Lou Adler Group - Originators of Performance-based Hiring

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The Lou Adler Group Articles

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...

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...

Don't Hire Anyone Who Can't Answer These 3 Questions

One of our clients asked if we could develop a short version of Performance-based Hiring that hiring managers would actually use. Three questions seemed to do the trick as long as the hiring manager f...

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 ei...

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 co...

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 ju...

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 team...

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 projec...

The Best Answer for the Most Important Interview Question of All Time

One of my first posts on this LinkedIn Influencer site, The Most Important Interview Question of All Time, was read by more than 1.5 million people. It’s still worth checking out. Following is the...

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 w...

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...

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 tha...

The future of hiring can become colorblind by reducing bias at its source

I don't need to tell you that we’re facing some really tough societal, business and health challenges that permeate everything we’re doing. We also know putting our heads in the sand or complainin...

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 per...

Eliminating Interviewer Bias Starts with a Simple Mind Game

Bias is insidious. Politics is the best example of bias at its worst. But it may be just as bad when it comes to hiring. It causes us to hire people we shouldn’t have and not hire those we should....

The Lack of Soft Skills Puts a Lid on Career Growth

In a recent LinkedIn post describing the importance of “soft skills,” one person commented that people get hired for the depth of their hard skills but are fired for their lack of “soft ski...

Soft Skills Are Too Important to Be Called Soft

A person’s “soft skills” can’t be measured by some simple test despite what some test seller might tell you. Snake oil has a better track record when you add false positives (passed the screen...

An Open Letter to Everyone Who Has Struggled Hiring Techies

Published: Mar 16, 2020

Hi (fill in your own name here),

I thought you’d be interested in a story about how one company figured out how to attract stronger and more diverse talent for some se...

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

Published: Mar 2, 2020

When it comes to finding that perfect candidate, I’m always looking for a “Win-Win Hiring” outcome. This means that both the hiring manager and the new hire both agree...

Use Insight, Not Guesswork, to Hire the Top-Third – Part 2

Published: Feb 28, 2020

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 quest...

This Fatal Flaw in Competency Models Prevents Hiring Success

Published: Feb 24, 2020

At the beginning of a recent corporate recruiter workshop a hiring manager I had worked with previously at LinkedIn, asked if he could tell a Performance-based Hiring int...

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

Published: Feb 11, 2020

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 wa...

Job Seekers Need to Control the Interview with These Questions

Published: Jan 21, 2020

I tell hiring managers that if a candidate accepts an offer largely based on the title, compensation and location a Win-Win Hiring outcome is problematic. Job seekers need...

Hire Smart or Manage Tough

Published: Jan 4, 2020

I first heard about Red Scott’s “Hire Smart or Manage Tough” credo 30+ years ago at a Vistage (then TEC) resource presentation.

The modern-day version became the Per...

Using Metrics to Achieve Win-Win Hiring Outcomes

Long, long ago in a career now nearly forgotten, I had the opportunity to work in a number of different types of high-volume manufacturing organizations including consumer electronics and automotive....

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 or...

Use the BEST Test to Assess “Bias for Action”

A recent post on CNBC indicated that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ is “obsessed” with a bias for action decision-making style. To see if you, those you know and those you might hire possess this critic...

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...

Team Skills are Too Important to Be Called "Soft"​

Despite its value, behavioral event interviewing (BEI) has some huge holes that can be quickly filled with help from the famed detective, Sherlock Holmes.

The biggest problem with BEI is the requir...

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 ...

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...

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’r...

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 othe...

Creating an Extraordinary Candidate Experience Requires a Bar Raiser Program

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In order to hire extraordinary people, you need an extraordinary job and an extraordinary candidate experience (CX). Unfortunately, most companies think the CX starts when c...

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...

Stop Hiring the Wrong People

Gallup contends that excess turnover and low employee engagement are a $1 trillion U.S. problem.

Annually.

Gallup offers some after-the-fact fixes which, as far as I’m concerned, are too late...

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 a...

Stop Turnover: Give Everyone a 20% Annual Increase

Before I make candidates an offer, I ask them if they would really want the job if it weren’t for the compensation. Most say yes, but few have a good answer when I ask, “Why?”

Getting the rig...

Why You Might Need to Reverse Your Hiring Strategy

Early in my career, I had the good fortune to work as a financial analyst for a Fortune 50 company. During a meeting where the president of a $2 billion group was presenting his business plan fo...

