, I reviewed some of my favorite posts from the past few years and incorporated them in the new book. The following is a slight rewrite of one that appeared on LinkedIn’s Talent Blog a few years ago. 

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Controlling Bias, Current Articles

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The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

A recent article from The Atlantic doesn’t mince words about the current labor market in the United States: “Quitting your job is hot this summer. More Americans quit in May than any other month on record going back to the beginning of the century.”

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Controlling Bias, Current Articles

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How Chevron Became a Model Workplace for Transgender Employees

How Chevron Became a Model Workplace for Transgender Employees

While many companies today express a commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusion, especially during Pride Month, actions often speak louder than words. And over the past few decades, one company that has consistently shown up for the LGBTQ+ community is Chevron.

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Posted in: Diversity Hiring, Passive Candidate Recruiting

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13 Questions You Should Ask When Checking References

13 Questions You Should Ask When Checking References

To the list of things that people either love or hate — Tom Brady, cats, brussels sprouts — we can safely add reference checks. Fans see them as a sure-fire way to uncover candidates’ abilities and to learn if they are likely to be a phenom or a fiasco. Haters, on the other hand, find them to be a complete waste of time.

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Posted in: Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire

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The Most In-Demand Jobs Right Now

The Most In-Demand Jobs Right Now

According to the latest LinkedIn data, financial advisors have become a hot commodity. The role tops our latest list of jobs with the fastest-growing demand, beating out in-person positions (including retail sales specialists, store associates, and tellers) that employers are rushing to fill as the United States and many European countries continue to lift pandemic restrictions.

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Posted in: Recruiting & Closing, Rethinking the Job Description

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The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

A recent article by Harvard Business Review points out a seeming contradiction in the U.S. labor market: Unemployment is high, yet many businesses are struggling to fill open positions. With European countries potentially heading down a similar path, it may be time for talent professionals around the globe to rethink their hiring strategies.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Recruiting & Closing, Talent Strategy

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Here’s What Candidates Really Think About the Diversity Statements in Your Job Posts

Here’s What Candidates Really Think About the Diversity Statements in Your Job Posts

“Diversity and inclusion is more than a statement,” wrote one participant in LinkedIn’s new study on DEI statements in job posts. “A company needs to show how they have embraced diversity and inclusion,” she continued, “not just print the standard blurb on a job description.”

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Diversity Hiring

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How 'Candidate Care' Can Help You Land Talent, Even When They Aren’t Ready to Move

How

Making a job change is an incredibly big decision for candidates. It’s personal, emotional, and sometimes anxiety inducing. Additionally, sometimes the best candidates for your opening aren’t actively on the job market or ready to make a move.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Controlling Bias, Current Articles

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Avoid This Career Limiting Mistake When Changing Jobs

Avoid This Career Limiting Mistake When Changing Jobs

Make sure you read “15 Ways to Hack-a-Job” if you’re starting to think about changing jobs. Here are 107 other job posts for job seekers that will guide you step-by-step through ensuring you compare offers properly especially how to negotiate compensation. You’ll find the condensed version in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired.

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Posted in: Controlling Bias, Current Articles, Rethinking the Job Description

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The Most Common Interview Questions — and What to Ask Instead

The Most Common Interview Questions — and What to Ask Instead

Lists of the most common interview questions—10, 20, 50, even 150 questions—are all over the Internet. Many of these lists are intended for conscientious job-seekers who want to ace their interviews. Unfortunately, that also means that answers to these questions are endlessly rehearsed by candidates. On top of that, answers to many of these questions don’t give you, the interviewer, the insight you need to make a good hiring decision. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the eight most commonly asked interview questions and what you might ask instead to really get to know a candidate. 1. “What is your biggest weakness?” Though there are many contenders, this is by general agreement the worst interview question out there. For starters, it encourages candidates to lie. No one will answer it honestly—nor should they. Ellen Jovin, a principal at Syntaxis, hates this question. “Their biggest weakness may well be really embarrassing,” she says. “Maybe they eat with their toes or compulsively steal beef jerky from gas station convenience stores or have 53 cats.” What you should ask instead: What skill do you feel like you’re still missing? Chad MacRae, founder of Recruiting Social, suggests asking this question. You want to find someone who embraces continuous learning, who is innately curious, and who is self-aware enough to understand that there are still valuable things she doesn’t know how to do. You probably want to avoid a Master of the Universe who merely needs to learn to be less of a

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Passive Candidate Recruiting

