Excerpts from the book “Who” from the founders of the Bureau ghSMART. The publishing house “Mann, Ivanov and Ferber” a book “Who”. The authors — experts in the recruitment of Geoff Smart and Randy Street offer a solution to the problem of wrong choice of employees.
Who. ? thats the number one problem. Not that. What is your strategy, the product you produce and services you offer, as well as the technology that you use.
Throughout his career, you can respond to millions of different “what,” shake your business. This is what most managers. Alas.
As the exclusive object of your attention “that” promises the continuous stress and a lack of time and money for Hobbies. Another option is to focus on the question “who?”. “Who” — the people to whom you entrusted to do “that”. Who is responsible for sales. Who is in charge of production.
Who is the office Manager. To answer the question “who?” the magic begins or problems arise. Just ask Nate Thompson, CEO of Spectra Logic. The company is now thriving, although recently he was a hostage to the incompetence of their employees and couldnt even take a vacation.
And not because he paid little attention to interviews with candidates. He did everything as it should be. Carefully read the summary, did not spare time for hours vespasia all the ins and outs of candidates were sure wins for the companys best shots. Nevertheless, most of them demonstrated a blatant inconsistency in those positions where they are appointed.
One of them particularly distinguished, giving $90 thousand Commission. “In the financial statements, told us Thompson — he was just sent a bonus multiplier from one to four. So its used and has quadrupled”. Financial losses faced by the company, can be compared only with the suffering of the Thompson.
They hired the negligent employees and the problems caused by their fault, did not allow him once again to leave the office. Should have left the company without supervision and punishment was long hours of struggle with another crisis.”I am an avid skier. Once my family and I traveled to vail, Colorado.
But in recent years I dont even have time to feel the difference between relaxation and work. I was not allowed to walk to the lift. Every four hours, rang the doorbell, and I was on the phone or stuck at the computer in the post, performing the duties of those who are mistakenly hired to work. Still remember with horror how dissatisfied wife and kids went riding without me”.
You know. You can be sure. Incorrectly assigned to “who” is able to sew the gap not only career but also personal life. In the group ghSMART, we are in the business of helping companies to correctly answer the question “who”.
Your knowledge of human behavior, we put at the service of top managers and investors wishing to establish a successful enterprise. Since 1995, the founder and leader of our company — Jeff Smart. His partner Randy Street, Executive Director of the group.
Among our clients are more than a thousand companies and beginning businessmen, veterans wall street to the nonprofit leaders. Our customers are spread around the world. From Vancouver to Sydney and from Milan to Taiwan. We helped them more than 12 thousand cases to decide “who”, and this experience formed the basis of the book.
In addition, we trained 30 thousand managers to apply our principles in work. For many years, we every day has been devoted to the refinement of our method, but this book is not just the sum of the results of experience. Once again to test your observation and make new, we had Dr. Steven Kaplan and his team of financial geniuses from the graduate school of business at the University of Chicago to organize the largest statistical study of the success of different groups of candidates for positions of middle managers.
Kaplan and his colleagues took almost two years for processing the data provided to us by three hundred top managers, but the results allowed us to make some far-reaching conclusions. Not less important is the fact that we were able to talk to many of the most talented leaders of the global business community, who shared with us their secrets of successful recruitment.
More than 20 billionaires, for the most part personally earned their capital, has invested its experience and discoveries in this book. This the vanguard of the global business community has succeeded in the most exciting and crucial section businesses. It is their decisions when hit-re personnel sometimes change entire markets. We managed to interview more than 30 top managers of the companies, multibillionaires, discussed their prospects and has interviewed more successful Directors, managers, investors, NGO leaders and experts in management.
Just for the interview, we spent about 13 thousand hours and more time spent on additional analysis for our project. None of the known similar studies do not compare in depth, scope and experience. For the most part we focused on the managers, and not on the departments recruitment. We proceeded from the fact that the right “who” — the Foundation of a successful career.
As said the founder of MorningStar Joe Mansueto, “your success as a Manager is nothing more than the result of how well you are able to choose their employees”. Studying through these data, we identified four points where most punctures occur. The rank of the candidate is not important. This can be as a regular Secretary and a top Manager of a financial holding company with 50 billion capital.
Managers wrong answer to the question “who?” if: Errors in selection of “who” is very expensive.
According to research conducted among our customers, on average, poor selection of personnel leads to unexpected costs and lost productivity in the amount of 15 monthly salaries of the employee. You just try to imagine. The only erroneous appointment of an administrator with a salary of $100 thousand will bring the company a loss of $1.5 million or more. And, if your business year there are at least ten such mistakes, the losses will be equal to $15 million.
Nate Thompson has estimated annual losses that carried his Spectra Logic due to the incorrect “who”, of $100 million. In addition, these erroneous “who” are very common. Peter Drucker and other management gurus have established that in our days the average efficiency is the proper selection of personnel is only 50%. Imagine this abyss of wasted time and effort — not only yours, but also your company as a whole?.
But theres something else, unknown to most managers. The problem of “who” can be prevented. The purpose of this book is to give you a solution to your problem number one and teach you how to answer the question “who?”. Higher and middle level managers, and observers involved in this issue and benefiting from the decision, unanimously declared that there is no easier way to succeed in business than right to choose “who”.
This ensures the success of you, your company and even your family. The same Nate Thompson eventually took advantage of our method — now it works with an efficient team and he has plenty of time to rest. The correct choice of “who” will help you make the right decisions, which means you get maximum enjoyment from your career, significant profits and more time to communicate with loved ones — what could be more important?.
How did it come about that managers endowed with a variety of talents, so hard to get his team the right people. Steve Kerr, the legendary recruiter, literally built “Crotonville” (center for leadership development General Electric — approx. Ed.) for Jack Welch and General Electric, until recently holding a post of the General Director and lead specialist at Goldman Sachs, answers without hesitation. “Normally intelligent people tend not to employ strangers.
Thats why those who are not familiar with the basic techniques of worship of the process itself as a kind of magical art.”. Our experience and studies confirm this. In an age when any form of management has been studied and digitized, one can only wonder that people perceive the recruitment process, the Foundation of every business as something not amenable to systematic description. And managers continue to cling to your favorite techniques, despite evidence of their ineffectiveness.
Think for a moment. How exactly do you and other managers approach the recruitment. If you still have not figured out how your team has penetrated incompetent employees, it is likely that you still wear one of the ten most popular masks of the Comedy of the personnel of voodoo.
Judgments about art works often appeal to intuition. A good critic can in a few minutes to give a full assessment, however, to hiring recruiters who are confident in their abilities on the fly to “read” a candidate, can easily be a victim of a clever farce. How the Scam is easy to foist hurrying to the buyer a fake painting instead of the original, and people striving to get the job done, it is possible to fake an interview if it takes only a few minutes.
Instincts and inner feelings are triggered offensively bad when it comes to hiring. And if you accept the employee, guided by the senses, it can pay severe headache. Popular reception of sverhbogatyh managers. Delegate interviews to all and Sundry and to use their reports.
The purpose of this behavior sponge, absorbing everything, to prolong the time spent on inquiries. But, unfortunately, the managers never coordinate their actions in this case, and every new conversation is to list the same predictable questions. We have seen such reusable interview, when a candidate six times in a row asked about his Hobbies — skydiving.
In sum, it was spent more than 60 minutes on a topic generally unrelated to the work. But it turned out that the candidate — an experienced skydiver. Cheers. A conclusion that makes “sponge” a possible candidate, rarely deeper than “hes a great guy”.
Many managers like the role of prosecutors, which they saw on TV. Candidates are subjected to aggressive interrogation, tossing them with tricky problems and logical puzzles. Why are manholes round. How the market worked in the past.
We even heard one recruiter asked the candidate whether playing chess. And those who play, he offered the party with their head — Russian grandmaster. Yes, those tricky questions and tasks can identify the most knowledgeable and savvy of the candidates, and it is possible that some of them even beat a grandmaster, only academic knowledge and professionalism are not one and the same.
Instead of vigorously questioning of the candidate, some managers do not take time to embellish the job. They are more interested in the impression they make on the applicant, rather than his professionalism. In the end, they not only listen to how many crucify themselves. Fans have no shortage of candidates, but it does not guarantee that their candidates are suitable for the position.
