talent acquisition

Here’s How to Get More Word of Mouth Candidate Referrals and Lifelong Employees Who Are Raving Fans

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Getting referrals and retaining staff just got easier because of Matt Ward.  He’s the author of Amazon bestseller More…Word Of Mouth Referrals, Lifelong Customers & Raving Fans. In our conversation, he shares powerful and simple steps you can take to make referral generation easy and honest. You also won’t want to miss his care package idea (starts at 17:28).

Scott WintripHere’s How to Get More Word of Mouth Candidate Referrals and Lifelong Employees Who Are Raving Fans
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Is That Open Job Fillable? Answer These 4 Questions to Find Out.

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You have a job to fill. What do you do first? Search your talent database? Post it online? Run an ad? The answer—none of these.

The first step, one that is often overlooked, is to determine if the job is fillable. Many jobs cannot be filled, and the cause isn’t the skills shortage.

During the past 8 months, I reviewed 3500 open jobs. The roles included full and part time positions along with temporary and contract assignments. Spanning 600 employers, filling these roles was tasked to in-house HR departments, talent acquisition teams, external staffing and recruitment agencies, or a combination of these. 65% of the jobs couldn’t be filled.

These jobs remained open because of one or more of 4 issues. Once these were addressed, unfillable jobs were filled swiftly.

Here are those 4 issues (I refer to these as practicing your ABCD’s) and questions you should ask about each one.

Abilities
Ever seen a purple squirrel? I did. Once. It was a pic online that someone had Photoshopped.

What makes a job a purple squirrel is a combination of abilities (skills and experiences) that don’t exist or are extremely rare. An overreach on abilities is the number one offender causing unfillable jobs.

To avoid wasting time on purple squirrels, answer the following question before you begin

Does this combination of abilities exist among more than just a few people?

If the answer is “no,” make adjustments. Take a look at people who’ve succeeded in the role. What abilities made them successful? This honest appraisal typically helps pare down your list of what’s absolutely essential for the role.

Benefits
More than ever, candidates have options. All of the benefits of accepting your role must be worthwhile.

To assess if the job will be perceived as beneficial by talented people, consider this question

Is the opportunity, environment, and compensation package attractive enough to result in a quality hire?

If the answer is “no,” you may get people in the door, but they won’t take the job. You need to address one or more of the many benefits and considerations important to today’s jobseekers. These include, but aren’t limited to, type of work, competitive compensation, healthcare, retirement planning, quality of the colleagues on the team, career path, work environment, educational opportunities, and schedule.

Commitment
The longer the selection process, the harder a job is to fill. Talented people have little patience for a long, drawn-out hiring process. Nor are they willing to accept inconsistent communication. A commitment to timely communication and prompt decision-making is essential for a job to be fillable.

Here’s how to assess commitment level

Have all parties involved in the hiring process committed to make prompt decisions and respond to all types of communication (including candidate submissions and important questions) within a few hours?

Dilemma
What dilemma does the open job cause? Is work piling up? Does the manager have to take on extra tasks? Or are others handling the work of the open role without breaking a sweat?

The dilemma created by an open job directly impacts urgency. The greater the dilemma, the higher the sense of urgency. Workload of the open job not causing a dilemma? That one factor alone could undermine the efficiency of the hiring process.

Ponder this question about dilemma

Is the open role creating distractions or causing discomfort for the manager, the department, or other people in the company?

If the answer is “no,” does this mean the job is absolutely unfillable? Of course not. It does mean that doubling-down on commitments is of added importance.

All jobs can be filled. Some just require a reality check. Practicing your ABCD’s will guide you in making adjustments so that you can put the right person in the right seat quickly and efficiently.

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Scott WintripIs That Open Job Fillable? Answer These 4 Questions to Find Out.
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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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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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Why, Hire Slow, Fire Fast is Dead Wrong!

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How can you speed up the hiring process while making sure you hire the right person? Bestselling author and Top 30 Global Leadership Guru Dov Baron and I discuss concrete steps you can take in this segment of his award-winning podcast.

 

Scott WintripWhy, Hire Slow, Fire Fast is Dead Wrong!
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Want Hiring Managers to Pay Attention to Your Candidates? Do These 4 Things.