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

Amazon takes great pride in its bar-raiser program which gives the right to an experienced interviewer to override a hiring manager’s yay/nay decision. In some cases, this makes sense, especially if...

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

I’ve been roundly criticized for saying that improving the candidate experience is a waste of time, money, and resources.

But while close, that’s not exactly what I said.

To set the record s...

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

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...

What You Need to Ask the Hiring Manager In Order to Source the Right Candidate

If a recruiter ever needs to present more than 3-4 candidates in order to make one great hire, there is something fundamentally wrong with the hiring process being used. And, if two of the remaining t...

Headhunter Secrets for Acing the Interview

When first published, some companies banned The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, considering it overly disruptive. Worse, they thought it was inappropriate for me to provide so many i...

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 as...

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

On a recent podcast for LAXTechRecruit, the host tweeted I claimed that “AI for Hiring” was the cause of turnover. I didn’t actually say that. I said as it’s currently envisioned it woul...

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

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 (s...

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

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 (s...

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 els...

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...

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....

Hiring High Performance Sales Reps

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Hiring great sales people can be tricky.  In this podcast Lou Adler and Bryan Johanson discuss the basis for hiring great sales people every time.  It requires a healthy d...

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...

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 a...

Hiring Without These Critical “Soft Skills” is a Recipe for Disaster

Having personally been involved in more than 2,000 different hiring situations over the past forty years and tracking the subsequent performance of many of those who were hired, it’s clear most hiri...

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 res...

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 pre...

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 th...

Diversity Hiring Doesn't Require Any Compromise

At SmartRecruiters’ Hiring Success 2019 recruiting conference in San Francisco last month someone suggested that too many people think diversity hiring requires the lowering of standards.

At an...

Salary Negotiations: 5 Things Every Recruiter Should Do

To maximize acceptance rates and prevent counter-offers, recruiters must never violate this rule when negotiating offers:

Never make a formal offer until the candidate accepts every term and condit...

Recruiting Lessons From the 80’s That Will Help You Improve Quality of Hire Now

When I started as a recruiter in the 1980s, these things were true:

 If you knew the actual job needs in detail and the hiring manager personally, you only needed to present 2-3 strong candidate...

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 findin...

This One Question Accurately Predicts On-the-Job Performance - Part 1

My first search assignment – more than 40 years ago – was for a plant manager for an automotive parts manufacturing company. There was no job description for the role, so when I met the company pr...

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 m...

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...

Use the Phone Interview to Convert Strangers into Acquaintances

The phone screen is the single most important tool in any manager’s or recruiter’s hiring toolbox. Here’s why:

The phone screen is the first time all of the decision-makers in the hiring pr...

Raise the Talent Bar by Redefining the Bar

Raising the talent bar involves consistently hiring people who are in the top half of their peer group. If this is a strategic talent acquisition goal for your company, you need to consider these fund...

The Power of the Exploratory Phone Screen

 

 
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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...

Time is Your Most Valuable Asset - Don’t Waste It

Long ago a candidate told me he was taking an offer from another company for a little more pay, a better title and a job closer to home.

Among other things, I told him he was making a long-term de...

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, b...

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 assig...

This 2-Step Process Virtually Eliminates Interviewer Bias

There was an article last week in the WSJ describing how seasonal workers are being hired sight unseen. Well that’s not totally true since they are being heard via phone screen even if they ar...

Job Seekers: Your Questions are More Important than Your Answers

One of my first posts on this LinkedIn Influencer site, The Most Important Interview Question of All Time, was read by more than 1.5 million people. Here’s the quick summary of the question and pro...

Amazon Exposes Fatal Flaws of Using AI for Hiring

Whenever asked about the latest hiring buzz I always respond by saying that while the buzz is louder than ever, when it comes to hiring stronger people little progress has been made.

For example, ...

This One Interview Question Expands the Talent Pool to Everyone Qualified

...

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...

How to Improve Quality of Hire by Changing the Way You Source Candidates

Maximizing quality of hire and spending less money at the same time may seem impossible, but it isn’t. It all comes down to allocating a company’s recruiting budget based on the channels that prod...

Reinventing Hiring Based on How the Best People Find New Jobs

This past month, I talked with a dozen companies about their hiring challenges. They were the exact same challenges a dozen different companies described to me last year. In fact, they were exactly th...