This is another type of recruiters who resort to different tricks to follow the reaction of the candidate. They are, for example, can drop a piece of paper and see if he wants to pick it up, or even to invite a candidate to a party and find out how he will get along with others. Use this method and most likely will not notice as you have to make excuses to friends for not hired such a sweet guy, which also helped to wash the dishes. Many managers with an inexplicable stubbornness resort to inquiries about Pets — these issues, they firmly believe, are able to identify something important in the character of the candidate.
One recruiter approached very seriously, assuring us that it is enough for one question. “What animal do you represent?” What is the question — is correct in his opinion an answer (this is where the real voodoo). “I choose people who meet cute”. Moreover, such questions are far from scientific approach, so they also have no relationship to the proposed work.
Usually the conversation goes so. “What do you think about our Champions. Damn, what disgusting weather this year. You grew up in California. Wow, me too!” For all its appeal, this method will not step will bring you to the right choice.
You need a competent worker, who can be relied on in the future, and not the person to talk about football championship. Manual industrial and organizational psychology strongly re-komanduet not to resort to such tests in the selection of candidates, and this is for good reason. Throwing the candidate a series of ambiguous questions like “do You like to tease small animals?” or “on Friday Evening you prefer to go to a cocktail party or in the library?”, you will not get confused (though both are included in the most popular tests) and do not understand how this will affect future work. It is not necessary to have seven spans in a forehead, to easily customize the responses for the desired activity.
Tests can be an additional test of the candidates compliance with the proposed positions (for example, you can learn about his commitment to the development policy of the business), but not for the basis of an assessment of a potential employee. As we will see in the second Chapter, these tests are good only as part of a wider research. You can use tests as additional tools, but dont rely only on them.
Like a fortune teller reading the fortune in a glass bowl, some recruiters like to ask the applicant to look into the hypothetical future associated with his work, asking questions like. “What will you do. How are you going to do. Can you do that?” Fifteen years studying the scientific literature on this topic has uncovered some important reasons not to use such questions during the interview.
For example, the question. “If you have a conflict with a colleague, how would you behave?” you will surely get the answer. “Well, Im in a quiet environment, talk to him, listen to his opinion and try to find a solution that suits both of us”. Can be.
Maybe, and no. The answer sounds right, but it is very doubtful that all candidates behaved this way. Remember. Important actions, not words.
Another. All of these shamanic techniques derived from a false belief, if you choose a good employee — its easy. You just have to find the right focus, press the button and scatter chicken bones for divination, and the results will not keep itself waiting.
Moreover, people tend to get caught in some intellectual trap. We all wish as soon as possible to make a decision to do it. And we would like to see the best in people. But as much as we wanted, the bitter truth is that it is almost impossible to see the man for what he is, really.
Steve Kerr, head of training and development of staff at Goldman Sachs and former head of the training courses for Directors, fully confident that the usual interview no more than a “random prediction” about the candidate according to a new post. And our experience has confirmed his conclusions. Four thousand studies and a meta-analysis of the data obtained suggests that the traditional interview at employment does not determine the eligibility of the applicant the intended jobs.
But then how can you understand that a candidate found on the recommendation of a recruiter or through special studies, is the one you need. In our opinion, the easiest and most reliable way of selection of professionals from the General list of candidates is a series of four consecutive interviews with this man. After them you will get the amount of data needed in order to compare the quality of the candidate with a list of goals, pre-written by you for future roles. The employee must have a credible track record of professional quality appropriate to the culture of the organization and its positions, and a genuine desire to engage with you and your business.
To understand how to conduct an interview, it is not enough just to ask questions and passively to observe how someone behaves in this situation. This brings us back to voodoo recruiting when you make a decision based on an intuitive perception of what is the next applicant for a short period of time on a certain day. Those few minutes are too little to learn something useful. And here is a series of four interviews, which will be discussed below, to allow sufficient time for the collection of a considerable amount of facts and data on how worked your candidate for many years and even decades.
These four interviews: Lets start with the selection interviews.
This is a short interview, usually conducted by phone, to immediately weed out from the list of candidates players and. Honestly, we intentionally try to minimize this initial stage. Our clients, on the contrary, almost with one voice complaining that I spend an inordinate amount of time on an endless stream of interviews with people who have no chance to pass even the first stage.
We took into consideration this fact and in subsequent years tried to make a more intuitive approach to selection interviews, to make it easier to achieve the desired results. The main goal of this phase is time-saving due to the fastest drop-out rate of people who do not comply with the intended jobs. That is why we strongly advise to carry out selection interviews by phone and in advance to put a limit.
No more than 30 minutes. Inviting a candidate to office or for lunch, you risk to spend on it for an hour. As with all types of interviews, offered by us, we prefer a structured approach.
Questions for selection interviews: This means that you should use a common set of questions every time you want to assess the candidate.
These standardized criteria will immediately help you to pay attention to the peculiarities and individual features of each individual candidate, and if they are. Why every time to spend time drawing up some new questions. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Four basic questions will give you a basis to systematically weed out mediocre candidates.
The first question is the most important because it allows you to learn about the goals and preferences of the candidate. This question forces the applicant to speak first, and not to repeat your words, if before the interview you tell him about the company and the job requirements.
Ideally the career goals of the candidate should match the needs of your company. If he finds it difficult to articulate their goals or repeats what you have written on the website, its not your man. You can immediately terminate the conversation. Talented people not only know what they want, but also not afraid to voice it.
During a conversation you can expect from the candidate concerned and of interest to the themes connected to the alleged role. Frank coldness is another reason for refusal. As clever as your candidate, his future boss is unlikely to be happy if you get in his team ousted by. Can you offer this person to another Department, if I see that he is more suited there, but dont waste your time trying to get it to the original jobs.
This second question is always the beginning of a lively discussion. People tend very easily to the temptation to paint ones strengths. We advise you to ask the applicant to list eight to twelve of its professional advantages. This is enough to get a detailed picture and it was possible to make a conclusion about his level.
Also, ask for examples that demonstrate the application of these advantages in practice. For example, if reference was made to the determination, let the applicant talk about the situation when it allowed him to cope with the problem, and remember that you are waiting for the story of the strong-side, corresponding to the needs of specific jobs. If you find a significant discrepancy between the merits of the candidate and qualities listed in the targets list, is not your man.
The third question is designed to balance the overall impression about the person. Candidates often try to evade a direct answer saying something like. “Im too impatient to get results,” or “I dont know how to relax”. Do not fall for these tricks, force the candidate to answer honestly. If the answers dont suit you, put them in the box weaknesses or areas requiring elaboration.
But if you continue to feed half-truths and excuses, just tell me. “All this is more like a strong hand. What do you do poorly and what not interested?” A talented person at this stage needs to listen to your requirements and start to answer right.
If you are still not satisfied with the answers, we recommend to appoint an additional check. Then we can say. “If you qualify for the next stage, we will ask you to help us receive recommendations from former bosses, colleagues and subordinates. You dont mind?” Most likely, the candidate will say that it is not against. Then ask the following question.
“You know, Im interested in one thing. What do you think theyll call the number of your strengths and what the weaknesses?” This is a great way to get the truth. Realizing that it is very easy to check, the candidate will try to answer more frankly and fully. Youd be amazed at what amount of useful and truthful information opens this simple trick on the third stage of the qualifying interview.
Balancing your list of faults would be incomplete if it would not be at least five to eight items, recognized by the candidate weaknesses, do not cause interest or even repulsive. When the list of shortcomings is too short or demerits are issued as hidden strengths, or you just noticed some discrepancies with my list of goals is not your man. Attention, please read correctly. When we talk to them.
Not “if we talk to them,” but “when”. It is necessary that the candidate thought. “Oh, I better just say the truth. I will say that he will evaluate me in ten points when you can barely count to four. You can try, of course, to pull up to five, but no more.”.
Ask the candidate to compile a list of the five bosses and estimate that it will supply each of them, and then start to dig into the details. Why he thinks this man would put him seven points. The candidate will immediately begin to review all that has been said before, and even maybe something to fix in the lists of advantages and disadvantages presented in response to previous questions.