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Vaccination Policies: What Companies Should Consider Before Putting Plans in Place

Vaccination Policies: What Companies Should Consider Before Putting Plans in Place

The announcement that effective COVID-19 vaccines had been developed was cause for both celebration and relief. But with vaccine rollouts well underway, companies around the world are now facing a dilemma: whether or not to mandate that current employees and new hires get the vaccine before returning to the workplace.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Quality of Hire, Talent Strategy

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How Employee Stories Can Help You Build a More Inclusive Workplace

How Employee Stories Can Help You Build a More Inclusive Workplace

When you go to the doctor, it’s natural to talk about the symptoms you’re experiencing. While medical tests will be critical to judging your health, a doctor can make a better assessment when you share details of how your life is changing and what pain you might be feeling. The same can be said about measuring diversity and inclusion.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Recruiting & Closing, Talent Strategy

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The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

After the release of the latest U.S. jobs report, pundits, politicians, and journalists alike have been theorizing as to why the numbers were so disappointing. After all, across the country vaccination rates are trending up, lockdown restrictions are easing or lifting entirely, and businesses and offices are opening up.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Quality of Hire

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5 Steps to Eliminate First Impression Bias and Hire the Right Candidate

5 Steps to Eliminate First Impression Bias and Hire the Right Candidate

First impression bias is the primary cause of most hiring mistakes. Why? Because when we feel good about someone right away, we tend to ask easier questions. And when we feel negative right away, we ask more difficult questions. In other words, we look (often subconsciously) to confirm our first impression.

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Posted in: Controlling Bias, Diversity Hiring

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How to Develop Assessments That Will Help You Hire for Skills, Not Schools

How to Develop Assessments That Will Help You Hire for Skills, Not Schools

In a 2017 report, researchers from Harvard Business School, Accenture, and Grads of Life discovered that in the United States alone, 6 million middle-skills jobs were at risk of “degree inflation” — the practice of requiring or preferring a college degree for jobs previously held by people without one. This not only created unnecessary barriers to entry for countless skilled job seekers but also made it harder for companies to hire, with two-thirds of employers struggling to fill these roles.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Quality of Hire

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Creating a Win-Win Hiring Culture Starts with a Win-Win Hiring Strategy

Creating a Win-Win Hiring Culture Starts with a Win-Win Hiring Strategy

As part of the launch of the 4th edition of Hire with Your Head (Wiley, September 2021) we’ll be hosting a number of interactive webcasts where we work through active search projects using the principles of Performance-based Hiring as a foundation. We'll be demonstrating this idea at our next webcast with a focus on what recruiters need to do to connect with outstanding and diverse talent who are in high demand. The key to success here is to start with the right hiring strategy that maps to how these people look for new jobs.

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Posted in: Recruiting & Closing, Talent Strategy

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Gold Medal–Winning Paralympian Shares 5 Tips for Creating a More Inclusive Workplace

Gold Medal–Winning Paralympian Shares 5 Tips for Creating a More Inclusive Workplace

Liz Johnson has a pretty good idea of just how much people with disabilities can do.

Liz has cerebral palsy, which has left her right side much weaker than her left. She’s won gold medals in swimming at the Paralympics and the world and European championships and set world records i

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Current Articles

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These InMails Get the Best Response Rates, LinkedIn Data Reveals

These InMails Get the Best Response Rates, LinkedIn Data Reveals

They’re a good indicator of candidate engagement, but they also mean recruiters are getting more bang for their buck from their InMail allotment. Recruiters earn an InMail credit back if their message receives a response within 90 days — so response rates reflect both candidate engagement and recruiter efficiency.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Performance-based Interview

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This One Change Opens the Talent Pool to More Outstanding Diverse Talent

This One Change Opens the Talent Pool to More Outstanding Diverse Talent

I contend that the biggest reason companies struggle to hire outstanding diverse, non-traditional and high potential talent is that they continue to use job descriptions that require a skill set that puts a lid on quality of hire since most of the best people have a different mix of skills and experiences. Just as bad, the best people with the required skill-set aren’t interested in what appears to be an ill-defined lateral transfer. In essence the use of these types of job descriptions guarantees the company will hire people exactly like those they’ve already hired and not improve the quality, or the diversity of the people hired.

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Posted in: Diversity Hiring, Performance-based Interview

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The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

The 10 Must-Read Articles for Recruiters This Week

Wild horses are often seen as a symbol of the American West, but in what could be a first in the corporate world, Tesla is showcasing the animals as a part of a recruiting effort. “Come work at the biggest [and] most advanced factory on Earth!” tweeted CEO Elon Musk when the company opened its new plant in a remote area of Nevada. “Located by a river near the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with wild horses roaming free.”

