If You Want to Hire Top Talent Effectively Take These 2 Steps

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Lots of companies are good at attracting quality candidates. Some of these organizations have stellar reputations, making it even easier to draw in top talent. Yet, these very same companies struggle at getting people hired. In this episode, I tell you about one such company. A company many of us know and love. You’ll hear how a key leader fixed this common problem in 2 simple steps.

Scott WintripIf You Want to Hire Top Talent Effectively Take These 2 Steps
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The Magic Question: How to Use 3 Powerful Words to Get Anyone Involved in Hiring to Change Their Mind

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There are no silver bullets to fill a job, but there is a silver lining when someone tells you “no.” Everyone in the hiring process hires is told “no” at one point or another. Hiring managers hear candidates reject rock-solid job offers. HR and staffing pros deal with managers who turn down well-qualified candidates. The silver lining in these situations is that you can ask people who say “no” a magic question that lets them talk themselves into a different perspective.

The magic question helps hiring managers see past their initial objections about a potentially good hire. This powerful query gives candidates the opportunity to consider shifting their point of view. The 3 words that comprise the magic question can even allow HR, talent acquisition, and staffing leaders to change their mind about adjustments to the hiring process.

Those 3 words are

Under what circumstances…

If there are circumstances under which someone will change her mind, she knows what those circumstances are. By letting her do the talking, you’re giving her the chance to convince herself while also informing you of the details.

The magic within these 3 words is this: the person who just said “no” always believes her own point of view. She may not believe yours. Because of this, she is the most qualified person to overcome the reasons why she said “no” in the first place.

How’s the magic question work? Here are four common situations.

Candidate has unrealistic expectations
Brad fit the job but wanted $10,000 more than Ivan, the manager, could offer. Ivan asked Brad

Under what circumstances would you take this job for $10,000 less?

He then let Brad do the talking. Turns out there was a circumstance. One that Ivan couldn’t have anticipated. Brad had a three-week family trip scheduled. He said it would be worth taking 10k less if he could take that trip as planned.

Ivan went on to use this question over and over again with success. When a candidate said “no” because of a long commute the magic question let the candidate talk herself into a flex schedule. Then there was the highly talented individual who objected to some of the job responsibilities. Ivan’s use of the magic question allowed the candidate to talk himself into the fact that every job comes with a mix of desirable and undesirable tasks.

Hiring manager has unrealistic expectations
A hiring manager having pie in the sky expectations had sunk many candidate submissions by a financial services firm’s HR team. That is, until they used a little magic.

Now, every time a manager makes requests that cannot be fulfilled, they ask “Under what circumstances…” about that request.

Under what circumstances would you consider someone with less experience?

Under what circumstances would someone from a different college be okay?

Under what circumstances would you pay a bit more in salary?

Under what circumstances could someone without a degree do the job?

Time and time again, these managers would talk themselves into changing their own mind.

Staffing team is stuck in counterproductive habits
Just because you’ve always done something the same way doesn’t make it right. Cecilia, the new COO of a global staffing company, discovered that many of the challenges of the firm were rooted in ineffective business practices. Many of these business practices, including feature-benefit selling and most placeable candidate presentations, had been in place for years. Even though these practices weren’t working, her management team was convinced it was a bad idea to abandon these “best practices.”

Rather than managing by mandate (“change this because I said so”), she asked the management team the magic question.

Under what circumstances would it make sense for us to change these business practices?

Over the next 30 minutes, the managers told one another, instead of being told by the boss, all the reasons it would make sense to change long-treasured parts of their process. Within 60 days, the ideas from this meeting had replaced the ineffective business practices.

HR or talent acquisition team is stuck in counterproductive habits
“Behavioral interviewing has made our hiring better,” said Gilbert, the VP of HR for a manufacturing company. When pressed for details, Gilbert couldn’t provide them. His department had never measured the impact of behavioral interviews. He believed in this style of interviewing. This and this alone was enough proof.

What happened next? The magic question (no surprise).

Under what circumstances would it make sense to change how your company interviews?

Gilbert responded, “Proof. I’d want to see proof there was something better.”

Proof is what he got during the next round of machinist interviews. One group of candidates went through behavioral interviews. At the same time, another group went through experiential interviews. The result? Gilbert said it best: “It was so clear and obvious who we should hire from the experiential interviews. We could see proof that the people we picked could do the job. Behavioral interviews never provided that kind of definitive evidence.”