On these ratings, we selected candidates with eight, nine and ten points. Seven points consider a neutral figure, six-and below — poor. We found that people who assess themselves six points or less, as a rule, deserve two. If you hear too many times six and below, out of such candidates, but dont forget about the overall context of the interview.
If the recruiter Andrea Redmond has evaluated the diamond only one position due to the fact that he firmly stated that he was dismissed from Citigroup, Bank One would have never gotten such a dynamic new leader. Before you dial the number again, scan your eyes down the list of goals to refresh your memory points. Then start a conversation, identifying their expectations. Tell me about the way.
“I am very glad that you can talk to. I propose to do the following. First I would like to devote 20 minutes to get to know you better. After that, Ill be glad to answer all the questions that you have. Do you agree?”.
Candidates almost always take the plan. If they are truly interested in the job, we will accept any your offer. And then you will have the opportunity to ask questions of our selection interviews.
If you are not satisfied with the answers of the candidate, roll interview, asking questions using short intervals. We have long since learned to spend call to no more than 15-20 minutes, if the first answers are incorrect. On the other hand, if you get a strong and positive compliance with the goals sheet, you can always ask the candidate to devote a little more time to talk or continue later. Not wanting to waste another minute on useless negotiations with unnecessary people, we at the same time willingly dedicate them to those who deserve our attention.
Ending the call, give the interviewee the opportunity to ask, in turn, questions. You will be in a better position to make before entering into a potential transaction to tell the interviewee about your company in accordance with the fact that he managed to learn about it in the first part of a conversation — of course, provided that you have enjoyed his answers. Otherwise, you again have the opportunity to keep responses to a minimum and roll call.
Remember. That you are presiding over the process and can either cut the call or continue it depending on the data obtained in the course of selection interviews. After finishing the interview, ask yourself.
“Whether the man is the requirements of my list of goals. As far as permissible from this point of view weaknesses. Encourage me now received data to invite the candidate at subsequent stages of selection?” You must feel fully confident that such a prospect seems favorable to you. Should you be undoubtedly that you have found “that” person.
If you have even the slightest doubt or think that some of the candidates have to ask about something else — delete it. Select only those whose quality already at first glance meet all the requirements of the list of goals. Questions for selection interviews are easy to remember and easy to ask.
This is one of the advantages of our method. But if you are stick to the four main questions, and get answers needed. Come to mind are literally thousands of additional questions you could ask.
And instead of unsuccessfully trying to consider all possible nuances at the stage of selection interviews, we use a simple technique called “were curious”. And heres how it works. Once the candidate will answer one of the basic questions suggested above, we will show further interest by asking more questions, starting with “what”, “how”, “tell me more”. Use this scheme until then, until it is sure. You exactly understood what I wanted to say this man.
For example, you just asked the question the third applicant from the qualifying interview. “Worst of all you do as a professional. What aspects of the profession you are not interested?” — and heard in response.
“I dont do well with conflicts”. But in fact, the expression “coping with conflict” can mean many different things. No coward, the person, sensing a threat to.
Will not start if run. He prefers to sit in the shelter to protect themselves in advance. Such clarification as “what”, “how”, “tell me more”, to help you to understand. Lets try to imagine how could have been such a conversation.
? What do you mean. You ask. I want to say that generally try to avoid conflict.
? And how exactly this happens. ? again you ask. Well, probably, I try not to get into situations that may offend someone. ? Tell us more about what exactly such a situation happens.
? Once I had a couple of subordinates, who could not bear each other. And the guy all the time jumped on the girl. I barely managed to cope with it.
? How did you cope. ? I eventually took the guy aside and told him to stop hitting. He didnt listen, then I took him again and threatened that I will have to fire him if he started again.
? What happened next. ? He did.
? Tell us more. ? He pounced on the poor thing because she shipped the wrong product important to the client. I was terribly sorry.
? What have you done. ? I once again took him into a corner and threatened to fire. ? How do you feel.
? Nightmare. The whole week I couldnt sleep before I decided on the conversation. I have a little ulcer not open.
? What happened.
Nothing. He somehow silenced. A month later I was transferred to another Department, so I was lucky. I never had to raise it.
You feel how simple these questions. None of them contains more than six words. All of them start with “what”, “how”, “tell me more”. And all reveal the true meaning of the original message of the candidate.
Now you will want to offer him a senior position, implying a change in strategy of the firm. This scheme “what”, “how”, “tell me more” can be applied as much as necessary — until you ask all required probing questions. The wording can be any. “What do you mean?”, “What was it like?”, “What happened?”, “What could serve as a good example?”, “What was your role?”, “What did you do?”, “What did your boss say?”, “What it led to?”, “What else?”, “How did you do it?”, “How did this happen?” “How much money have you saved?”, “How did you do it?”.
Of course, your curiosity runs the risk of sounding obsessive, but this is a very important point for the correct answer to the fateful question “who?” relevant to the well-being of your entire organization. Asking questions “what?” and “how?” you thereby force the candidate to be as honest and accurate in describing their qualities. “Tell us more” well in that case, when you go cant formulate a more specific question. The main thing — to force a person to speak up. And we promise that it will work.
The ultimate goal of selection interviews is to quickly and efficiently reduce the candidate lists. We already talked about this, but we consider it not superfluous to repeat.
In the 1970-ies in the United States was extremely popular Amateur talent show called “the Gong show”. It can be considered a forerunner of the countless reality shows that have flooded the airwaves in our day. And this competition is an excellent model of selection interviews. The participants in the race went to an imaginary journey, during which had to show a lot of different and even unexpected talents. And, as a rule, the jury was not required much time to identify outsiders.
Cost someone of the participants to cope with the task, one of the judges rose, performed a few dance steps and hit a huge Gong. The hapless party disappeared from the scene, and failing to sigh, while noisy audience welcomed or booed taken by the judge decision. About the advantages of this method it is possible to argue, however, decisive blow to the Gong perfectly demonstrates the essence of the system of selection of candidates.
Too many managers make the same costly mistake, “Tulipa” in conversations with the frankly unsuitable people. Some simply avoid any confrontation. Others think. “In my place, my colleagues, Janet, Rick and even Charlotte could see in him what I could not see”. It may sound too harsh, but in reality youre just wasting your time.
It is better to miss a professional, than to waste precious hours dubious choices, in the end, but they can turn mediocre employees. Adam Meyers, Executive Director of the Health Optics and Photonics company of Halma PLC, has learned the importance of this lesson the hard way. “When we have only implemented your recruitment system, neither I nor my team did not attach much importance to selection interviews.
Yes, we honestly started with these questions, but did not work to show the proper hardness. And the result is that we spend too much time on those candidates that clearly do not meet our requirements. We shouldnt be so spineless. Time is too valuable”.
Meyers convinced his team needed a more aggressive approach, and now through their stringent selection interview is no more than 10-20% of respondents. “My team has to spend much less time on unpromising people, — says Meyers.
? This allows them to communicate more with those who we are looking. So, the whole process became more effective”. And add — of course, more productive. Quickly getting rid of the need to practice those in the parameters of the job was the players or the recruiters of the company pay more attention to potential players And.
John Sharpe offers insights into the method of dropping out from a different angle. Twenty-three years he has been with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in recent years occupying the position of President of the Board. “I believe that the underlying feeling and intuition is particularly important for the decision whom to hire should not, says Sharpe. But I dont think thats the underlying feeling should dictate to you who to hire.
You need to check the track record of the candidate. But sometimes on paper it looks great, and you still cant get rid of the doubt or simply do not trust this man. Such a candidate is better to reject”. Sharpe told us how one insignificant fact has forced them to change seems to be unequivocally positive assessment of the candidate on the opposite.
“It was the applicant for the vacancy of one of the senior managers of the company, not my group — he recalls. ? We were on a plane from Toronto to Texas. And this guy told the flight attendant that he only has canadian money, although I caught a glimpse that his wallet was and USD. And he winked at me and bought a drink for canadian currency. It happened in the period when airlines were exchanged one to one, although in reality the us dollar was 30% more expensive.
I jarred it and took it to work someone else from our company. Once in power, this guy took over his subordinates, working with clients, and in the blink of an eye revised their terms of employment. He couldnt hold in place and two months.