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Posted in: Controlling Bias, Current Articles

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No Need for the 9-5: How PwC Successfully Built a Culture of Work Flexibility

No Need for the 9-5: How PwC Successfully Built a Culture of Work Flexibility

Back in 2019, 72% of talent professionals said that work flexibility would be very important to the future of recruiting and HR. COVID-19 pushed that prediction to fruition much sooner than anyone could have anticipated. Today, 73% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue after the immediate need has passed, and 70% of managers say they’re more open to flexible models for their teams than they were prepandemic. As Leena Nair, CHRO at Unilever, commented during LinkedIn’s recent Forward event on the future of work: “It would be the tragedy of our times if we didn’t reinvent the workplace in this moment.”

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Posted in: -, Talent Strategy

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When Recruiting the Big Fish "No NOs!"​ Is the Rule

When Recruiting the Big Fish "No NOs!"​ Is the Rule

More than 40 years ago the #1 recruiter in the world told me that applicant control was the key to making 2-3X as many placements per month. It took me one full year to master the technique but my placement rate soared by over 3X during the next 18 months as a result. More importantly, 75% of these candidates who were subsequently placed over the next 25+ years (more than 600 people!) were either assigned to stretch projects or got promoted during the first year. Just as important, less than 10% left during the first year.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Quality of Hire

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Interviewing Gamesmanship Starts by Learning the Rules of the Game

Interviewing Gamesmanship Starts by Learning the Rules of the Game

Over the past 40+ years I've interviewed thousands of candidates for manager, director and VP level positions. Very few of these candidates actually applied for the job being filled at the time. Most were found via LinkedIn or a referral. Nonetheless, I was dumbfounded that many of these people weren’t great interviewees, yet most were all remarkable people doing their jobs.

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Posted in: Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire

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10 Ways to Reduce Interviewer Bias

10 Ways to Reduce Interviewer Bias

In my 45+ years as a recruiter, one of the many things I’ve learned is that strangers get a bad deal when it comes to being accurately assessed during interviews. While people who are known to the hiring manager are assessed on their past performance, strangers are judged on their motivation to get the job, a bunch of generic competencies, the depth of their technical knowledge and the quality of their presentation skills. Worse, all of these factors are viewed through a biased lens filled with misconceptions and flawed logic.

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Posted in: Controlling Bias, Diversity Hiring

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This 2-Question BEST Test Beats DiSC, MBTI and PI

This 2-Question BEST Test Beats DiSC, MBTI and PI

Back in the ‘80s I took my first DiSC personality assessment and its cousin, the Predictive Index (PI). Like the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI), these types of assessments involve a series of either/or questions like, “Would you rather attend a beer bust or do root cause analysis?” The DiSC and PI tests concluded I liked to persuade people with a hammer and that I was a weak analyst.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Talent Strategy

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Use the Whole-Brain Interview to Predict Quality of Hire

Use the Whole-Brain Interview to Predict Quality of Hire

After years of interviewing and tracking hundreds of people post-hire, it became obvious that most candidates get hired based on criteria that doesn’t predict success: typically, their individual contributor skills, depth of technical skills, an ability to interview well and their personality. The problem with this is that when they underperform it’s largely due to their lack of soft skills; poor decision making; weak organizational ability; inability to fit with the team, manager or company culture; and lack of motivation to do the actual work required.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Quality of Hire

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Interviewing is Not About Asking the Right Questions; It’s About Getting the Right Answers

Interviewing is Not About Asking the Right Questions; It’s About Getting the Right Answers

While asking a bunch of standard behavioral questions might help eliminate weak candidates, that approach will backfire when interviewing the strongest candidates. In fact, I’ll contend that with just two basic questions you can accurately predict ability, motivation, fit, performance and potential. One question involves digging into the candidate’s major accomplishments, the other how the person would figure out how to solve a realistic job-related problem.