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We live in a world of swiping, scanning, and occasionally scrolling. Reviewing a daily news feed. Looking for new listings on a real estate app. Sifting through posts on social media. Sorting your emails. Finding love on a dating app. Our mobile devices allow us to quickly review lots of topics, messages, posts, and pictures. Every so often one grabs our attention prompting us to scroll through the details.

This common behavior has changed how we process information. And this includes how most hiring managers review candidates. These managers, regardless of age, swipe and scan through emails and resumes with ever-increasing speed. Only occasionally do they scroll through the details about someone who, after an initial glance, appears to potentially meet their needs.

As more of our interactions with information shift to our mobile devices, this behavior will only increase. Which is why people who present talent to hiring managers (including HR professionals, corporate recruiters, and staffing pros), must adapt how they submit talent. Here’s how.

Find the juicy relevant details
When do we go beyond swiping and scanning? When we see something that appears worthwhile. Could be an article offering five compelling solutions for a perplexing business problem. Maybe it’s a picture of the newest model of a popular device. Or it might include a combination of a picture and text, such as a snap of a yummy looking dish and a recipe title that promises low fat and big taste.

Take time to identify the juicy and relevant details about a candidate. Don’t just ask about her skills—have her tell you about the positive business outcomes created by those skills. Don’t just ask him how much experience he has—have him give you the specifics regarding how that experience was praised by bosses and colleagues. Attention grabbing details are there if you take the time to find them.

Create a compelling headline
Actress Renee Zellweger famously said to Tom Cruise’s Jerry McGuire, “You had me at ‘hello.’” That’s what happens just before we decide to scroll through a piece of content—the very first “hello” (what we see or hear) either grabs or repels our attention.

Your headline, be it your first spoken sentence, the voicemail you leave, or the subject line of an email, determines if the hiring manager keeps paying attention or swipes you aside.

When possible, add a picture
Pictures are powerful and are said to be worth a thousand words. We see this today in the success and growth of Instagram, along with the increasing popularity of video.

Presenting talent with pictures is an overlooked opportunity. No, this does not mean you send the candidate’s picture. You can send powerful visual proof of the value the candidate could bring to the job. Examples include a picture of

– a written performance review
– non-proprietary work created by the candidate
– an award plaque

Write an irresistible opening
What keeps us reading content beyond a headline or picture? When what we see next makes it clear that continued interest is worth it.

That’s what you’ll do with the additional juicy relevant details you uncovered in step 1. You’ll write a brief opening paragraph that includes that information. Want to be even more compelling? Tie these details into specific requests made by the hiring manager.

What does this look like in action? Here’s the opening spoken line (headline) and first paragraph from a voicemail message left by a recruiter at one of my clients last week. He also sent this same headline and paragraph as an e-mail after leaving the voicemail message. Included was a pic of the first page of her most recent performance review.

SUBJECT: I have someone for you who’s a combination of Joe Allen and Susan Habib

Hi Roberto. You told me to look for someone who has the skill of Joe and communication abilities of Susan. I have her! Because of her skill, Emily has eliminated $120,000 in expense from the departmental budget. Her manager praises her communication as one of the reasons for this. He also credits her abilities for solving persistent problems, much like those issues you’ve mentioned your department is facing.

Did this work? Like a charm. The hiring manager, who normally took days to reply (if he did at all) responded within three minutes, wanting to set up an interview as soon as possible.

Like it or not, we now live in a world that floods us with information from all directions. To help your candidates stand out, you’ve got to cut through that noise. Hiring managers will swipe and scan your candidate to the side unless you make it clear it’s worth their while to stop and scroll through the details.

Scott WintripWant Hiring Managers to Pay Attention to Your Candidates? Do These 4 Things.
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Practical Tips for Effectively Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent

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I’ve often found that advice about social media, while well-intentioned, isn’t practical, actionable, or sustainable. Then there’s the advice of Chloe DiVita of Perceptive Presence. I love her practical insights because they’re straightforward. And they work! I had the opportunity to chat with her recently on how business leaders, HR professionals, and recruiters can better leverage social media to find top talent.