In this case, the intuition indicated something important, not seen by us no resume, no interview, no recommendations”. Selection interviews will quickly reduce the list of candidates to a minimum, you will be ready to work on. At some point, it remains from two to five candidates — its time to bust out the big guns in the next phase of your interview.
Selection interviews will help to separate the wheat from the chaff, but it is not so accurate tool to provide you with 90% falling into the “top ten”. To make your choice more effective, you must go to the qualification interview. Qualifying interview method topgrading plays a major role in the selection step.
To make an informed decision and be confident, you have a long way to go and to open such scenes from your career, which will fit perfectly in your list of goals. According to thousands of analyses of data collected by psychologists at enterprises for over 50 years, this kind of interview is the most reliable and trusted. One of the pioneers in this field — brad Smart, father of Jeff.
Brad and Jeff co-authored an article on how to make the organization a company of the highest class (Topgrading the Organization). Brad didnt stop there and wrote the book Topgrading, in which he described his own approach and talented management. During our conversation, brad Smart has told how 30 years ago he came to use this kind of interview.
“Writing a doctoral thesis, I spent two years working with a team of psychologists specialized in the management. Thats when I made up these interviews for potential managers. At that time I was barely 25 years old, and I feel too insecure because of lack of experience. Of course, this encouraged me to ask more questions than required.
I once attended an interview that took my senior colleague. He did it within the hour and at the end asked if I had any additional questions. The questions were, and even a lot. We thoroughly went through his entire career, and he told me many stories about both their successes and failures.
Later my colleague have studied our records and announced that his report is compared to my just awful. He had some common phrases, and at my facts and history, confirming the conclusions”. The main thing that made brad Smart, that the facts and circumstances of the career of the candidate allows us to imagine how he will behave in the future.
“These episodes give answers to many questions, concluded brad, and it is not difficult to determine the strengths and weaknesses of any person. They nullify all attempts of the candidate to embellish their strengths and to disguise the flaws. And if you find an episode when the candidate has achieved success, being in the verge of failure, no doubt decide that this is your man”.
Questions for qualifying interview: Matt Levin of Bain Capital, describes it this way.
“The leader makes a mistake, if not willing to spend the time to listen to the story of the candidate. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. If you want to give people the opportunity to show their best side, you need to truly understand the past”.
So what is it — topgrading. This study of the career of the candidate in chronological order. To understand its roots, you start with a question about his UPS and downs during his studies. Then ask five simple questions for each job for the last 15 years, starting with the earliest and ending by the present time.
These five issues are so deep that your meeting will take the nature of ordinary conversations, not interviews. And boards, and individual leaders rated them very highly, because our formulations allow the recruiter to communicate even with the most respected personalities without embarrassment, without leaving feeling like you sticking your nose in someone elses life. Similarly, these questions are like and those who answers them, because these people share memories about his life. And besides, who will refuse to talk on his favorite topic (himself) with an attentive listener. That does not prevent you to carefully extract from this story the facts necessary to make a decision.
This first question leads to own goals of the candidate and the results of its operations. If you are trying to look at his own list of goals. If the candidate is difficult, help him, offering to describe the signs by which his work can be considered successful. And do try to mentally jot down his list of goals.
What it lists the objectives and expected results. What qualities are identified as the most important?. Question number two starts a nice discussion about career UPS candidate. You need to try to hear the truth in this stream of speeches.
In my experience we have seen that candidates quite naturally focus on the facts is really important for their career at an appropriate stage, and not just regurgitate the summary. Ideally, the candidate describes precisely those achievements that only answer that listed the expected results. And will be quite wonderful if they will match your list of goals.
And on the other hand, we are always wary when the candidates achievements have nothing to do with the expected results. Beware. This is one of the important attributes of highly qualified personnel. They usually are more willing to describe the achievements of the expected result.
At the same time, mediocre and poor candidates often talk about some of the secondary events, about their colleagues and work features, not really delving into the results. Usually at first people are reluctant to answer the third question and try to leave him about as. “No, failure, I didnt have.
It was a great years. Yes, just wonderful, you really believe me”. Their behavior is understandable, but hardly any sane person would say that seriously. Each of us is one way or the other experienced failure in his career.
We recommend again and again to reformulate the question until the candidate not reach the point of your message. “What really went wrong?”, “What was your biggest mistake?”, “What did you do wrong?”, “Which side of your work you dont like?”, “What your colleagues are stronger than you?” Dont let the candidate off the hook. Settle on it until you get a clear answer.
Question number four was built on the fourth question of selection interviews. Brad Smart calls it UPR — a “threat to check recommendations”. This is the part of the interview where the wording and order of questions is extremely important. You must run everything exactly to get the desired result.
First you ask the candidate to name his boss. Then I propose to dictate it for you and defiantly write under his dictation. “As you said. John Smith. S, M, And T — true?” Forcing the candidate to dictate a name — no matter how corny it sounds — you send a critical message.
Do you will call this man, and so, in the interest of the candidate to tell the truth. Only after that you are asked to describe what it was like to work under John Smith. In the most positive option, you will hear the ode of the candidate of his former boss and a description of the sensitive head, all these years, helping subordinates to grow.
Neutral same answer gives you a signal of something unsaid — both positive and negative. In the worst case, you will hear that one boss was an empty place, the other a villain, and the third and all ugly. Oddly enough, some candidates and not smart enough to link all this with the fact that they were speaking to a potential new boss — you.
What a lovely epithet will get you, if you hire this man. And there is no doubt that this “gift” will be not the main of your problems. Now ask.
“Which of your qualities Mr. Smith will appreciate above all?” Be careful. It “appreciate”, not “would appreciate”. This is equivalent to the previous record dictation. The phrase “Mr. Smith will appreciate” again makes it clear that you are really going to ask this question to Mr. Smith. And the candidate immediately knows he has to tell the truth, because in any case you recognize her, with just one phone call.
Works here another undoubted advantage. Mutual benefit. Mutual benefit is an excellent catalyst for the process of getting to the truth.
One day Jeff and his family walked past a shop that sold cowboy hats. On the street in front of the store the owner was roasting hot dogs. “Want a hot dog?” — he suggested to Jeff, he stopped and said. “Yes, thank you”. “And them, too?” — the owner of the shop asked the question loud enough to heard the children.
“Yes. Yes!” in chorus, they shouted. I think you yourself can tell the end of the story. Jeff got some free hot dogs, but when half an hour later his family walked out of the store, on the head each wore a cowboy hat. This is a great example of mutual benefit.
Exactly the same mutual benefit occurs when you use CTRL. Only that a candidate in literally two minutes you have posted the truth about John Smith. And now he has another two minutes to honestly assume that Mr. Smith will say about him. And since the human brain is designed so that is always trying to reach equilibrium, the candidate will try to list as their drawbacks and advantages — from the point of view of Mr. Smith.
Of course, nobody can guarantee that some technique will operate smoothly at 100%. There will be candidates, insisting on the fact that have no idea what about them, Mr. Smith. For others you will have to reformulate the question to get an answer, but even in this case, you may come across unusual stubbornness.
Consultant technique ghSMART Christian Zabbal once interviewed a candidate whose refusal to respond is almost exhausted all the ability of Sabela to rephrase your questions. Tebbal asked the candidate, what can you tell about him by his former boss, and the candidate said that has no idea. Then Zabel tried to rephrase the question.
? Do you have any ideas about that. ? he asked again. ? I dont know, replied the candidate.
? And how did he respond to your reports. ? did not give up Zabbal. He never demanded that I report, — was the answer. ? And in informal communication. He didnt say anything.
? He never ever told me anything. He basically never left his office, I couldnt see his reaction.
? Well, how do you think he was talking about you to other employees in the office or in a meeting with other leaders. ? Zabalo was increasingly difficult to find new variants of the same question.
But this time, the candidate a little thought and said. ? You know, thats a good question. My colleagues were so tired that we dont know what hes doing in his office that one night we snuck over there and bugged.
We knew that the next day hell be talking about at the meeting with the other bosses. And we overheard the whole conversation. Although Zabala shocked by this confession, he tried not to type and as the unflappable asked.
And what he said about you.
