This book gives a simple and practical solution to every manager's top problem: unsuccessful hiring.
Who, not what!
What - refers to the strategies you choose, the products and services you sell, and the process you use. Most manager focus on the what.
Who - refers to the people you put in place to make the what decisions. Who is in charge of delivering your projects? Who is responsible for new business?
Who mistakes can be costly.
Who mistakes happen when managers:
Are not clear about what is needed in a job
Have a weak flow of potential candidates
Don’t trust themselves in picking out the right candidate for the job
Lose candidates they would like to hire
A key point being that who mistakes are extremely pricey as the average hiring mistake costs 15 times times an employee’s base salary!
Your #1 problem!
Example of a who problem - Employee A joins the team at a candy factory. Employee A’s responsibility is to wrap chocolates, but he can’t keep up with the pace. So instead of letting the chocolate pass him by, he starts shoving the chocolate down his mouth, in his clothes, and anywhere else he can hide it. That’s when the manager congratulates employee A on the empty conveyor belt. Then the manager calls to someone in the next room, “Speed it up!”. Chaos kicks in…
The manager didn’t have a conveyor problem, but a who problem!
The Search For Talent, as reported by The Economist in 2006, is the single biggest problem in business today.
Goldman Sachs’ answer to “why is it so hard finding the right people for the team” is that “Otherwise smart people struggle to hire strangers. People unfamiliar with great hiring methods consider the process a mysterious black art.”
The bottom line being, most hiring methods assume that it’s easy to assess a person.
We want to make quick decisions so that we can get on with things.
We like to see people as fundamentally truthful.
The truth being, it is hard to see people for who they really are!
Finding A Players
Set the bar higher.
Only hire A players, and never assemble a team composed largely of B or C players.
An A player is someone who can do the job, while fitting in with the culture of your company.
It’s a candidate who has at least 90 percent chance of achieving a set of outcomes that only the top 10 percent of possible candidates could achieve.
You are who you hire
Hire C players, and you will always lose to the competition.
Hire B players, and you might do ok.
Hire A players, and life gets interesting…
Scoreboard - A Blueprint for success
It takes the theoretical definition of an A player and puts it into practical terms for the position you need to fill:
Example Scoreboad - GPMD eCommerce Project Manager
MISSION FOR ECOMMERCE PROJECT MANAGER
To deliver world class eCommerce solutions to all clients, ensuring that projects are well scoped, well planned and delivered on time and on budget.
To keep up-to-date with eCommerce platforms, solutions and services to provide relevant and up-to-date advice to retailers.
Manage project schedules ensuring that where possible projects are delivered to the agreed schedule. Where this is not possible ensure that this is communicated in advance with clear reasoning
Ensure that GPMD’s process is followed for every sprint
Communicate effectively and precisely with clients, ensuring that they are always kept informed formed of the progress of their projects
Outline tasks clearly and concisely so that the team are able to action each task efficiently
Pursue training in areas relevant to your role, including; Project Management, Agile Processes, User Experience, Conversion Rate Optimisation, Analytics. This is not an exhaustive list.
Produce internal and external documentation for every project and process you are involved in
Introduce additional business services to help us deliver a proactive service to clients, for example user journey monitoring
Organisation and Planning: Plans, organises and schedules available resources in an efficient manner. Focuses on key priorities
Intelligence: Learns quickly, demonstrates ability to quickly and proficiently understand and absorb new information
Attention to detail: Does not let important details slip through the cracks or derail resolution of a ticket
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and articulately without being overly verbose or talkative. Maintains this standard in all forms of written communication
Honesty / integrity: Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidence. Does what is right , not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully
eCommerce Knowledge: Has a good understanding of eCommerce and online retail, specifically in Magento or similar eCommerce platform
Don’t hire the generalist. Hire the specialist.
Job requirements are rarely general.
If you define the position correctly, you should be looking for narrow but deep competence.
Outcomes define what must get done.
Competencies define how you expect a new hire to operate in the fulfilment of the job and the achievement of the outcomes.
Example of competencies: Must be efficient. Must have honesty and integrity. Must have attention to detail, etc.
Ensure organisational fit.
Set expectations with new hires
Monitor employee progress over time
Objectify your annual review system
Allow you to review your team annually as part of a talent review process
How to create a scoreboard:
Mission - a few short sentences that describe why the role exists
Outcomes - Develop a handful of specific, objective outcomes that a person must accomplish to achieve an A performance
Competencies - A few competencies someone must demonstrate to achieve the outcome. I.e honesty, efficiency, etc
Source - Generating a Flow of A Players
Don’t allow recruitment to become a one-time event.
Always be on the lookout for new talent.
Of all the ways to source candidates, the number method is to ask for referrals from your personal and professional networks.