Why the Best Candidates Rarely Become the Best Hires

I find the conventional wisdom when it comes to properly using AI and implementing a positive candidate experience fundamentally flawed. My issue rests on the premise that talent leaders are solving t...

Why the Best Candidates Rarely Become the Best Hires

I find the conventional wisdom when it comes to properly using AI and implementing a positive candidate experience fundamentally flawed. My issue rests on the premise that talent leaders are s...

How to Close More Candidates by Preventing Job Hopping Syndrome

Two weeks ago, I posted the below image and message on LinkedIn:

“A new disease is on the horizon—and it's career threatening. As the economy heats up, people switch jobs for the wrong reason...

Why Inbound Recruiting Will Soon be History

In a previous post on LinkedIn’s Talent Blog, I offered a semi-futuristic version of a recruiter competency model.

In a more recent post, I suggested there were some serious downsides to using AI...

The Simple Solution to 3 of the Biggest Issues Recruiters Face

Over the past several weeks I have spent serious time with several private equity investors, a few CEOs of companies ranging from $100mm to $1b and a number of their C-level executives. In these meeti...

Eliminating These 3 Common Tools Will Disrupt (and Improve) Your Hiring Process

Hiring better people starts by disrupting the hiring process as we know it, and disrupting the hiring process starts by eliminating certain tools.

It’s no secret that I consider psychological pse...

Why You Never (Ever) Want to Be an Inbound Job Candidate

...

Why AI Will Never Solve Recruiting’s Biggest Problem

At a webcast last week I asked the recruiters who the primary decision maker is when it comes to the yes/no hiring decision. Selecting all that apply, the results looked something like this:

Th...

Low Unemployment and Job Growth Demands a New Hiring Strategy

When talent is scarce, you need a talent strategy designed to attract people in not weed them out more efficiently. Given this, here are the five prerequisites for attracting and hiring the best peop...

Lou Adler's Hiring Troubleshooting Guide

...

This Trait Drives Personal Success

Of late, there’s been a number of questions on my Quora account from high school seniors and their parents about what will happen to them if they don’t get into their dream school.

This was and...

How to Assess If a Candidate Will Be a Team Player, Sherlock Holmes Style

Sherlock Holmes is a master of deduction: Using evidence to determine the crime and the criminal.

Surprisingly, this same objective evidence-based approach can be used to interview a candidate for...

This Is the Key Difference Between Good and Great Recruiters

In a recent study, we compared the performance of the best executive recruiters to their corporate, RPO and agency counterparts. The overall results are summarized in the graphic.

Here’s the sh...

Assessment Tests Often Exclude the BEST Candidates for the Worst Reasons

In a recent post I made the case that PI, CI, DISC and similar style-based assessment tests are ill-advised for screening purposes. Despite their problems, they have value when used to assess the fin...

Eliminating These 3 Common Tools Will Disrupt (and Improve) Your Hiring Process

Hiring better people starts by disrupting the hiring process as we know it, and disrupting the hiring process starts by eliminating certain tools.

It’s no secret that I consider psychological pse...

A Commonsense Idea for Removing Interview Bias

Bias is insidious. Politics is the best example of bias at its worst. Long ago I learned how to overcome interviewing bias by accident by conducting a non-interview. The story went something like this...

As Sourcing Becomes Easier, Recruiting Becomes Harder

In a talent scarcity situation where the demand for top talent exceeds the supply, I advocate a “small batch, high touch, high tech” hiring model. Done properly, you only need 15-20 prospects at t...

How I Stumbled Upon the World’s Greatest Interview

Imagine a job interview that achieves the following:

Accurately predicts on-the-job performance, motivation, cultural fit and potential.
Minimizes every type of interviewer bias, like race, ge...

This One Change Will Change Everyone You Hire

Assess Ability Before You Assess Likability
Bias permeates everything we do. Politics is the best example of bias at its worst. The big problem with bias is that we ignore information that conflicts...

How to Use the 80/20 Talent Rule to Increase Quality of Hire

Most companies unknowingly violate this the 80/20 Talent Rule every day. The rule is:

Focus 80% of your hiring and recruiting efforts on the most important 20% of the talent market.

When compani...

Violate the 80/20 Talent Rule at Your Peril

The 80/20 Talent Rule: Invest 80% of your hiring and recruiting efforts on the most important 20% of the talent market.