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Posted in: Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire

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The Future of Recruiting Might Not Have Any Recruiters

The Future of Recruiting Might Not Have Any Recruiters

The past few months have been challenging for the staffing industry. LinkedIn has just announced its first layoff as companies reduce their Recruiter seat licenses, ATS vendors are reducing their teams and scaling back, HR tech vendors are cutting costs and rethinking their futures, live recruiting and sourcing conferences have been put on hold and staffing firms and RPOs are scrambling for more business as their PPE loans run dry.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Performance-based Interview

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How Recruiters Can Drive Diversity Efforts

How Recruiters Can Drive Diversity Efforts

The entire recruiting and staffing industry has been upended in the past few months. Live recruiting events and conferences have been canceled. Some recruiting teams are scaling back or putting projects on hold, while others are focusing on reskilling or redeploying teammates to other business priorities. On top of this, we’re also seeing a trend towards a hiring manager do-it-yourself model that basically bypasses the recruiter and sourcer entirely. However, we are seeing one big area of opportunity: Recruiters who are true value-added partners to their hiring managers by sourcing, recruiting, and closing outstanding talent — especially diverse talent. These recruiters are in high-demand and this demand is increasing. But being successful in this new opportunity requires a different set of skills and competencies. By benchmarking best practices, we’ve been able to capture these skills in our new “Recruiter of the Future” competency model. Download it here and be sure to sign up for our ongoing series of webcasts. (The next one is July 29, 2020, but if you can’t make it, you’ll still be able to find the recording.) The metric of success in this competency model isn’t jobs filled on time and at the lowest cost, but quality of hire and job satisfaction on the candidate’s first-year anniversary date, not their start date. We refer to this idea as “Win-Win Hiring.” A successful Win-Win Hiring outcome occurs after one year when the hiring manager fully agrees the new hire is an outstanding performer and the new employee is

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Posted in: Controlling Bias, Diversity Hiring

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4 Clues That You’re About to Make a Bad-Hiring Decision

4 Clues That You’re About to Make a Bad-Hiring Decision

The cost of your company’s bad hiring decisions can be staggering. To calculate this cost, I tell my clients to add the first-year turnover rate to the percentage of people who the company wouldn’t rehire. This number is your company’s Bad Hiring Rate (BHR). Next, I ask them to multiply the BHR with the total increase in payroll for new hires to calculate the cost of bad hiring decisions at your company.

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Posted in: Performance-based Interview, Talent Strategy

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Advice from Sherlock Holmes On How to Assess Technical and Team Skills

Advice from Sherlock Holmes On How to Assess Technical and Team Skills

Last week on my “Almost Daily Recruiting Show” one caller suggested competency-based interviewing was the solution to all interviewing problems. I begged to differ. I contended that competency or behavioral interviewing wasn’t effective unless it was tied to a good understanding of the performance objectives of the job and the underlying environment. The point made was that just about everyone can give examples of when they used a competency like results-oriented, effective communication skills or strong collaboration ability, but if these aren’t directly related to the actual requirements of the job itself, a proper assessment is not possible.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Talent Strategy

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The Two Questions You Must Ask to Ensure a Win-Win Hiring Outcome

The Two Questions You Must Ask to Ensure a Win-Win Hiring Outcome

A Win-Win Hiring outcome means the hiring manager and the new hire both agree it was the right decision one year into the job. While defining hiring success at the one year anniversary date rather than the start date is a worthy goal, it requires some significant process reengineering efforts to achieve it on a consistent basis. The first is recognizing what works and what doesn’t and then asking two critical questions during the interview.

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Posted in: Performance-based Interview, Talent Strategy

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How Job Seekers Can Create Win-Win Hiring Outcomes

How Job Seekers Can Create Win-Win Hiring Outcomes

If a candidate accepts an offer largely based on the title, compensation and location, a Win-Win Hiring outcome is unlikely. Win-Win Hiring means the hiring manager is happy with the person’s performance on the one-year anniversary date and the new employee still finds the job motivating and satisfying. Achieving this positive outcome requires a lot of effort before, during and after the interview by everyone involved, especially the job seeker.

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Posted in: Quality of Hire, Talent Strategy

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Use This 3-step Win-Win Hiring Program to Ensure You Land the Right Candidate

Use This 3-step Win-Win Hiring Program to Ensure You Land the Right Candidate

In part 1 of this series, I suggested that in order to increase interviewing accuracy beyond the 65% standard of behavioral interviewing, you needed to first ask this question when opening up a new job requisition

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire, Rethinking the Job Description, Talent Strategy

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5 Interview Prep Tips to Help Ensure Your Good Candidates Aren’t Being Excluded for Bad Reasons

5 Interview Prep Tips to Help Ensure Your Good Candidates Aren’t Being Excluded for Bad Reasons

While writing my book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, I found it challenging to write the section about “Getting Hired” since my target audience was primarily hiring managers, interviewers, and recruiters. But I felt the “Getting Hired” part was important to add in order to give job seekers a chance to take control of the interview whenever they felt they weren’t being fairly assessed.