Constantly ask people you know to introduce you to the talented people they know.
“Who are the most talented people you know that I should hire?”
Talented people know talented people!
In-house referrals provide better-targeted sourcing.
It takes A Players to know A Players.
Set goals. “Source [number] A Players a year”. Reward employees who refer A Players with more holidays, etc
Deputising friends of the firm - Have a group of people who are affiliated with you with whom you can reach out to anytime for hiring purposes. Reward them when referring new A Players.
Select - The Four Interviews for Spotting A Players
Traditional interviewing is simply not predictive of job performance.
The Four interview process use the time to collect facts and data about somebody’s performance track record.
The screening interview is a short based phone-interview designed to clear out B and C Players.
The goal of the screening interview is to save time by eliminating people who are not appropriate for the position.
The screening interview guide:
Your career goals are?
What are you really good at?
What are you not so good at?
Who were your last five bosses and how would they rate you?
After the candidate answers one of the 4 key questions (from above), get curious about the answer by asking a follow-up question that begins with ‘what’, ‘how’ or ‘tell me more’.
Too many manager make the costly mistake of lingering with candidates who are a bad match.
Screen more aggressively!
It uncovers the patterns of somebody’s careers history.
Use the power of data and patterns behaviour for making predictions about how somebody is likely to perform in the future.
Key questions to ask are:
What were you hired to do?
What accomplishments are you the most proud of?
Who were the people you’ve worked with specifically?
Why did you leave that job?
When put into practice, a WHO interview should divide a person’s career into “chapters”.
The hiring manager will want to conduct the WHO interview themselves, as your job career and happiness will depend on you finding A Players.
Interrupt the candidate as otherwise he or she might talk for hours.
Push vs pull:
People who perform well are often pulled to greater opportunities
People who perform poorly are often pushed out of the their jobs
Painting a picture - Don’t assume you know what they mean, get curious to truly understand
Stopping at the stop signs - explore inconsistency to better understand whether someone is lying (i.e we did a great job, but they are shifting in their chair, looking down, etc)
Focus interviews allow you to gather additional, specific information about a candidate.
Some key questions are:
The purpose of this interview is to talk about ______.
What are your biggest accomplishments in this area so far?
What were your biggest mistakes in this area?
Focus interviews also give you the opportunity to gauge n the cultural fit!
Focus interview - Testing what you learned
63% of the business modules interviewed for this book conduct reference calls.
Some key questions are:
In what context did you work with this person?
What were their biggest strengths?
Their failures / improvements to work on?
How did you rate their overall performance out of 10?
Ther person mentioned the he/she struggled with ____ in that job. Can you tell me more?
Decide who to hire
Skill has to do with a candidate’s ability to achieve the individual outcomes on your scoreboard.
When a candidate’s skill-will profile matches up perfectly with your requirements, your candidate hits the skill-will bull’s eye.
Then evaluate the candidate’s will.
Will has to do with the motivations and competencies this candidate’s bring.
Does the data suggest there is a 90% chance that the candidate will display the competencies?
You’ll hit the Skill-Will bull’s-eye when (1) you are 90% confident a candidate can get the job done because their skills match the outcomes required (2) you are 90% confident they will be a good fit because their will matches the mission and competencies required.
Look out for red flags, these can be:
Failure to mention past failures
Candidate takes credit for work of others
Candidate speaks poorly of past bosses
Candidate seems more interested in compensation than that actual job
Tries too hard to look like an expert
The book then mentions Marshall Goldsmith, a world’s leading behavioural scientist and his book called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.
Some key takeaways from Goldsmith’s book about what derailers to consider during an interview process are:
Winning too much
Adding too much value
Starting a sentence with ‘no’, ‘but’ or ‘however’
Telling the world how smart we are
Passing the buck
Now that you’ve sourced candidates, conducted 4 types of interviews and collected data, it’s time to decide who to hire.
Here’s what to do next:
Take out all the score cards for each candidates
If you haven’t already done so, rank each candidate: A, B or C grade
If you have no A’s, restart the process
If you have one A, hire that person
If you have multiple A’s, rank them and decide to hire the best A from that bunch
Sell - The Top 5 Ways To Seal The Deal
Most managers fail to sell a candidate.
The key to successfully selling your candidate to join you team is putting yourself in their shoes.
The five areas of Selling are:
Fit - ties the company’s vision and culture with the candidate’s goals and values
Family - takes into account the trauma of changing job. “What can we do to make this change as possible for you and your family?”
Freedom - The autonomy the candidate will be given
Fortune - If you accomplish your objective you will be making $$$ over the next few years
Fun - work environment and personal relationship the candidate will make
How to sell A Players?
Identify which of the five areas above matter to the candidate
Create and execute a plan to address these areas
Be persistent - don’t give up until you have them onboard