Twenty years ago I had this cartoon drawn to reflect the then state-of-affair...

Making This One Change to How I Wrote Job Descriptions Made Me a Better Recruiter

Before I became a recruiter, I worked in several different industries. I was a guidance and control system engineer, financial analysist, manager of capital budgeting, director of business planning, d...

Ask These Questions to Ace the Job Interview

Once you get an interview, the chance you'll be assessed properly is remote. You can improve your odds 5-10X by asking "forced-choice turn-around" questions. For example, if the manager is asking a ra...

4 Highly Effective Ways to Eliminate Hiring Bias

Bias permeates everything we do. Politics in the news is the best example of bias at its worst. While this is just one area in which bias dominates our decision-making process, the bigger problem with...

6 Steps for Creating an Expert Hiring System

An expert system is a business process that simulates the judgment and behavior of a human who has expert knowledge and experience in a particular field.

I've been around for a lot of years...

The Sherlock Holmes Interview Accurately Predicts Technical Ability

Most technical managers find the interviewing skills of their recruiters woefully inaccurate. They contend this is largely due to their inability to accurately assess technical competency.

Most rec...

The Best Technical Interview of All Time for Non-Techies

Last week, I was talking with a senior technical director who handles major defense contracts for advanced weapon systems. He lamented that he could not find enough top hardware and software engineers...

The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Universe and Related Matters

I recently tweeted the image shown below. With no explanation whatsoever it got 320 thousand views in a few days but only 1,400 clicks to the details.

Given this reaction to the importance of chan...

“Missing the Point” is the Source of Most Conflict

I contend I’m the most objective person in the world despite the fact that I always use biased information to prove it.

The same holds true for just about everyone when interviewing candidates ...

Stop Asking About Salary History and Do This Instead

It's pretty clear that people who write laws prohibiting discussions about salary history don't know anything about hiring. If they did, they would write a law preventing companies from box-checking s...

Use These 4 “Work Types” to Better Define Your Job Openings

Skills-based job descriptions are the lazy person’s way to hire the wrong person. The right way to hire the right person is to define a job as a series of 5-6 performance objectives and screen can...

The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Universe and Related Matters

The Job Seeker’s Guide to the Universe and Related Matters
I recently tweeted the image shown below. With no explanation whatsoever it got 320 thousand views in a few days but only 1,400 click...

This Phone Screen Will Change the Quality of Every Person Hired at Your Company

The phone screen provides remarkable insight into the quality of a company’s entire hiring process. Consider:

If the hiring manager refuses to phone screen all of the candidates a recruiter rec...

The "No Salary History" Law Won't Make Recruiting Better—Getting Rid of Box-Checking Will

While some people are concerned about how the “No Salary History” law will affect hiring, the truth is that asking or not asking about salary really shouldn’t make a difference. It’s not goi...

We Can Predict the Weather, Why Not Quality of Hire

I was talking with a very smart guy last week, who told me that weather prediction has gotten 50% better in the last 10 years. This involved a lot of modeling and AI in combination with hundreds of da...

Want to Make Sure You Hire the Best Candidate? Ask These 2 Interview Questions

If you understand real job needs, you only need to ask two questions to predict on-the-job success. It doesn't matter what you ask if you don't know job needs, you'll either be wrong, or lucky.

It...

How to Eliminate 150% of All Hiring Mistakes

You can't solve a three-dimensional problem with a one-dimensional solution.
Every year about this time I get interviewed by some magazine about what I think will happen in the upcoming year to impro...

Here Are the Best (and Worst) Predictors of Quality of Hire

In the last few years, we’ve run a survey asking how recently hired people found their jobs and how active or passive they were when they heard about the job. With the help of a curious Harvard unde...

The Two Questions You Must Ask Every Job Candidate

You might recall that the first most important interview question of all time is, “Can you describe your most significant career accomplishment?” I suggest spending about 10-15 minutes on this...

You Never Need to Compromise Quality, Speed or Cost of Hire – Here is How to Win at All Three

A few weeks ago I was talking to the CEO of a $250 million business looking for a CFO. He started the meeting complaining that the recruiters he’s used in the past always try to talk him into compro...

When It Comes to Hiring, Start with a 3-Legged Stool

If you're a job seeker, what would you do if you could only apply to 4-5 jobs in any given month?