The conclusion from this story is obvious. There is always the opportunity to get a more intelligible response than this stubborn “I dont know”. And sometimes the answer may be a complete surprise. The second part of the question.
“As you shared you inherited the team?” — applicable for managers. The objective here is to find out the approach of the candidate to build strong teams. Prefer to play with the cards that got hands on, taking the old team, or will change something to improve the situation. What he will change. How long it takes.
Try to use the MGMT against his team. Ask a question. “When we refer to the members of your team, what will they say about your strong and weak traits as a leader?”. The final question of this vital of the interview is to shed light on the innermost secrets of your candidate.
Sought whether the applicant for promotion in previous posts, was it on another job, was fired. That meant each new step. The next step in your career or attempt to escape. What the person feels in relation to those steps. How did you react to his former bosses.
It is clear that managers usually appreciate their players and less players and. This is a very important piece of the puzzle that will allow us to understand resigned, the candidate who having been successful in his work (and it would be a sign of high-class professional), or he was forced to resign, because the boss did not want to appreciate his contributions (this is a sign of average or mediocre employee).
As a player And copes well with their responsibilities, the boss expressed dissatisfaction with his care. Players b and C show the worst results and either try to leave or are forced to do so under direct pressure from superiors.
Do not take at face value phrases like “We are the boss do not understand each other”. This is not the answer. Be curious. Keep digging until you get the full picture of what happened.
We are faced with a shocking example of the effectiveness of this last question when interviewed the former Vice-President of sales, acting on behalf of a group of investors who wanted to invite him to the position of the General Director of the investment Fund. Looking at the list of his previous posts, we asked. “And why did you leave this job?”.
He said. “Due to philosophical differences with the boss”. Of course, such a strange phrase immediately caused a reaction of “what?” “how?” and “tell me more”.
? What happened. We asked.
Well.. “he began,” perhaps, it all started with the meeting of the Board of the Corporation. I was there together with his CEO, and the Board treated him unkindly due to a sharp drop in sales.
? As a sharp drop. We asked.
? We have not fulfilled the plan by 25%. Of course, the Board was dissatisfied with the. They have their issues just cornered my Director. And in the end he broke down and split. Say, if we are to the end of the year to pick up these 25%, one would have to find a new Vice President of sales — that is, it meant my job.
? And what did you do. We asked, seriously intrigued by this turn.
Well.. I looked him in the eye and said. “You know what. Your mother was a seer, when he picked your name.”.
We literally could not figure out what it could mean. I almost said that dozens of questions, but first and foremost we asked. And what was his name.
? Although its full name was Richard, no one called it except the well known nickname of Richard (the short form of the name Richard is dick, also a slang designation of the penis. ? primas. Transl.).
We barely managed to keep it together. This guy just went and insulted his boss, the General Director of the firm, before the governing Board.
? And what happened next. ? we asked. ? The Board decided that I had blurted that out of fear, but Richard didnt think so.
He immediately adjourned the meeting and summoned me to his office. Then he fired me and. Yeah, finally were on to something dug.
But we still were curious. This story still seemed like some kind of unfinished. ? What did you say when he told you about the dismissal.
? I said. “Know what your problem is. No one has ever dared to put you in your place.”.
? Who do you think should do it. Its not you. He asked.
Here our candidate was smiling. It was a very ambiguous smile, in fact even earlier, during the interview, he admitted that he is most proud of how led to the victory of his high school hockey team for a few minutes of penalty time.
And what did you do. We asked. ? I hit him. Now we are literally dying of curiosity. I could not ask.
? What do you mean you tagged him. ? I punched the palm of his hand, rather get a slap, but with all his strength and from the heart.— And what happened then. We could barely sit still not have the patience. ? Then he had a reason to fire me. My wife and I call this case my face for three million.
? Why. ? The contract I had severance pay just on three million and I lost it all in the minute.. Hmm.. Punched his boss.
Once such a Declaration has made no sense to keep asking. The candidate called philosophical disagreement with the boss, actually was a slap at three million. But the most amazing fact in this whole story we thought was not that it happened, and the fact that the Vice-President of sales, that is the offender, put us all during the interview.
Youd be surprised how often stories such as this come to light thanks to topgrading. Thats why we have long since learned not to jump to conclusions, and go on about his curiosity. You will never predict what facts will make the complete picture and reveal the true face of your interlocutor. To apply topgrading in practice, pre-split “story” about becoming a candidate for “head”.
These chapters can be considered a consistent position or multiple positions that are United in intervals of three to five years. For example, one candidate come for interview at our firm, have provided summary 36 pages. It was an entrepreneur in the music and film business and in addition another Director and teacher, not too lazy to list every one of the projects, article and presentation.
Consultant technique ghSMART, Michael Haugen literally ten minutes shared a summary in eight chapters, focusing on occupations prevalent in a particular period. The division was approximate, but was then struck by how inconsistent between the position of the candidate in each of these intervals three to five years. Then Haugen asked the required five questions for each of the eight chapters, starting with the earliest collection of projects and gradually moving to the present day.
We purposely pay attention. To comply with this order is very important. Never start with your most recent job. It will not allow the candidate to think clearly. On the contrary, it is necessary to examine his career in chronological order.
The candidate will focus faster and will tell you the real story, you will see the picture of his professional activity. The average qualification interview takes about three hours. However, if we are talking about such jobs as the CEO of multibillion-dollar corporations, you need five hours, or an hour and a half on some kind of average position.
In the end, the duration of the interview depends on the length of career of the candidate and the number of your heads. The duration of the interview will help you in two aspects. First, you will want to fully master the skills of selection interviews that most of the time to devote to their most promising candidates.
And secondly, the obvious benefit of how this technique reduces errors in the selection of candidates will train you to only use it during recruiting. Every hour spent on an interview by the method of topgrading, saving you hundreds of hours you would spend trying to achieve something from the notoriously weak employees. If you are a Manager, you just need to attend this interview, because in it you can learn important facts about the career potential of a subordinate.
Your own career and well-being depend on the ability to find top-notch professionals. On the other hand, it is also recommended to bring to this interview to other employees, someone from the leadership of a Manager from another Department, or just an interested colleague who wants to watch topgrading in action. This “paired” approach greatly facilitates interview.
One person can ask a question while the other takes notes, moreover, you can complement each other. Anyway — one head good, two is better. From the first word try to attract the attention of the candidate.
Man can not remain indifferent, if they tell him that this interview will differ from those he held earlier. Here is a sample script of this interview.
Thank you for joining us today. As we agreed, we will explore your career in chronological order. About every former post, I ask five basic questions:
At the end of the interview we will discuss your career goals and what you seek, then you will be able to ask me questions. Eighty percent of our work will occur in this room. If I need to clarify something, Ill call your references. You probably think that our meeting will be delayed, but it will go very quickly.
I want to be sure that you tell your story completely, and therefore will take the lead in our conversation. Sometimes we have to deviate from the main topic below to learn more about some episode in your career. Sometimes I will ask you just to move to the next stage. Will try to get the most detail we have discussed your most recent and, frankly, the most interesting for me facts. You have any questions?.
The anticipation of something new will have to you candidate and allow you to easily jump to the first Chapter of his career without confusing him. Besides, he will not feel that he purposely trying to intimidate. Now you have a diagram of the interview on our method.
Most of our customers (and there were not one thousand) was recognized that has mastered it with amazing ease. The scheme turns the interview into a conversation. It is natural and reveals a startling number of important and interesting recruiter facts.
And yet, at first, our customers have experienced difficulties at certain stages — as a rule, it was the same problem. We heard their comments and responded to five tactics, order of the interview is to be maximally simple and effective. You have to interrupt a candidate. This is not going anywhere.
You have to interrupt a candidate. Otherwise, it could take a day to tell you about things that are completely unrelated to the case. It is possible that you will seem rude myself, if you would stop touching description of the pig farm, the stench from which drifted through the Windows of corporate offices. However, from our point of view, rather impolite to allow the candidate to spread the idea of the tree, instead of telling about the really important episodes of his career. Heres why you should interrupt it whenever you notice that it deviates from the desired course.
Consider. This will happen on average every three or four minutes, so be prepared. There are good and bad ways to interrupt the candidate during the interview. Bad way — it is imperative to wave your hand and say.