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Posted in: Quality of Hire, Recruiting & Closing, Talent Strategy

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Why Identifying Performance Objectives Is the Most Important Step to Hiring Top Talent

Why Identifying Performance Objectives Is the Most Important Step to Hiring Top Talent

In their landmark study — First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently — Gallup introduced their Q12 employee engagement survey. The Q12 describes in priority order what the best managers do and need to do to create high performing teams. Number one on the list? “Clarify Expectations Up Front.” Whether you’re a sourcer, recruiter, interviewer, or hiring manager, one way you can live up to this value of providing clear expectations from the get-go is to take the time to fully understand the job you’re trying to fill. And you can start this process before you even write a job description by creating a list of performance objectives for the role. I’ve been doing this throughout my 40+ year career as a recruiter and trainer, including in my very first search project for a plant manager many years ago. In that case, I walked the factory floor and identified the six things a potential hire would need to fix over their first 6-12 months, in order to be considered successful. Here’s how you can clarify expectations for your candidates, plus some examples of how to identify successful performance objectives for the jobs you’re looking to fill: Identify critical performance objectives before writing your job description More recently, in fact just two weeks ago, I worked with a Board consisting of investors and founders for a $150 million food manufacturer who were getting ready to hire a new CEO. After a few hours of wrangling, we

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Posted in: Performance-based Interview

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How to Calculate the Cost of Bad Hiring Decisions — and Avoid Them in the Future

How to Calculate the Cost of Bad Hiring Decisions — and Avoid Them in the Future

While inquiring about the status of a hiring manager interview training proposal, a client told me she would get back to me as soon as they got their budget approved for next year. As part of our discussion, I asked how much they included in their budget for bad hires.

My client’s answer was that she hadn’t given this much thought, but she was intrigued by the idea. She also asked how she could figure out the cost of bad hires since it was an obvious and recurring cost, but one that was hard to put a number to. Some of the cost was taken by the legal department, but most of it was in lost performance and hard to even begin to calculate.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Quality of Hire

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Dump Your Job Descriptions and Hire Stronger Talent

Dump Your Job Descriptions and Hire Stronger Talent

In my supposed semi-retired state, I’ve been asked to help some PE and VC boards hire a number of C-level officers. Most of the job descriptions sent my way start with the classic laundry list of “must-have” experiences and competencies. As a result, they all get my classic response: “This is not a job description, it’s a person description. Let’s put the person description in the parking lot and first define the work the person needs to do to be considered successful.”

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Posted in: Current Articles, Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire

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Recruiters Must Master These Critical High-Touch Skills to Stay Relevant

Recruiters Must Master These Critical High-Touch Skills to Stay Relevant

Recruiters can play a strategic role in any company, but too often their focus is filling jobs with a reasonably competent person at a reasonable cost in some reasonable timeframe. But as far as I’m concerned, this kind of hiring is an overhead function that can be automated with some combination of an ATS, a chat bot, and a robot. A more strategic recruiter, on the other hand, is someone who can consistently raise the talent bar when the right talent is hard to find. Let the robots fill the easy positions. The recruiter of tomorrow is someone who can fill the hard roles, and take my word for it — in the future, there will be more hard ones to fill. Here’s how to get started.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Current Articles

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How to Increase Quality of Hire by Only Sourcing Semi-finalists

How to Increase Quality of Hire by Only Sourcing Semi-finalists

Separating sourcing from recruiting never made a lot of sense to me. Many sourcers never even talk to candidates and just pass a list of names to a recruiter. But the best candidates, whether they’re active or passive job seekers, always have multiple opportunities and convincing them your opportunity is worth considering involves just as much recruiting as sourcing. So the key is to do both to keep the best people engaged throughout the hiring process — and if you do make an offer, it shouldn’t be tied to a big increase in compensation. Here’s how to get started:

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Posted in: Current Articles, Quality of Hire

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Double Your Productivity With These 6 Recruiting Tips

Double Your Productivity With These 6 Recruiting Tips

When I first became a recruiter, one big frustration was having hiring managers reject good people for bad reasons. When this happened, the hiring manager would inevitably ask, “Do you have any other candidates?” and I would have to do the search all over again. For everyone involved — the recruiter, the hiring manager, and the candidate — this is a waste of time. And when it happens too often, it means the hiring process is broken.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Passive Candidate Recruiting, Recruiting & Closing