I suspect you'd be a lot more focused and conduct a lot more due diligence before hitting the apply...

The Fatal Flaw in Behavioral Interviewing

The other day a woman at a webcast I was leading asked why I didn’t think behavioral-based interviewing is effective for assessing competency, fit and motivation for a specific job. My two-minute r...

This Job Interviewing Process Will Prevent You From Hiring a JerkThe 1 Interview Question That Will Help You Avoid Hiring a Jerk

Digging deep into a candidate's track record of building and developing high performing diverse teams will avoid most managerial disasters. Conducting the due diligence is the first step.

A few yea...

Sourcing Doesn’t End with a Great Name—That’s Only the Start of a Good Sourcer’s Work

Sourcing and recruiting may seem like two separate activities, but they’re not. If you’re not good at sourcing, you can’t be good at recruiting, and vice versa. Why? Because if sourcers can’t...

Most Companies Still Use Pre-Industrial Revolution Hiring Processes

I make the contention that if you can’t measure quality of hire, you can’t improve it. As far as I’m concerned that’s the reason quality of hire hasn’t improved in the past 100 years. In fac...

Competency is Not Enough- Job Fit is the Key to Better Hiring Decisions

Ability to do the work in relationship to fit is what drives motivation to do the work. Fit includes fit with the job, fit with the hiring manager and fit with the company culture and environment. Goo...

The Key to Improving Your Candidate Experience: Focus on the Pre-Application Stage

As far as I’m concerned too many companies are spending too much time, money and energy on improving the candidate experience after the person applies. In my opinion, a better approach is to rethi...

It Takes Only One Interview Question to Accurately Predict Job Performance

A few weeks ago I suggested you could predict quality of hire, on-the-job performance, job satisfaction and retention with just one interview question. This six-minute video lesson summarizes the ent...

12 High Touch Ways to Win Over Passive Candidates

No one disputes the idea that if you want to raise quality of hire, you need to hire more passive candidates. But hiring more passive candidates involves an entirely different process than hiring acti...

LinkedIn Reveals New Techniques to Get a Better Job

Applying directly is the worst way to get a better job. The best jobs are found via networking or getting recruiters to call you because they found your resume.

Over the past few years, I have...

How to Improve Quality of Hire by Using Supply vs. Demand Analysis

In a talent scarcity situation, when the demand for talent exceeds the supply, you need to use an “attract the best” sourcing and recruiting process. This is represented by the left side of the su...

The Hidden Reason New Hires Underperform

As part of our Quality of Hire initiative working with companies around the world on implementing Performance-based Hiring, I always ask hiring managers if they would hire someone who met the follo...

Your Dream Job Might Start in the Mail Room

There are two talent markets. As shown in the graphic, one offers jobs, the other careers. In order to maximize your lifetime personal growth, you need to find jobs in the career market. Unfortunately...

Hiring Technology Has Not Enabled Companies to Hire Better People

 

Doing the wrong things more efficiently might seem like progress, but in the long run you wind up back where you started.

In Nashville last week at LinkedIn's Talent Connect 2017, their a...

The Solution to the Three-Legged Stool Hiring Problem

If you’re a job seeker, what would you do if you could only apply to 4-5 jobs in any given month?

I suspect you’d be a lot more focused and conduct a lot more due diligence before hitting the a...

How to Reduce Cost Per Hire by 50%: A Strategy Inspired by Elon Musk

The other day, Elon Musk said the Tesla Model 3 is “'deep in production hell.”' He promised 1,500 cars for September 2017 but produced only a few hundred. If Musk was an HR guy he would have said,...

This One Factor is Likely the Best Predictor of Success

You can't assess team skills based on how likeable the person is, or how extroverted. Instead, find out what types of teams the person has been assigned to and observe the makeup of these teams over t...

10 Things That Still Puzzle Me After Recruiting for 45 Years

I’ve been thinking about hiring when I first become a hiring manager 45 years ago and 1,500 hires later (as a recruiter). Mostly I’ve been thinking about why hiring processes are still as outdated...

How to Convert Your ATS into a Recruiting Machine

Recruiters need to become advocates for improving quality of hire. Unfortunately your ATS vendor is holding you back.

Advocacy starts by recognizing that there are two talent markets. One targets c...

