All posts tagged: Scott Wintrip

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

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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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5 Common Interviewing Mistakes

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The best way to solve a problem is to keep it from happening. By avoiding common mistakes, we can avert all kinds of problems including those of the hiring variety. Interviews are a frequent part of the hiring process where people make avoidable mistakes.

How most of us were taught to interview is inherently flawed. During a typical interview a job candidate is on his best behavior. He tells you the right things and shares only the best parts of his background. We get a mere glimpse of the real person. This is top reason why so many hires fail. The conversations that take place during an interview fall short of determining, with certainty, if the candidate will succeed or fail at the job.

Here are five common interviewing mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1
Picking the wrong people to interview

Some interviews shouldn’t have happened in the first place. When they do, there’s a common cause—the resume. Resumes reduce a person to a piece of paper, giving you but a peek of their true potential. Some candidates make matters worse by creating their own version of fake news when they lie or exaggerate details. Resumes are an incomplete tool for deciding who to invite for an interview.

Don’t rely solely on resumes when determining which candidates to include in your first round of interviews. In addition to having candidates submit their resume, ask them to follow simple directions and answer a few questions.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to do this.

When submitting your resume, answer the following questions. Keep each response to no more than 3 or 4 sentences.

Why does this job interest you?

Why are you looking for a job right now?

The responses can be insightful. You begin to see his knowledge of the company and the industry. You discover some of the motives driving his job search. You may learn he is happy and open to being happier. Or you may determine that he is desperate and throwing out lots of resumes so he can pay his bills. By including simple directions, you will also begin to assess his ability to follow directions.

Your questions and directions allow you to start comparing how his motives match your needs and culture. If he’s dishonest in his response, it’s likely that he’ll contradict himself later in the process. Plus, if he doesn’t follow the directions when answering your questions that’s a red flag. Following directions doesn’t get better after you hire someone.

Mistake #2
Expecting too much from a phone interview

Phone interviews are a conversation. Nothing more. During a conversation candidates do what I call the tell, sell, and swell. They tell you what they think you want to hear. They sell you on the best parts of their background. They try to swell your ego. Does this mean all of them are being dishonest? Of course not. It’s natural for candidates to position themselves in the best light. The problem with this very human behavior is that it interferes with determining if someone is worth bringing in for a face-to-face interview.

Given the limitations of conversations, phone interviews are best used only as a confirmation tool—you’re confirming he has abilities you can’t teach. These typically include effective verbal and aural communication, personality, and rapport. By focusing phone interviews on these important attributes, you’ll have short and powerful conversations that make it clear who’s worth bringing in and who’s not.

Mistake #3
Asking lots of questions during a face-to-face interview

Talking about doing work during a face-to-face interview is a waste of time. The candidate, given the opportunity, will continue his tell, sell, and swell. This creates a conceptual experience instead of providing you with an accurate reflection of whether or not he can perform well in the job.

Do this instead—have the candidate perform sample work. Work that allows you to see, hear, and experience him in action. You’ll see if he has the requisite skills, hear if he will fit in, and experience the quality of his work.

How do you set up sample work? Have candidates for sales jobs show how they sell. Let people interviewing for a supervisor role conduct a mock employee meeting. Have marketing candidates create a sample campaign. Direct accounting candidates to audit sanitized financials. By creating scenarios based upon past situations, you can let candidates try on the role while you try out their skills.

Mistake #4
Conducting face-to-face interviews alone

There’s too much for one person to see, hear, and experience during an interview. Plus, according to researchers Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, there are limits to our perception. A team approach to face-to-face interviews counters these problems.

A hiring team should have four people with complementary hiring styles (you can learn more about hiring styles in this post). All four people are present in the interview, giving you a complete picture from their unique perspectives.

Mistake #5
Overlooking a prime opportunity during a face-to-face interview

Success in most jobs happens because the employee improves over time. Improvement is initiated from feedback and coaching given by the manager. Not all hires are coachable, yet, most interviewers neglect to assess this trait.

You can assess the candidate’s coachability during a face-to-face interview. Have the candidate perform sample work. Then, provide feedback and coaching. Follow that with a second opportunity to do the sample work, watching if he applies your feedback. If he doesn’t, his coachability won’t improve once hired.

Mistake-free interviews are possible when you avoid these common errors. Instead of relying on the candidate’s tell, sell, and swell, you’ll see, hear, and experience your way to making fast and accurate hires.

Scott Wintrip5 Common Interviewing Mistakes
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Build and Maintain a Strong Staffing Leadership Team

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podcast-sleeveSuccess in the staffing and recruitment business hinges on leadership. Yet, building and maintaining a strong leadership team is a constant challenge for many firms. In this conversation with Lisa Maxwell of Gerard Stewart, you’ll hear concrete advice and actionable steps that will strengthen your executive leadership team and also boost the quality of your entire firm’s management.

Scott WintripBuild and Maintain a Strong Staffing Leadership Team
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Leading Change: How to Go from Being an A-hole to an A-Player

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podcast-sleeveEvery leader has to drive some type of change from time to time. Because changing things makes people uncomfortable, it’s common that leaders are viewed negatively, even when whatever is being changed is in the best interest of everyone. In this podcast, I walk you through three simple change management steps. By following these, you’ll no longer be seen as an “a-hole” and instead be viewed as an A-player by the very people impacted by change.

Scott WintripLeading Change: How to Go from Being an A-hole to an A-Player
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