“Wait, wait, wait. Let me interrupt you. Back to business”. The candidate will turn red, when you think youve done something wrong and he needs to justify. After this you will need a lot of efforts to restore an atmosphere of trust.
It is better to use a good way. A friendly smile, expressing your interest, and to use the method of reflective hearing to stop the verbal flow without the demoralizing effect. You can tell. “Wow.
Imagine in your office there was a smell from the pig farm!” The candidate happily and nodded his answer. “Yes!” But at the same time it will encourage your commitment to his challenges. In the meantime you will have time to insert. “You just talked about how launched a campaign of direct mail. Id love to know about it in detail.
It was a success?”. See the difference in the feedback. Treatment in the style of “shut up and say the case” will certainly discourage a candidate on the hunt to be Frank with you. But the approach “I want to know all about the fact that” will strengthen your bond and will give the candidate a new, more appropriate topic for a story.
Only by picking up the candidate, you will be able to get the valuable information, and to strengthen the relationship, you have to interrupt him politely. How to understand.
The achievement, which told you the candidate really stood out, just good, decent or a dud. Use questions with three “P”. They will understand, if he did do something worthwhile, regardless of the context. Here are the questions.
People who are good at their jobs, attract new opportunities. And the people to cope with their responsibilities directly, often try to displace from a position. I do not advise to hire someone “popped” with 20% or more of the previous places. In our experience, these candidates are three times more likely to be in the group of medium or weak employees.
And here is how to understand. To the question “Why did you quit?”, as a rule, give two answers.
Pushed. “Its hard to explain”. “To me it was time to change the place”.
“My boss could not get along”. “Judy got a promotion and not me”. “My role was exhausted”. “I made a mistake and found himself in an embarrassing situation”. “I took a pretty bad hit to the head that I lost three billion severance pay”.
Pulled. “I was lured our biggest client”.
“My boss offered me a higher position”. “Our CEO has asked me to take a new direction”. “A former colleague went to work to competitors and nominated me to your boss”. You will learn that I understood everything spoken by the candidate when I can literally imagine this picture.
Ted Billis, managing Director of ghSMART, calls this ability “empathic imagination”. Empathic imagination can help you escape from the typical unintelligible answers to notice important details that “fill the canvas”. Wayne Huizenga the only person in America responsible for the registration in the lists of the new York stock exchange six companies and founder of three companies included in the Fortune 500, describes it this way.
“You always try to put yourself in his place. What happened on his last post. Why it didnt work. You try to imagine yourself in his shoes to understand why and how he took a decision and how he tried to cope with the problem”.
For example, the candidate declares that she is an excellent specialist of public relations. Dont jump to conclusions like you understood what was meant. Show curiosity to get to the bottom. And you will learn that 1) on the one hand, it is extremely skillfully writes about the business is distribution and ensures the marketing company, but 2) on the other hand, does not know how to speak in public.
Both of these options require additional questions to the candidate. One of the benefits of your presence at the interview — the ability to monitor the manifestations of body language and other unconscious reactions. There is a science that helps to determine that the person is lying. The major disturbing signal is anytime you see or hear a contradiction.
If someone says. “I perfectly coped with their role”, and he crawls awkwardly in the chair, lowers his eyes or covers their mouth with their hand — this is a real stop light. Seeing him, immediately step on the brakes, indulge in curiosity and start digging exactly how it looked “excellent”. Most likely, this story is not as simple as you like to present.
The idea is not to delve into the dirty linen. It is not the purpose of the interview. If you are showing an unhealthy interest in the past of a candidate as an investigative journalist, or worse, a columnist of the tabloids, you should seriously reconsider your approach. Better imagine himself a writer-biographer.
Pay attention to the details, take some facts, analyze their influence on subsequent events. So you will provide yourself with information for the correct choice of “who”. The scheme and purpose of the interview method topgrading clear. You come close to the right choice.
Ask someone from colleagues to help you, and together you can get enough data for an objective assessment. We have seen that this approach has led to a considerable number of successful assignments. Nevertheless, we recommend you to make another step.
Conduct focus interviews. This is the third leg of our method. The focus of the interview is necessary to collect additional, more specific information about the candidate. Figuratively speaking, you highlight some episodes to before the last time to throw a General glance on the personality of the potential employee, to consider them from a different angle and a large magnification.
These interviews also help to involve the recruitment of other team members. In our view, this collaborative approach is very important, however you need to remember about some of the nuances. First, make sure all your colleagues are aware that they are invited not for regular qualification interviews. One exploring the career of the candidate you more than enough.
Second, demand from all of his assistants adhere strictly to the script. Otherwise one of them can return to his favorite voodoo recruiting. Questions for focus interview:
The purpose of the interview is to talk about. (Fill in a line any particular expected result or professional quality such as great experience to attract new customers, create and team management, strategic planning, assertive, and aggressive actions and so on).
What are the biggest achievements in these areas have been in your career. What were the insights after the biggest mistakes and what lessons you have received.
The focus of the interview is very similar to commonly used by psychologists in the production of a behavioral interview, with one important difference. You focus on the expected outcomes and competencies from the list of goals, not vague descriptions or intuition. At this stage you already have a clear idea about who you want to hire, but you still need confidence that the candidate is perfectly suited for this position.
In other words, the focus of the interview is your amplifier rates. Like the rest of the interview provided by our method, focus interview is built very simply. We recommend you to start a conversation with the three identified issues.
As before, after each answer specify the details with the help of leading questions “what?” “how?” “tell me more”. Ask them until then, until it becomes absolutely clear that as this man did. For example, you have to hire a new Vice President of sales. In you compiled the list of goals listed four main expected result.
In addition, lets imagine that you have identified six core competencies that characterize the successful candidate for this role. Try to find three colleagues to conduct focus interviews based on this list of goals.
Let one of them take on themselves the first two questions, and two items from the list of competencies as they pertain to the management of sales and cost and ensures their behavior. The second may be responsible for the expected results that match that item in a qualifying interview and the two qualities that affect how the candidate gathers collective. Then everything else will fall on the shoulders of the third.
Each interview should take between 45 minutes to an hour, depending on number of results and qualities that you have included. But regardless of the time spent any interviews allow to obtain additional information to make a decision. The focus of the interview also helps make conclusions about the candidate according to the cultural environment of the organization — a critical quality in the eyes of many executives.
The main thing — do not forget to include in the list of goals of professional quality and expected results, beyond the scope of duties, however, required to adopt a more universal system of values of the team. First Solar, a rapidly growing manufacturer of solar panels, was suddenly faced with an obstacle, resulting from her own success. The growth and expansion of the firm has generated an incredible appetite for professional employees, but too many talented candidates, employed in the service, was not able to keep pace with the rapidly changing culture of the organization.
In response, the company has formulated a special interview to determine cultural suitability of candidates on the basis of the scheme the focus of the interview. Mike Ahearn, CEO of First Solar, has sketched for us the larger picture. “We are very dynamic, aggressive company.
Our team needs some people who will not be complacent of the status quo. It must be a talent, result-oriented and working for continuous development. And at the same time, they should put first the safety, to build strong relationships with clients and to take into account the human factor. These are our values. And we orientirueshsya work.
If a person is indifferent to these values, he will never take root in our company.”. Carol Campbell, Vice-President, human resources at First Solar, added a picture with details. “We conduct at least one interview about the culture of the organization with each candidate, using questions relevant to our cultural values.
We saw how well this approach, especially after qualifying interview because these interviews create confidence that we hire people not just are able to do their job, but will easily fit into the culture of First Solar”. Can I rely on interviews as a decisive criterion for the selection of candidates. Of course not, but however, the last few years, First Solar has demonstrated a remarkably small rate of incorrect assignments, and so managed to save an impressive amount of man-hours.
In particular, most recently, the company made an initial public offer, a much anticipated long-term market expectations. According to the results of 2007. First Solar won an honorable place in the list of the successful enterprises of small and medium business. According to Mike Ahern, these achievements were made possible primarily due to the company assembled the strongest team.
08:30-08:45. Meeting with the team. Spend 15-minute meeting before the start of the day (or the night before) to once again go over the list of goals, a summary of a candidates notes after the selection interviews and the list of his former positions and responsibilities, relevant today.