Headhunter Secrets to Improve Your Odds 10X for Getting a Better Job

Based on reports from different applicant tracking systems, it took 20 million job applications to hire 200 thousand people. That’s one in one hundred or 1%. For those who applied directly it was...

Don't Hire Managers Who Don't Know How to Hire or Manage

When hiring managers, evaluate them on their track record of building outstanding teams and developing talent. Too many managers get hired for their individual contributor skills and then we're surpri...

How to Make Better Hires Using a Proactive Referral Program

A few weeks ago, the head of an investment group asked for my help to find a CEO for one of his new ventures. While I didn’t have time to conduct the search, I did say I would interview all the fin...

Horse Sense for Removing Hiring Bias

I remember a story from long ago about two cowboys who bet on who had the slowest horse. The race stopped before it started as both horse and cowboy stood motionless – neither cowboy wanted to lose...

Thinking Out-of-the-Box to Solve Diversity Problems

You won’t hire more diversity candidates by “sensitivity” training. This is another outdated HR idea comparable to competency models, behavioral interviewing and the use of like/dislike personal...

Your Best Candidate Is Less Than Three Degrees of Separation Away

At my Talent Connect 2017 talk in Nashville on October 5th, I’m going to prove that I can find top tier candidates within a few days for any job using proactive networking. But I need to have some...

These Are Life Lessons You'll Wish You Knew Later on in Life

Leadership begins with a vision, confidence and persistence. Confidence and persistence begins by stretching yourself and sometimes failing.

I was talking with some old fraternity brothers this pas...

Why Screening Candidates for Growth Potential Will Make You a Better Recruiter

When looking to fill a role, recruiters sometimes screen out candidates based on shorthand they have developed over the years. The trouble is that this shorthand can be wrong.

For example, in a re...

How Job Fit Drives Satisfaction and Performance

In a recent post I introduced the concept of Work Types, suggesting that all jobs were a mix of four different types of work. As shown in the graphic, these Work Types map directly to the standard pr...

There are Only Four Jobs in the World

Work Type analysis allows companies to use the product like cycle as a guide to divide work into four categories: Thinker, Builder, Improver, Producer. This approach breaks down the artificial barrier...

10 Hiring Mistakes You Must Stop Making Right Now

Most recruiters I know are guilty of at least one of the hiring mistakes below. It’s not their fault, either: these bad habits have become the norm in today’s recruiting world.

Nobody...

There are Only Four Types of Work in the World

One way to improve quality of hire is to define a job as a series of 5-6 performance objectives rather than a laundry list of skills, experience and “must have” competencies. On one level this i...

How to Make the Hiring Leap From Good to Great

If you’re wondering just how effective (or ineffective) your hiring process is, finding out is actually pretty simple. All you need to do to evaluate the quality of your company’s hiring processes...

Don't Hire Managers Who Don't Know How to Hire.

Too many managers are hired based on the quality of their individual contributor skills and personality. Managers should be hired on the quality of the people they've hired and developed.

If you kn...

This One Change Will Instantly Improve Diversity Hiring

This is a very unusual post. I decided to create a lesson to introduce the concept. This specific lesson is from my new online self-paced Performance-based Hiring training program. It covers the mo...

How to Ensure Your Job Offers Are Always Accepted

If you’ve ever been surprised when an offer is rejected, it’s usually because you rushed the process and didn’t test it properly. When this testing is done properly and you ask the candidate, ...

Why Job Boards are the Worst Way to Get a Job

In a blog post last week I contended that Google for Jobs is Evil. Most people disagreed and most weren’t aware that one of Google’s early mission statements was “Do No Evil.” But I think th...

Google for Jobs is Evil

It's good to remember one of Google's original mission statements - Do No Evil. Google has just violated this credo in the announcement of their new service: Google for Jobs.

If you're not convin...

The Biggest Mistake Companies Make When Trying to Hire Talented Employees

The strongest talent in any field often has a different mix of skills and experiences than listed on the traditional job description. Shifting to a performance qualified approach removes this artifici...

8 Steps for Turning Passive Prospects Into Eager Candidates

We all know that recruiting people who are looking for a new job requires a different strategy and different process than hiring people who are actively looking. The first big difference is that passi...

How the Best Candidates Want to be Hired

In a recent post, I made the contention that too many companies design their hiring processes around the needs of active candidates who have the skills and experiences listed on the job description. S...

A Super Simple Way to Predict On-the-Job Performance

Quality of hire is easy to predict. All you need to do is look at the quality of the company's hiring process.

