Struggling with recruitment of new talent to strengthen your team?
Why do we keep going to the same well expecting it to no longer be dry?
Hiring from a short list within an industry bubble does not create a lot of room for introduction of new ideas, perspectives and strengths.
Read more on this topic, article HERE.
If you have found something to be true from your professional experiences and then find a respected publication that echoes those concepts, is this still confirmation bias?
The reason many industries fail to innovate or self-disrupt before it's too late is that they only look for industry insiders to add to their organizations. We want the books of business and the low hanging fruit of a professional who is ready to hit the streets from day one. Many leaders know from painful experience, hiring carry overs from a competitor carry their own challenges and/or baggage. Hiring from a short list within an industry bubble does not create a lot of room for introduction of new ideas, perspectives and strengths.
While I strongly believe that an organization should promote from within they also should be looking to extend their pursuit of quality individuals beyond the industry bubble. A company that spends all those resources to build a culture and a team that rallies around core values are too valuable to thin or disband through the lack of local progressive opportunities for people who have earned such through building the team. This commitment to internal growth does not mean that an organization should only build itself from those who are already versed in the field of operation.
I am glad to hear a respected publication promoting this idea of recruiting candidates who either have no direct experience or who may be a bit of a gamble as they are not industry versed prior to joining your team. Author and CEO/Founder, Liz Ryan shares this challenge and insight, "When you hire someone who lacks industry experience, it challenges you as a manager. You get to see your new hire encountering your world, and that is an instructive thing to experience. You have to train your newcomer differently. You have to ask and answer questions you may not have considered for years — or ever."
Too often we come to a point in our career where we are confident, if not comfortable, with what we know and we begin to first assume that everyone should know what we know (we got our elbows deep in the mud earning our experiences) and secondly that we forget to re-invest those nuggets of wisdom into our teams. We forget that it took many years for us to get where we are and we want immediate results from those who are working on our teams, we lose a bit of our patience when we lose our connection to the ground floor.
We want a mix of backgrounds, perspectives, ideas and strengths on our teams so that we will continue to challenge each other to be the best that we can be every day. Business is sport, its a competition against our opponents as much as it is against ourselves to not settle in the victories already won. Unfortunately, in the current climate you are either growing or you are dying, there are no other options.
So what do we do? Do we just hire the next ugly duckling that comes along and turn them into the star quarterback? That's not the concept as this should not be about bolstering our already inflated egos but rather a means to challenge and build our organization by infusing it with new perspectives, strengths and potential.
In our experience we believe the criterion has been fairly simple, is the candidate 1) honest, 2) hard working and 3) willing to learn? If they can bring these three character traits, items that we cannot give them, then we can train them to have the opportunity to be successful in our industry. Anymore we are looking for relevant as opposed to direct experience. Someone may not have the technical skills in our industry but if they have the work ethic, relational strengths, a track record of team building, or other strong qualities that will help our team, we want to bring them in. "You will shake up your own thinking," states Liz Ryan, "When you hire outside your industry -- and that may be the best gift of all!"
Liz Ryan - https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/09/24/five-reasons-to-hire-someone-with-no-industry-experience/#720b80656de3
More from izvents - Attracting Talent, What To Look For and Hiring, Three Character Keys.
Is there any value in texting with regards to recruitment? Yes. If you doubt this then take a minute to think about what you can learn as well as what you can eliminate through a few key texts. If we use a rough analogy of fishing with relationship to acquiring talent, we want as many lines in the water as possible in our quest for individuals who can add value to our team. Texting provides us a tool that can expedite the communication process so that we can be clear, consistent and expedient in our initial screening.
1) Text enables us to reach out to a potential candidate to gauge their interest and responsiveness - "Saw your posting on Craigslist, are you still looking for employment?" If there is no response you have just reduced your follow up list. If there is a response then you have a fish nibbling at the bait.
As a sidenote, understand that many candidates have not been mentored on how to professionally respond to texts, don't be surprised if you get responses which include some variation of, "How much do you pay?" If you remember that the text gives us a quick means of screening applicants, then I would encourage you to respond either with, "What salary range are you looking for?" or be specific, "Depending on experience the range is typically between $x - $X." If a respondent seems rude you can choose to discontinue the process but you may want to dig a bit deeper to ensure both parties have a complete picture of each other. Texting does not always provide the richest context for discerning a persons character.
2) Text enables us to provide a concise outline of what the duties of your open position(s) are to further determine if the responsive candidate would be interested in the opportunities your organization is offering. "We have an open position for X, the duties include [fill in the blank - BRIEFLY]." If there is no response, our work with this individual is likely complete. If there is a response then we want to draw them in closer to the boat.
3) Through text we have determined that we have a candidate who is indeed interested in work and is open to the opportunities that our organization can offer, now we get into specifics such as company requirements. "Our company requires the following [fill in the blank with a BRIEF list] to qualify for employment." If there is no response, there may be a good reason this candidate cannot find work. If there is a response then we want to get a look at what we have on the line.