Talk is cheap when we’re the ones doing the talking. When we allow others to convince themselves, their words are priceless. Everything they say, they believe. Next time you want a job candidate, hiring manager, staffing pro, or HR exec to change their mind, let the most credible person do the talking That’s them, not you.

Scott WintripThe Magic Question: How to Use 3 Powerful Words to Get Anyone Involved in Hiring to Change Their Mind
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Want Proof Someone Fits a Job? Do What Todd Bavol Does.

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Want proof someone fits a job? Do what Todd Bavol of Integrity Staffing Solutions does. He can get quick and accurate proof whether or not a candidate meets his needs. During this brief chat, Todd shares an example of how his company conducts the most accurate form of interviewing–the experiential interview.


Scott WintripWant Proof Someone Fits a Job? Do What Todd Bavol Does.
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Staffing Providers and HR Can Have a Better Working Relationship…Here’s How

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HR and staffing both impact the most important part of a company―it’s people. Yet, HR and staffing professionals continue to run afoul of one another, seeing the other party as the problem. In this podcast, I offer a way to improve this relationship.

Scott WintripStaffing Providers and HR Can Have a Better Working Relationship…Here’s How
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What #PlaidShirtGuy Can Teach Us About Recruiting and Hiring Best Practices

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Source: Twitter

Tyler Linfesty, better known to the internet as “plaid shirt guy,” became an overnight sensation because of his facial expressions at a Trump rally in Montana. According to the 17-year-old student from Billings, his reactions were a response to comments made by the President.

I’m not writing this to take sides politically; there’s already enough of that going on. What struck me was Linfesty’s choice—he chose not to take what he was hearing at face value. Instead, he listened and when he questioned something he was hearing it showed on his face.

His example is important for all of us who want to improve recruiting and hiring. We shouldn’t take everything we hear or read at face value. This includes news reports, social media posts, and even people in my line of work—speakers and writers.

It’s easy to believe someone who’s been invited to the stage or given space in a trusted publication. Speaking on stage or being featured as a writer elevates that individual’s perceived expertise. Many people listen to what these thought leaders communicate without questioning the applicability of that knowledge for their specific circumstances.

Case in point. I often hear speakers, panelists, and writers offer a best practice, proven method, or industry standard to solve a problem. Then, another thought leader in a different setting offers a different best practice for the exact same problem. Does this mean one of them is being dishonest? No. My experience is that most people are trying to be helpful.

The real issue is that best practices (and phrases that mean the same thing) are relative. From that individual’s perspective, the idea being put forth is what they believe to be the best. It’s up to you to be like #PlaidShirtGuy and question the applicability of that idea for your situation. Here are three ways to do that.

Idea #1
Check the label
Many ideas labeled as a best practice are in the eye of the beholder. Before deciding if it’s best for your organization, check the label.

To do that, I like to ask

Why has this been a best practice for your organization?  

Idea #2
Trust and verify
Trust that the thought leader is trying to be helpful (because most are). Then, verify that the results achieved using that best practice will be worthwhile in your situation.

Ask questions like

What specific results did that best practice achieve?
How long did it take to implement?
How long before you saw those results?
How much did it cost? And what was the ROI?

Idea #3
Validate the source

In the spirit of being helpful, people will offer up brilliant ideas. Ideas that are sometimes not their own and that they themselves have not tried. When this happens, it tends to occur during panel discussions.

To validate the source, try asking

When did your company implement this best practice?

You can learn where the idea came from, allowing you to go to the original source for details.





Scott WintripWhat #PlaidShirtGuy Can Teach Us About Recruiting and Hiring Best Practices
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Improving Retention Requires Doing These 3 Things

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If you’re looking to improve retention, chances are that your company has been overlooking the simple and powerful actions I discuss in this episode of my podcast.

Scott WintripImproving Retention Requires Doing These 3 Things
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Get More From Your Hiring Tech By Following 3 Rules

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It’s human nature to go to extremes. We tend to be all-in or completely out. If you’ve watched poker players, you’ve seen this dynamic in action. When players have a bad hand, they fold quickly. When they have a great hand (or are bluffing), they’ll bet everything they have.

People also go to extremes with hiring technology. Some are overly reliant on their hiring tech, while others avoid it as much as possible. Both extremes are harmful.