Sometimes things are easier than they seem. Predicting job performance is one of those...

The Greatest Idea in the World to Get a Better Job

Applying directly turns out to be the worst way to get a job, even a bad one. 

I was on the You’re Hired radio show last week and had to argue that when only one in about 200 people who apply fo...

Focusing on This One Step in Your Hiring Process Will Help You Close Better Candidates

In a recent post, I provided an overview of the How Hiring Process Impacts Performance matrix shown below. It demonstrates the concept that the quality of the process a company uses to hire people is...

Use UX to Drive Hiring Process Redesign

 

The first requirement for an exemplary user experience (UX) is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.

This seems like a pretty good definition of UX to me. And w...

Everyone Needs to Know this Super Simple Way to Eliminate All Dumb Hiring Mistakes

Too many people are hired based on the quality of their presentation skills. By scripting the first 30 minutes of the interview you can be sure to hire people based on their actual ability.

Based o...

Are You Making a Great Hire or a Big Mistake? This Chart Will Tell You.

Sometimes things are easier than they seem. Predicting job performance is one of those things. The 2X2 matrix shown below is proof. In just 50 words, it describes exactly what you need to do to make b...

Why Hiring Managers Shouldn’t Be Making the Hiring Decision

Last week I met with more than 450 recruiters and talent leaders in Milwaukee, Portland and Chicago. Two weeks earlier I met with 400 recruiters and talent leaders in San Francisco. And last month, in...

4 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 as...

This 5-Step Plan Can Virtually Eliminate Interviewer Bias

I’ve been interviewing and placing job candidates for 40 years and tracking their subsequent performance for almost as long. Based on this and training more than twenty thousand recruiters and hirin...

Ask This One Interview Question to Avoid Hiring Cultural Misfits

Cultural fit is not only hard to define it's impossible to objectively assess. A better approach is to avoid hiring people who don't fit anywhere. The others will likely then fit perfectly in your com...

These 4 Simple Words Will Determine the Success of Your Entire Hiring Process

HAVE – GET – DO – BECOME.

When these words are viewed as a process from left to right, they put a limit on your company’s quality of hire. This is not good.

When viewed as a process from...

Why the War for Talent is Unwinnable Unless You Do This

It's now too easy to change jobs. As a result companies focus too much on the tactics of managing high volumes of applicants rather than the strategy of attracting top people.

Over the past four we...

Artificial Intelligence is Not Smart Enough to Make Critical Hiring Decisions

The case for using SI (smart intelligence) instead of AI (artificial intelligence) is demonstrated in the chart. It summarizes how people get jobs. The first thing that’s clear is that not many peop...

Eliminate 50% of All Hiring Mistakes by Answering One Question

Over a 10-day period last month with three large companies in Europe and two Silicon Valley mid-majors, I relearned why so many companies make unnecessary hiring mistakes. They were each looking for s...

The Next Big Hiring Thing

I was in Europe this past week and two major companies asked what I thought was the next big thing to impact the future of hiring.

I didn’t answer the question.

Instead I said since the birth...

The Single Biggest Mistake Most Job Seekers Make

The research is clear. The chance of getting a job by applying directly is less than 1 percent. But there are multiple ways to land the same job by understanding how companies decide whom to hire....

The Incredible Tale of How a Crafty Recruiter Transformed a Frog Into a Purple Squirrel

Many years ago, in the land of Spamalittle, King Rter lived in a castle surrounded by a moat filled with frogs, croaking day and night. In his quest to maintain rule over his kingdom, Rter needed more...

How to Beat the System to Get a Better Job

According to the Department of Labor 235 thousand more people got jobs last month. While impressive job growth, the quality of these jobs and how they got them is what should matter. To get a sense of...

Why Being a Farmer (and Not a Hunter) Will Make You a More Successful Recruiter

I recently spoke with a VP of talent at one of the world’s largest firms. She told me that on a recent evaluation of more than 200 recruiters, those with domain expertise made more placements per mo...

Those with the Leadership Fractal Get Ahead Faster

The core of every successful effort involves vision, problem-solving, planning and execution. This is the Leadership Fractal. Those that get ahead do it over and over again, getting better each time....

Getting to Yes, Often Starts with a No

Obviously, you want to hire more top-tier candidates. And often, those are passive candidates. But at the same time, you don’t always (if ever) have the budget to pay enormous salary premiums.