Our texting has revealed that we have a responsive and interested candidate, that this individual is open to the opportunities that we have available and they can meet the basic requirements for employment that our organization has set as a foundation. What do we do next? Time for a phone call. So, we text them, "When would be a good time to set up a phone interview?" If at all possible this should be conducted as soon as possible. You potentially have what you have been looking for so do not lose what you have on the line by waiting too long. If you have successfully made contact with a potential candidate you will need to be prepared to expediently move your process with that individual into determining the quality of that potential hire. Depending on how wide you have cast your net, you will need to be prepared to think outside of the box with regards to a candidates direct experience with your industry versus their potential to adapt their character and relevant work experience into the responsibilities you are assessing them for (You can read more on this topic in our prior article on Attracting Talent).
Texting is a great tool to enable a recruiter to expediently get fish on the line as well as determine which ones are catch-and-release. Connecting with recruits requires a significant commitment of time, of those candidates we are able to make contact with many will be unable to be hired or they will not the best fit for the team needs. We want as many lines in the water as possible because we are always fishing for good talent to add to our team. In our recruitment process we need to be efficient so that we can communicate clearly and respond quickly when we have attracted someone who can add value to our mission.
You can stand at the banks and curse the water for the lack of fish or you can start casting.
Hiring is one of the most important aspects of a leader’s job as an individual as well as an essential mechanism for any organization to achieve consistent pursuit of excellence. While there are many systems which proclaim their ability to weed out the bad eggs, there are plenty of companies large and small that find themselves in a cycle of hiring stinkers. Thankfully companies such as Zappos, which are touted for their exemplary cultures, have had to learn many of their lessons the hard way (like the rest of us), as “CEO Tony Hseih once estimated that bad hires had cost the company well over $100 million (Fatemi, 2016).” This same Forbes article notes, “According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee's first-year earnings.” You may recover from the waste in financial resource but think of how much time and stress compounds the pain of those failed hires. This reality calls for more intentionality in developing a system that attracts, acquires and retains good candidates for your culture, values and systems.
Understanding your own values helps guide your process for acquiring talent.
While many of those in leadership shoot from the hip and trust their gut, the risk outweighs the reward when your hiring mechanism hasn’t evolved since the days when you entered your given profession. Bad habits consistently produce bad results, yet the nuances and systems proposed by many of the top authors and business minds are often more cumbersome and costly than a bad decision, which is why many of those in leadership avoid these complex mechanisms. Organizational Physics author, Lex Sisney, wrote a follow up to his scientific approach to business and shares a less complex solution in the aptly titled How to Think About Hiring: Play Smarter to Win the Talent Game, “Consistently great teams don’t scout and hire for talent. They scout and hire for talent that is a supreme fit for their system. They always think about building a team with a strong collective identity at a fair price instead of just collecting individual talent at any price.” To make significant changes you will need to adjust both how you think about as well as how you approach hiring, but a good system does not have to be as complex as an NFL draft board.
Narrowing your focus helps guide your system for acquiring talent.
In our humble opinion, it has consistently been a positive experience in service based industries to hire candidates with minimal direct experience rather than seeking experienced employees from competitors. The reason we like to find new hires that don’t have direct prior experience in our industry is that they also don’t have the bad habits or the pessimism of being burned by a competitor in our market space, which unfortunately happens all too often. Benjamin Franklin spoke accurately when he said, “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them,” which we covered previously in our article on attracting talent. This does not mean that we don’t look for relevant or transferable experience such as customer service, sales and/or comparable skills, but we don’t find much success in recruiting from the castaways of our competitors. This is a mindset where our leadership team has committed to training hires to learn both our culture and values as well as the skills required to succeed in our profession.
To a fault, we will always express multiple times to a candidate throughout the hiring process that we are able to teach them the professional skills that are necessary to succeed with our organization but the three things that we need them to bring to the table are 1) be honest, 2) be hard working and 3) be willing to learn. Of all the things we can teach a potential candidate, we cannot change their character or their core values, so we need them to bring the three principles of being honest, hard-working and willing to learn to the table. If a candidate will bring these three things with 100% effort than we can develop them into a productive service representative of our organization, if they have intelligence and a core commitment to excellence than we can make them very successful (as they have the potential to succeed in anything they put their effort into). When you as a leader as well as collectively as an organization understand your values it creates a focus on what values you are looking for in candidates. As with the regular daily tasks of employment, clarifying what you as an organization bring to the table and what you need from a candidate in order for them to embrace the vision for your team will create a more consistent path to development of new hires as well as the upholding of the existing culture. As there is parity in the NFL, the margins of success and failure are often very thin, which means that simple changes have the potential to produce sustainable positive changes.
What have you learned about hiring that has helped you to be successful?
Fatemi, F. (2016, September 28) The true cost of a bad hire – it’s more than you think. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/falonfatemi/2016/09/28/the-true-cost-of-a-bad-hire-its-more-than-you-think/#67700bc44aa4
Sisney, L. (2013, December 6) How to hire like the NFL’s best teams. http://organizationalphysics.com/2013/12/06/how-to-hire-like-the-nfls-best-teams/
Jon Isaacson / IZ Ventures - More than coaching and consulting, we help you Connect, Collaborate & Conquer. #MTWSL
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