8:45-09:00. Together with his team members personally greet the candidate and spend a few minutes to type it up to speed and familiarize with the company. 09:00-12:00.
Qualifying interview. HR Manager and one of his colleagues alone conduct interviews. On average, it takes from a half to three hours, depending on the career of the candidate.
12:00-13:30. Lunch break. Someone of the team members, it is better not employed in the process, leads the candidate to lunch. We prefer to use this time for additional information gathering. As soon as a day and so densely loaded, if necessary, you can continue the interview over a meal.
13:30-16:30. The focus of the interview. One to three team members conduct focus interviews on the basis of inherited to each part of the goals sheet.
(Note. A number of companies conduct focus interviews only after the candidate passes the qualifying interview. If the candidate does not pass the qualifying interview, this will save you time, but, on the other hand, you need to allocate another day. Other companies try to conduct all interviews at a time.).
16:30-16:45. The rights of the owner will thank the candidate for their cooperation and explain further procedures. 16:45-17:30.
Discussion of candidates. The team gathered for an interview, confers 30-60 minutes before the end of the day, to assess the candidate on the basis of the list of goals, and make a list of strengths and weaknesses in accordance with the facts collected in the course of the day. At the end of the meeting, the HR Manager makes a decision “passes — passes” and determines further actions. Call references or stop the process.
So you had three interviews. The information collected about the candidate that best meet job requirements and culture of your organization. Its just a gift for your team. You already know how a new employee works for you. The temptation is to skip checking the references and to offer the candidate a new position right now.
Dont do it. It would seem that the new may report a former boss or colleague after youve already spent the whole day studying the ins and outs of the candidate. In fact it turns out that very, very much.
Robert Hurst was once dismissed from his post as Vice-President of Goldman Sachs, and he is currently managing Director of a private investment company Crestview Advisors. He recalls the story, as well as possible supporting the need for this important last stage in the selection process.
“We got a new chief accountant, but could not get feedback to third parties, as she insisted on absolute secrecy of its transition to the us. And we were in a horrible situation. The problem employee was excessive immersion in the process itself and for the sake of daily routine. When she got to the position with challenging responsibilities, we simply could not stand the stress. Not being able to call references, you lose not less than 25% of important and useful information.”.
Hurst learned well this lesson and since then not too lazy to personally call to check on each candidate accepts the job. Moreover, about 64% of surveyed global business leaders said that they conduct interviews with referees about every candidate, not just those who apply for key positions. It is sad that among HR managers this habit is much rarer.
Why. On the one hand, because of the objection of the candidate, and on the other due to a simple lack of time. Many managers easily off the interview with references, considering them a waste of time — and so, if you hold them wrong. However, the outlet is not to drop the interview. The way out is to spend it as necessary.
There are three important techniques that will help you with success conduct interviews with referees.
First, right click references. Focusing on notes made during the qualifying interview, make a list of former chiefs, colleagues and subordinates with whom you would like to talk. Do not limit yourself to that list, which will offer the candidate.
Second, ask the candidate to contact referees and to agree on calls. There are companies that prohibit their employees to act as referees. And if you begin to call yourself, without warning, can bump into this invisible wall. But we know from experience that you have doubled the chances of success, when the candidate, at your request, warns the referee about the conversation — both in working hours and during holidays.
Thirdly, select the right number of calls. Suggest you personally call the four referees and to instruct the assistants to call three to get seven interviews. Chat with two former bosses, two peers or customers and two subordinates.
We offer five simple questions that is based on the same principle as the previous questions for an interview. Thanks to this order, it will be easy to compare everything you hear with what you already know about the candidate. Questions for interview with a sponsor:
The first question helps to start the conversation and to revive the memory. On qualifying interview, you already know the answer, but the person on the other end of the wire can take some time to remember how it worked with your candidate, and only then go to detail.
The two issues do not differ from the relevant issues of the selection interview. In both cases, you should be asked to give as many examples, specify strengths of the candidate and quality, so it should work. And, as always, dont forget to show curiosity and to ask leading questions “what?” “how?” “tell me more”.
The third question will produce an even greater effect if at the end you will insert the words “at the moment”. “What are the qualities he certainly had to work at that time?”. These two words will allow the Recommender to speak about the weaknesses of the candidate marked in the past; they also suggest a logical conclusion that now the candidate has managed to get rid of those weaknesses. And at least with these words the referee will not feel embarrassed because eyes critical of his former colleague.
Although, frankly, we dont believe that people are able to change dramatically. Man is not a mutual Fund. And the past is a fairly reliable indicator of its future.
Then ask the Recommender to rate the quality of the candidate on a scale. This is a very interesting point. You put the Recommender highest rating or will stop somewhere around six. Remember that six actually means two. And besides, it is interesting to compare this rating with the rating currently assigned to the candidate selection interviews.
You should be alerted too large scatter. The ultimate goal of your work — people, whose rating fluctuates within a narrow interval of from eight to ten points. Any lower figure — alarm and requires more attention. A single score of six points should not be decisive if all other references have put a higher score; you just need to understand what caused the deviation.
The last question is the key to information classified as UPR — a “threat to check recommendations” from the selection interviews. Check out some of the reported candidate facts by inserting them into the form of a question in an interview with a sponsor. For example. “So-and-so said that you can mention its lack of organization.
I would like to ask you to tell me more about that”. And here again a very important wording. The words “you can mention” allow the referrer to tell the truth, as discussing the man himself touched on this subject. You may hear something. “Yeah, he said so himself.
Well, since I went to such a conversation, he was really unorganized. Never did what he was instructed. I remember once.. a” Qualification interview is inevitably one-sided account of the history of the candidate. And only now you have the opportunity to look at it from the other side.
One day we helped the Board to evaluate new vacancy candidate worked in another location on the post of Director General. In the interview he confessed. “Members of my old team can grumble about the fact that I wasnt straight. But we are a public company, which means I have the right not to share what I think and know, with anyone”.
In an interview with his former subordinate, we decided to learn more about this. And thats what I heard in response. “He told you so.
Nothing like. Yes, he was Frank with us — right in the face he didnt say anything bad, but for the eyes of vengeance poured us with mud. This is experienced by all employees, and in the end we just lost confidence in him. Three of them even resigned — the best of the team”.
The top ten. Thats why you need all those calls to the references. Who needs an employee whos lying in your face and scares the best of their subordinates?.
Jay Jordan of the Jordan Company gave us advice based on his personal experience of hiring senior executives. “The best way to learn more about the Director not to talk with his leaders and his subordinates. Did not disdain to walk until the second or third level, say, to simple regional managers, marketing — and see how they interacted with the leadership. So you will get the truthful answers. Similarly, if you want to know something about the football team, the last thing to turn for information to its owner.
You need to speak with players, coaches and managers”. The references from your own network of contacts can also provide your source of information to obtain objective and unbiased data. Those who engage in investments on a professional basis, willing to resort to this tactic, and by little and little, HR managers are also beginning to master it, despite his overemployment.
To their number belongs and John Zillmer from Allied Waste. “I am a staunch supporter of the interviews with referees from among your friends, and not from those whom you are called candidate”. However, here we should remind that in some countries, e.g. Canada, by law you have no right to make such interviews without the prior permission of the candidate.
Jim crown of the nominating Committee at Bank One worked on conscience with his network of contacts when I was planning to propose to Jamie Diamond, the CEO and collected data about it. “Sandy Vale just removed the diamond from Citibank, says crown. ? I once worked at Salomon Brothers, which is owned by Citibank. There still remained my friends, who had business contacts with Jamie and sandy Vayle, so I had a great opportunity to learn something new about this situation. We talked with his former bosses and colleagues and subordinates.
We happened to hear something disturbing. Jamie is quick-tempered and can be rude. He hates fools. He is clearly responsible for a number of unwise decisions, triggered by his conflict with Sandi, which knew the entire firm.
Yet we know — but only after a number of interviews about his heightened sense of justice. And in organizations, where he opened a vacancy, it was full of mischief. It became obvious that Jamie did not have enough patience to bother with them — thats what we needed”.