Th...

Use the Leadership Fractal to Hire Better People or Get a Better Job

Most of us are familiar with fractals. These are geometric or mathematical patterns that repeat themselves regardless of scale. But most don’t realize that people exhibit similar fractals on the job...

To Predict Candidates' Potential, Try Using the "Leadership Fractal"

You’re probably familiar with fractals. These are physical objects like snowflakes or mountains or mathematical sets that repeat themselves regardless of scale, scope and complexity. What you probab...

The Leadership Fractal: Accurately Predicting Performance for Any Job

The ability to visual and plan a project combined with successful execution is the Leadership Fractal. The rate of growth of these projects predicts potential.

You're probably familiar with fract...

When Talent is Scarce, This is Where Recruiters Should Focus Their Efforts

When it comes to a recruiting strategy, I usually advocate a 40-40-20 sourcing mix. This means spending 40% of your time networking, 40% searching for candidates online and using campaign marketing to...

Human Fractals Could be the Ultimate Predictors of Success

Fractals are pretty cool.

The Wikipedia definition brings chills to the technically oriented: A fractal is a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern displayed at every scale.

The visu...

12 Mind Altering Ideas to Overcome the “Knee Jerk” Bias

Panel Interviews are One of 12 Ways to Minimize Interviewer Bias

The news has been pretty charged of late and I can’t find a single talking head on a single news show who’s objective.

Or the...

Deleting the Apply Button Will Improve Hiring Results

advanced Getting a better job is a discovery process similar to solution selling and campaign marketing, Applying directly is not part of the process.

I'm currently helping a client find a half doz...

Bypass the Apply Button to Get a Better Job

advanced Getting a better job is a discovery process similar to solution selling and campaign marketing, Applying directly is not part of the process.

I'm currently helping a client find a half d...

The Sourcing Plan That Will Help You Recruit the Elusive Top 25% of the Talent Market

Take a look at this image:

This represents the total talent market for any given job. The “A” represents a small group of qualified prospects, mostly passive -- about 25% of your prospect t...

This One Change Will Make Your Job Descriptions Much More Compelling

For recruiters today, it’s simple to identify 20-30 ideal candidates for just about any staff or mid-level manager position. All you need is the ability to use LinkedIn’s powerful filtering system...

The #1 Predictor of On-the-Job Success

In a recent post I referred to an article by Michael Simmons that described research indicating that those in an open network are more likely to be successful than those in a closed network. Open mean...

The Answer to this One Simple Interview Question Predicts On-the-Job Success

Being assigned to important cross-functional teams is a good predictor of success. If this trend continues with more important teams and across different companies, it's a great predictor.

I just c...

The Single Best Predictor of On-the-Job Success

The Best Interview Question to Predict On-the-Job Success © Suprijono Suharjoto | Dreamstime.com
As a recruiter for the past 40+ years I’ve met many talented people. Some were my clients, some my...

Why Job Branding Can Be as (or More) Important Than Employer Branding

I learned about the importance of the employee value proposition (EVP) for attracting people and improving on-the-job performance during my first job almost 50 years ago.

As a newbie systems engine...

One Simple Idea to Remove the Lid on Hire Quality

© Nyul | Dreamstime.com - Don't Put a Lid on Quality of Hire by Rethinking the Job
Over the past few months I’ve asked hundreds of recruiters and hiring managers to tweet some of their biggest hir...

Managers Who Can't Recruit Shouldn't be Managers

Interviewing is a secondary part of hiring. Just like any sports coach, hiring managers need to recruit the best before hiring or managing them.

And if these same hiring managers haven't learned...

How These 6 Tactics Will Transform Your Social Recruiting Efforts (Part 1)

In front of a packed room at LinkedIn Talent Connect, I shared that the future of recruiting is about creating an end-to-end hiring system. This system is based on six core principles that, if used co...

A Bunch of Free Radical Ideas for Getting a Job that Beat Applying

Over the past few years I suggested there were a number of things a job seeker could do to get a (better) job rather than wasting time applying directly or complaining about the unfairness of the proc...

How to Rethink Sourcing by Using Marketing and High Touch Techniques

I’m working with two clients helping them find and hire managers to run their marketing campaigns. One of the core principles behind digital campaign marketing is the idea of using targeted messages...