Scott WintripPractical Tips for Effectively Using Social Media to Recruit Top Talent
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How to Tell if a Job Candidate’s Ability Matches His Resume: 4 Tips to Help Weed Out Future Bad Hires and Choose the Best Candidates Every Time

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It’s always exciting when you receive a resume from a job candidate who seems like a great fit. It’s even more exciting when the candidate nails the interview. And there’s nothing quite like the relief and satisfaction you feel when the person accepts the position. Now you’ve got yourself a brand-new employee. Unfortunately, sometimes the fairy tale stops here when people who give great interviews turn out to be bad hires.

Most of us have experienced being blindsided when an exciting candidate turns out to be a really disappointing employee. It’s always discouraging when the person you interviewed is not the same individual who shows up to work. You find yourself wondering what went wrong. It usually comes down to a few mistakes that you can easily remedy.

This starts with the resume. Even the most impressive resume paints an incomplete picture of the candidate’s potential. Relying too heavily on a resume is no better than judging a book by its cover. To combat this common problem, here are four tips to help you avoid making hires you later regret.

Tip #1 – Develop clear hiring criteria.
Your excitement about a candidate’s resume can interfere with sound decision-making. We can select the wrong people for the wrong reason when our feelings get in the way. To counter this tendency, develop clear hiring criteria complete with a detailed list of skills and personality traits that the right person must exemplify. Also, be sure to list the undesired traits you need to avoid.

It’s important to remember that feelings are not facts. Emotions, left unchecked, easily become false evidence that candidates fit roles when they do not. Don’t let an outstanding resume blind you to the fact that the candidate is not right for the position you’re hiring for. Always refer back to your hiring criteria when you think you’ve found the perfect match. This step checks your accuracy and ensures that you seek proof that the talent matches the job you need to fill.

Tip #2 – Pose written questions to accompany the resume.
Resumes are a mere glimpse into someone’s experience, background, and skills, providing. An incomplete picture of the job candidate. Not to mention candidates want to put their best selves forward in a resume, and often this includes incomplete details, exaggerations, and sometimes outright lies. Asking candidates to submit written answers to several questions helps provide you with a clearer picture of who they are

What should you ask your job candidates? The best strategy is to pick key details from your hiring criteria and pose specific questions to gather those details. For example, for a sales position you could ask, “How do you sell? Be specific, but limit your response to two or three paragraphs.” Only those candidates who followed your directions and whose answers match your criteria should move on to the next phase of your selection process.

Tip #3 – Seek more proof of fit through experiential interviews.
Conventional interviews don’t really work because candidates are always on their best behavior. They say what you want to hear, only share the best parts of their backgrounds, and make promises of how well they will perform on the job. Unfortunately, these promises don’t always translate into quality work. Experiential interviews are the answer to this problem.

Instead of listening to a candidate’s promises, seek truth. Focus your interviews around having candidates perform sample work that demonstrates the skills and experience noted on their resume. This work should focus on key aspects of the job. Have salespeople demonstrate how they sell. Require computer programmers to write sample code. Set up a scenario where a customer service manager has to solve a real business problem. Watch carefully as they do the work. You’ll quickly see whether the candidate is a good fit, or not.

Tip #4 – Ask candidates about their work failures during phone interviews, then listen carefully.
Everyone has failed at some point in their careers. However, potential hires may be hesitant to share about their failures during interviews. This is a red flag you should watch out for.

When a candidate glosses over past failures, beware. This often indicates that they won’t be a transparent employee or leader within the company. But candidates who are honest, humble, and able to share openly about past failures will positively contribute to your company’s success. The failure question is a great way to identify the candidates that are willing to bring transparency to their role within your organization.

An impressive resume doesn’t always mean your candidate will perform as expected. And conventional interviews don’t work the way we wish they did. To hire the best talent each time you interview, you need to take a closer look at your candidates. Learn who they are, assess their performance and integrity, and then rate them with your specific job criteria in mind. These extra steps will help you gain a clear view of every applicant, so you know exactly who is showing up for work on Monday morning…and you won’t be disappointed.

Scott WintripHow to Tell if a Job Candidate’s Ability Matches His Resume: 4 Tips to Help Weed Out Future Bad Hires and Choose the Best Candidates Every Time
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