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How to Determine Work Quality and Intrinsic Motivation in a First Interview

How to Determine Work Quality and Intrinsic Motivation in a First Interview

One of the factors in our Recruiter Competency Model is the ability to be able to assess technical competency and intrinsic motivation in a one-hour interview. In an earlier post someone commented that this was not possible. I begged to differ and offered this advice:

Here are some of the live and forward-looking metrics I’d use to achieve a Win-Win Hiring goal using SmartRecruiters’ Net Hiring Score as a target:

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Posted in: Quality of Hire, Talent Strategy

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10 Ways to Avoid Making $100,000 Hiring Mistakes

10 Ways to Avoid Making $100,000 Hiring Mistakes

Take a moment to consider the following: If your company hires 100 people in the next 12 months, that’s an annual increase in compensation costs of at least $10 million if you factor in an average total compensation of $100,000 per person. Clearly, the total cost of hiring dwarfs the cost per hire, and no matter how you cut it, that’s a lot of money. Unfortunately, much of this spend will be wasted by hiring the wrong people.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Quality of Hire

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Stop Turnover: Give Everyone a 20% Annual Increase

Stop Turnover: Give Everyone a 20% Annual Increase

Ensuring the candidate has the right information to answer the, “Why do you want the job?” question, starts when I first talk with the person. During this call I suggest that no one should accept an offer for another job if it doesn’t provide at least a 30% non-monetary increase. More important, all offers, including not changing jobs or accepting a counteroffer should be compared using this same benchmark. This idea is shown in the graphic and referred to as the 30% Solution.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Talent Strategy

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Amazon’s Talent Bar-raising Program Reveals Flaws in Hiring Practices

Amazon’s Talent Bar-raising Program Reveals Flaws in Hiring Practices

The Six Sigma movement of the 1980s and 1990s was developed around the same concept of correcting problems as early as possible in the process to minimize costs and maximize final product quality.

The same idea can be applied to a company’s sourcing and selection process based on the idea that too many rejections at the end of the process, including good candidates opting-out or rejecting offers and bar-raisers saying no, means there’s a problem somewhere upstream. Eliminating these upstream problems will reduce costs, increase recruiter productivity, save time, and shorten time-to-fill while raising the quality of the people being seen and hired.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Talent Strategy

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Why Candidate Experience Should Start with the Job Description — and Continue Well After the Hire Date

Why Candidate Experience Should Start with the Job Description — and Continue Well After the Hire Date

To set the record straight, I believe that providing an extraordinary candidate experience for serious and well-qualified candidates is essential. After all, you’re affecting these people’s lives and it’s important for them to have all the information they need to make the right career decision.

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Posted in: Quality of Hire

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When Personality Tests are Useless for Hiring and When They're Mandatory

When Personality Tests are Useless for Hiring and When They

I’ve long contended that personality style tests like Predictive Index, DISC and Myers-Briggs are inappropriate for screening candidates in or out before they’re interviewed. The problem is that these tests measure preferences, not competencies. More important, most people can modify their preferred style to meet the needs of the situation, something not even considered by these types of questionnaires. As a result, there are just too many false positives and false negatives to make these types of tests good enough for filtering candidates early in the hiring process.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire

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Headhunter Secrets for Acing the Interview

Headhunter Secrets for Acing the Interview

From the company perspective, one of the biggest disruptors involved replacing generic and skills-heavy job descriptions with the answer to this question: “What does the person taking this job need to do over the course of the first year to be considered both successful and highly satisfied?”

The answer resulted in a list of 6-8 KPOs (key performance objectives) describing the work the person needed to do and its importance.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Performance-based Interview

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5 Steps to Eliminate First Impression Bias and Hire the Right Candidate

5 Steps to Eliminate First Impression Bias and Hire the Right Candidate

First impression bias is the primary cause of most hiring mistakes. Why? Because when we feel good about someone right away, we tend to ask easier question. And, when we feel negative right way, we ask more difficult questions. In other words, we (often subconsciously) look to confirm our first impression.