Organizations with an unhealthy reliance on automation suffer from technological codependency. They can’t live without it. The technology runs the show. How work gets done is planned around its capabilities. When their tech can’t do something that obstacle becomes the reason it shouldn’t be done. They go as far as using technology in ways it wasn’t intended. Instead of technology serving the organization’s people, the people become slaves to their technology.

One of the worst cases of technological codependency I’ve witnessed was at a biotech firm in Germany. The firm had it all when it came to hiring tech—a talent management system, multiple job boards, automated resume parsing, a candidate sourcing system, an online application, skills testing software. These were some of the products the firm was hooked on, but the hiring process was slow and ineffective.

The firm’s various tech products weren’t linked, requiring users to enter the same data several times. When leaders wanted specific hiring reports, they couldn’t get them. The system didn’t track that information. Searching the talent database was cumbersome as was the skills-testing software. Hiring results suffered; seats remained empty for months; turnover was high; two out of three new hires lasted less than a year.

On the opposite end of the spectrum when organizations shun automation, they suffer from automation anorexia. Underutilization makes work harder. Tasks that could be handled in seconds by technology require hours of someone’s valuable time. Work that could be done flawlessly through automated means is completed haphazardly. Automation anorexia makes hiring a long, frustrating process.

A law firm in the northwestern United States is a classic example of automation anorexia. The firm is as low-tech as it gets. They’ve avoided hiring technology completely. There’s no applicant tracking system, no job boards, zero automation. Nothing.

The law firm runs newspaper ads when jobs become open. Resumes stream over their fax machine, flooding them with paper. Reviewing them takes hours. Frequently, none of these candidates are a fit, so they run another ad—another flood of resumes and hours of extra work. Once they find a good candidate, often it’s too late. Another firm has already snapped them up.

Smartly, they keep the resumes of these good candidates. Their resumes fill four cabinets full of paper files. The firm searches these files every time they have an opening. Sifting through resumes takes hours and is always interrupted by competing demands. Much of the time the firm comes up empty-handed and has to run yet another ad. Filling a job ends up taking months.

How can you avoid the extremes of technological codependency and automation anorexia? Follow these three rules.

Rule #1: Your hiring tech must reduce effort
The primary purpose of tech is to create an automatic means for getting something done. For automation to be effective, it has to reduce our involvement in tasks. When it doesn’t, we end up serving our technology instead of it serving us.

Rule #2: Hiring tech must be easy to use
Using technology can’t be a struggle. This begins with training. A challenging learning curve is overwhelming, causing you to miss important details. If using the technology is difficult, you’ll forget to take advantage of key features. When these difficulties persist, you’ll find workarounds that negate effort-saving features; or you’ll stop using the technology altogether. Your hiring tech must be easy to learn and easy to use.

Rule #3: Hiring tech must improve results
Reducing effort and ease of use aren’t enough. Technology typically requires a significant investment of time and money, so there must be a larger, long-term payoff.  The technology must also produce better results, such as increasing the flow of top talent and improved reporting to monitor the effectiveness of each hiring step. Only then is the technology worth incorporating into your process.

Take time to review each of your current hiring technologies. Also, apply these rules as you consider adding new tech to your process. As you review each one, ask yourself:

  • Does it reduce effort? If so, by a little or a lot? If just a little, is it really worth it?
  • Is this tech easy to use? If not, would additional training help? If training won’t help, is it prudent to have it as part of the hiring process?
  • Does the tech improve results? If so, by how much? Is that enough to justify its use?

After answering these questions, you may find that the tech you currently have or are considering buying doesn’t cut it. Before rushing to find a replacement, look first at how improving your hiring process may eliminate the need for a technology solution.

Following these rules will keep technological codependency and automation anorexia in check. Instead of serving your technology, it will serve you. Most importantly, your hiring results will improve as jobs are filled more quickly with the right people.


Scott WintripGet More From Your Hiring Tech By Following 3 Rules
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Think Your Staffing Firm is Competitive? Take This Test to Find Out for Sure.


Lots of staffing owners and execs will tell you that their firm is highly competitive, when it’s not. In this podcast, I share a story of one such exec. I also walk you through The Competitive Test. By answering these 10 questions, you’ll learn the level of your competitiveness compared to other firms and know what to do next to make improvements.

Scott WintripThink Your Staffing Firm is Competitive? Take This Test to Find Out for Sure.
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