This is another example of almost perfect operation, which was conducted “informal” interviews, which allowed us to look “behind the front line”. Try to apply this experience. According to our experience, most of your problem is to talk to the candidate.
To solve use our tactics interview. But you have to realize that the ability to speak and ability to hear what he says are two different things. Almost half of the industry leaders with whom we managed to talk to, warned. If you cant read between the lines (or rather, hear between the words), it will not retrieve the desired information from conversations with the referees.
That is what happened in his time with Jim Gordon from the Edgewater Funds. “Then I applied to different places where there were appropriate references, and received excellent reviews. And then I called one friend who I knew worked closely with my candidate, and I heard quite the opposite opinion”.
Where did frankly about a positive recommendation. The secret is in the foundations of our psyche. People generally dont like to speak ill of somebody. They want to help their former colleagues, not to “drown” them. This is a consequence of the deep instinct which tells him to avoid conflict and not get involved in them.
And more importantly, we all want to feel good and decent. As we said Robert Hurst, “people dont like to criticize anyone”. Agrees with him and John sharp of the hotel chain Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
“Nobody wants to tell you that this is actually creepy. But if they just confirm the data for the job, its a very bad sign, because, as a rule, it is not limited to simple consent, when a person truly appreciate”. And in this situation, your most effective weapon — the heightened attention to what you said and how said it.
Consciously or not, most referees resort to a universal signal code, when I want to say that in fact the candidate is a dubious figure. Although this code typically easy to solve, you should be alert. Under the pressure of having to make a decision about hiring a candidate, even the most attentive recruiters can make a mistake and miss the signs that are obvious to them in other conditions.
Stacy Shusterman, CEO of Samson Investment Company, shared with us a story about how he took on work as a very important person, not hearing the correct code. “I was collecting information for a candidate for the position of Director of the Department and interviewed the referee, who said. ?If you want to employee for all has its own opinion, then this is your man”. Only then it dawned on me that the way I tried to describe an elephant in a China shop. And thats exactly what this elephant acted.
I should have been either listening carefully, or ask a few more questions”. You can be absolutely sure that the referee uses to signal code, when the response takes the form of “if. “in the history of the Stacy Shusterman.
As soon as you hear something, tighten up and start to figure out what you really wanted to say. Endless “hmm” and “uh-uh” — another “red flag”. Robert Hurst describes it as “the reaction of the referees stumbled on a difficult issue”.
When you ask the question “what was it like working with so-and-so?”, then expect immediately to a cheerful and energetic answer, not a “hmm” and “uh-uh” interspersed with cautious phrases. When the referee stumbles on every word, he is clearly struggling not to blurt things out and not to hurt your candidate. So, again, its time to strain. What told you the referee. In the end it can be quite innocent and even positive fact, because the relationship in the service are very complex, but you never know until you ask.
Indifferent or too foldable praise can also be a symptom of either an ambivalent or negative relationship to the candidate. As summed up by Jeff Aronson, a top Manager at Centerbridge Partners, the “vague praise is a sentence”. And we absolutely agree with him.
Lack of enthusiasm — an alarming sign. You should not post your review as a positive just because it uses positive words. If they sound neutral, indifferent, in fact, mask a negative opinion.
Conversely, true positive feedback will be filled with enthusiasm, warmth and approval. You will not notice the hesitation or caution. Faith former colleagues in your candidate, anyway, will come in with some pressure you will hear his answer. And yet such pressure will tell you that the Introducer is a talented professional.
The goal of “Choice” — the collection of facts necessary to decide whether the qualification of the candidate so-and-so (which he can do) and his will (what he wants to do) your list of goals. This so-called profile of the candidate on the parameters of the “qualifications-will”. If the candidate profile for these parameters meet the requirements listed in the targets list, the hiring of such a person will be your shot to “ten”. At the moment you will have time to collect enough data to accurately determine the probability of successful hiring.
After qualifying, interviews and focus interviews are finished, you will have to decide whether to continue working with this candidate. Start with checking qualifications and professional skills. This refers to the candidates ability to achieve the expected results, spelled out in the targets list.
If youre sure that judging by the data collected during the interview, the probability of a result is 90% or more, put in this item a rating of a. If the data does not support such a conclusion, put the rating lower. In or. This process must be repeated for each item.
Now you can do the will. It implies the motivation and ability of the candidate displayed during the interview. For each item associated with the qualification, ask yourself the same question as you did until now. Do you have collected evidence that the candidate possesses such a capability with a probability of 90% or more. If so, estimate it And.
If not, the score will be b or C. Repeat this process for each item. Player A and qualifications, and will have to match your list of goals.
If it doesnt, then we are talking about players In or — regardless of experience and apparent talent. As you will understand that you managed to get in the top ten. When you.
1) sure 90% or more that the candidate will cope with their responsibilities because of his professional qualities meet the expected results in your list of goals, and 2) you are 90% more sure that it is a good choice because it will meet the objectives and professional requirements for its intended role. During the interview with the candidate you may notice some behaviors that signal about the possible risk. Treat them as troubling signs. By themselves, these features do not constitute signs of applicants fail to comply with your requirements — they can only testify that you should look deeper.
Here is the list of those warning signs that we made, based on many years of experience.
Each of these features individually cannot serve as the decisive reason for failure. However, with high probability, they are just such candidates who appear to be professionals, however, show average or mediocre results. That is why it is important for you to study the available information about the candidate, if you notice too many warning signs. You came close to the solution.
And the last thing youd want such a long way in the end led to the wrong choice. No one has studied the warning signs in the behavior of candidates in more detail than Marshall goldsmith, whose weekly Business Week called one of the most influential and experienced world experts on leadership development. In his bestseller What Got You Here Wont Get You There goldsmith identifies 20 of erratic behavior that can destroy the career of the candidate. When we asked him to describe these oddities, he offered us his list.
“Too many victories. In the selection process of candidates Im always wary of people overly praising their victories in some minor battles. For example, a friend of mine proudly told how I bought a childs toy, and then found that the store on the other side of town someone is selling the same at half the price.
And here he is described as a returned purchase, again crossed the whole town and buy where cheaper. Of course, it was a victory. But he spent two hours of my life to save ten bucks. It turns out that his desire to win at any cost in this case turned into stupidity. You should alert a candidate for whose victory becomes an end in itself, because this person is likely to cling to you and to your colleagues for every little thing.
Too highly of themselves, and it is easy to detect. For example, when you are in a conversation Express some idea, and the candidate immediately begins to Supplement her own. Perhaps your idea just was not very successful.
Maybe the candidate inflated egos. During the interview, begins sentences with, “no”, “but”, “however”. The correct answer. “Yes, its a great idea”.
Option. “No, although I agree with you, but..” — a sign of personality with a large ego, and its not always going to benefit the work. Boasts of his cunning.
Bragging is totally inappropriate in business, especially for managers. The leader must know his price, but not to push themselves. Negative comments about his former colleagues — already a huge red flag.
After all, this man is going to work with you — imagine what he is telling us about you. Coming down with a sick head on healthy. Attempts to blame something else — always a bad sign. Winners do not blame anyone.
Justified. Ask what the candidate had failures. If he can say that the biggest failures its not his fault, and blame others, that means hes not going to be responsible for their actions.
The constant desire to show themselves. Listen to such comments as “But thats just me. Im not that organized”, “But thats just me.
Im impatient, But thats just me. I dont consult to make the decision. We are such a freak”. Beware. People, with or without cause mentioning about yourself, you will know that it is not going to adapt to the culture of your company — and thus it should not be employed”.
So who to choose.
And here he came, the long-awaited moment of truth. You made a list of goals, scored a pool of candidates, had each of them four interviews and gathered mountains of data. Now its time to make a choice. Who do you hire.
Due to the fact that theres so much data, the decision is easy. We invite you to take the steps listed below.
Congratulations. You decide whom to hire. And if you follow exactly our guidance, everything goes to the fact that you will be delighted with the new employee.
But wait.. We havent done yet. Have you heard the riddle about five frogs on a log. Here it is. On a log sat the five frogs and one decides to jump.
How many frogs remained on the log. Answer five questions and guess. Because to decide to do something and make it actually different things.
You decide whom to hire. And now its time to make the final step. To deal with this man, that he really became a member of your team.