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Posted in: Controlling Bias

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Eliminating Turnover Requires a Lot More Commonsense and a Lot Less A

Eliminating Turnover Requires a Lot More Commonsense and a Lot Less A

It doesn’t take a lot of insight to attribute the increase in turnover over the past 25 years to the idea that most people change jobs for the wrong reasons. For some proof, just consider this report from Gallup indicating that only 30% of the workforce is fully engaged. According to Gallup, this results in a $1 trillion problem. A more recent survey we conducted on how job satisfaction impacts job hunting status validates the Gallup study.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Rethinking the Job Description

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Assessing Motivation Can Make or Break Your Next Hire — Here's How to Do It

Assessing Motivation Can Make or Break Your Next Hire — Here

In my 40+ years of recruiting, I’ve learned that recruiters often make a critical mistake in assessing a candidate for a position. Simply put, they think a candidate’s motivation to get the job (such as being prepared and on-time for the interview) is the same as their drive to do the job once they’re hired.

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Posted in: Quality of Hire

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Assessing Motivation Can Make or Break Your Next Hire — Here's How to Do It

Assessing Motivation Can Make or Break Your Next Hire — Here

In my 40+ years of recruiting, I’ve learned that recruiters often make a critical mistake in assessing a candidate for a position. Simply put, they think a candidate’s motivation to get the job (such as being prepared and on-time for the interview) is the same as their drive to do the job once they’re hired. It isn’t. Since motivation is largely driven by what I call Fit Factors, measuring fit should be the focus of most interviews. This represents the difference between a good and a bad hiring decision.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills

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A Paradigm-Shifting Idea When It Comes to Hiring

A Paradigm-Shifting Idea When It Comes to Hiring

Consider Hiring an Investment, Not an Expense

It seems the only companies successful at attracting great people on a consistent basis are those with the big brass employer brands. For everyone else, even those using ZipRecruiter or Indeed, it’s hard to hire stronger people when the focus is on the speed and cost of hiring rather than the impact those being hired can make.

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Posted in: Talent Strategy

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The One Rule Recruiters Should Follow to Prevent Employee Turnover Before It Starts

The One Rule Recruiters Should Follow to Prevent Employee Turnover Before It Starts

With a recent Gallup report suggesting turnover in U.S. businesses is a $1 trillion problem, it’s no surprise that companies are increasingly focusing on employee retention. But where many companies get things wrong is in assuming that turnover is a problem that can be solved by intervening after-the-fact.

Instead, recruiters can get ahead of the game by understanding what causes employee turnover and developing interview processes that screen for candidates who are unlikely to stick around for long.

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Posted in: Recruiting & Closing

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Candidates Must Answer Yes to These 10 Questions Before You Ever Make an Offer

Candidates Must Answer Yes to These 10 Questions Before You Ever Make an Offer

Whether a person will accept a job offer, reject it, or back out later should never come as a surprise. Any surprise factor can be avoided as long as you follow some fundamental recruiting techniques.

The most important: Never make an offer you’re not absolutely sure will be accepted.

Underlying this rule is the need to test every component of an offer to determine if the candidate will accept it before formalizing the offer in writing.

Testing can be as simple as asking the candidate if he/she would accept a fair offer and be able to start by a certain date. Any evasiveness is a clue the offer won’t be accepted.

A more formal approach to testing involves getting “yes” answers to the ten following questions. It’s important to note that getting a “no” is not a bad thing. Converting the “no” into a “yes” is called recruiting.

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Posted in: Current Articles, Performance-based Interview, Quality of Hire, Talent Strategy

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Stop the Revolving Door of Dissatisfaction and Turnover with This Crazy Idea

Stop the Revolving Door of Dissatisfaction and Turnover with This Crazy Idea

It’s important to remember that when it comes to changing jobs, it’s where you’re going that matters more than where you’ve been. 

In a recent post I contended that you don’t need a high-tech solution to solve a high touch problem like turnover. The problems and solutions are just too obvious.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Recruiting & Closing

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Here’s a Common-Sense Approach to Predict and Eliminate Turnover

Here’s a Common-Sense Approach to Predict and Eliminate Turnover

A major tech company just made a big brouhaha over its “uncanny” ability to use AI to predict which employees will voluntarily leave a company within the next 12 months. But in my opinion, there are far easier techniques to stop turnover by simply understanding why people change jobs and accept offers in the first place.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills

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What Pre-Sourcing Is — and How It Will Make Hiring the Right Candidate Easier

What Pre-Sourcing Is — and How It Will Make Hiring the Right Candidate Easier

For the first 25 of the past 40 years, I was a full-time recruiter. Of the 500+ placements I made during that time (mostly mid- and senior management positions), only about a dozen were people who responded to a job posting. The others were referred or networked and most of them were passive candidates.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting

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Eliminate the #1 Cause of Employee Dissatisfaction with this One Change

Eliminate the #1 Cause of Employee Dissatisfaction with this One Change

In The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired I contend that one of the big reasons companies struggle to hire exceptional talent is by posting job descriptions that require a bunch of prerequisites that don’t predict on-the-job success.

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Posted in: Rethinking the Job Description

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8 Clues That a Candidate Will be an Exceptional Employee

8 Clues That a Candidate Will be an Exceptional Employee

Over the past 40 years, I have reviewed at least 30,000 resumes and LinkedIn profiles and personally interviewed over 5,000 job candidates. After tracking the subsequent performance of hundreds of these people, it became apparent that there were clues in the resume and work history that accurately predicted the likelihood the person would be successful even in roles that were promotions, different jobs, stretch assignments, or in different industries.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Talent Strategy

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Two Things Recruiters Can Do to Consistently Identify the Top Candidates

Two Things Recruiters Can Do to Consistently Identify the Top Candidates

Three weeks ago, I met with a bunch of CEOs who are members of Vistage, an organization helping small and mid-size companies grow and manage their businesses. One of their biggest challenges is finding and hiring the right people. At the meeting, they all complained that the recruiters they were using were inadequate. They said few understood the job requirements or the company and all presented too many average candidates.

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Posted in: Quality of Hire, Talent Strategy

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Use This Six-point System to Hire the Best Candidates

Use This Six-point System to Hire the Best Candidates

In the process of writing the 4th edition of Hire with Your Head, my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., wanted to know what has changed from when the first edition was published in 1997.

Not much, I said. Despite the enormous investment in technology and process improvement, companies still struggle to find enough top-tier talent to fill high-demand positions just like they did 20 years ago; they just struggle differently now.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Performance-based Interview

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This Company’s Phone Screens Were Useless Until They Tried This Method

This Company’s Phone Screens Were Useless Until They Tried This Method

My firm was involved in a project last year that started with a call from a talent leader trying to figure out why the company’s hiring managers needed to see so many candidates to make one decent hire. She was under a lot of pressure to get her team to perform since many of these hiring managers were starting to revolt and use external recruiters to get their positions filled.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Performance-based Interview

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Use the Phone Interview to Convert Strangers into Acquaintances

Use the Phone Interview to Convert Strangers into Acquaintances

The reason hiring acquaintances is more predictable is that these people are hired based on their known performance doing comparable work in comparable situations. Strangers, on the other hand, don’t get this free pass. Instead, they’re first screened on their level of skills, experiences and academic background and then assessed in large measure on the quality of their presentation skills, first impression and personality.

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Posted in: Quality of Hire, Recruiting & Closing

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The Power of the Exploratory Phone Screen

The Power of the Exploratory Phone Screen

In this podcast Lou Adler goes step-by-step through what he contends is a barometer for a company’s entire hiring process. Using this process you will only need to phone screen 10-12 people to interview 3-4 people in-person to wind-up with one great hire. Whenever these metrics are exceeded the problem is either due to ineffective sourcing or weak recruiting or assessment skills. In this podcast you’ll learn how to identify outstanding talent who will not only raise the talent bar at your company but also will accept a fair offer. 

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This Phone Screen Checklist is the Swiss Army Knife of Recruiting

This Phone Screen Checklist is the Swiss Army Knife of Recruiting

Over the years I’ve discovered that by obtaining the information shown in this phone screen checklist, a recruiter can confidently recommend a candidate to be interviewed onsite. More importantly, by getting a hiring manager to conduct a similar phone screen, the manager would only need to personally interview 3-4 people to make one great hire.

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Posted in: Passive Candidate Recruiting, Recruiting & Closing

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Predicting Job Performance Starts with a Phone Call and These Two Questions

Predicting Job Performance Starts with a Phone Call and These Two Questions

As long as the work is reasonably comparable, a track record of preparing well-thought-out plans and successfully executing them time and again is the best evidence you can have for promoting or assigning a person to a bigger job. Getting this evidence is a little bit harder for someone you haven’t worked with before since bias, the use of unstructured interviews and lack of understanding of real job needs prevents an accurate assessment.

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Posted in: Assessing Soft Skills, Passive Candidate Recruiting, Quality of Hire

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Hiring for Performance Not Skills

Hiring for Performance Not Skills

Frequently hiring managers make the excuse that they don’t have enough time to spend with the recruiter to discuss a new job. Instead they want the job posted right away. In this podcast Lou Adler describes how this approach wastes more time than it saves and how to convert a 45-minute conversation into stronger hires.

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Posted in: -, Current Articles, Podcasts

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