When Hiring Fails Who Do You Blame The Manager or The Recruiter?

While conducting a company on-site hiring training program, one of the manager’s commented how much he dislikes using recruiters because in his experience the hire often fails.

I question the validity of that comment. Is it the recruiter’s fault when a person they represent gets hired and then fails? Or is it the hiring team’s and ultimately the manager’s? Managers tend to blame someone else when their decision to hire someone fails. If there isn’t an HR department to blame, it is often the recruiter.
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Have Your Managers Been Trained How To Probe In An Interview?

Recently a CEO asked me to participate in a series of interviews being conducted by her executive team. This was for a very key position in the company and the CEO wanted to ensure the team was probing and conducting in-depth interviews.  After assessing four separate interviews here is the feedback I gave to the CEO:

  1. There really wasn’t four different interviews, but rather one interview four times. Most asked the same basic questions and the candidate responded with the same prepared answers.
  2. I counted the number of times in each interviewer asked the candidate for an example after the candidate made an important claim. The total number was three times.
  3. There wasn’t any order to the questions being asked and most were not relevant to performing the job. Most were simple questions about the candidate’s background from which the interviewer subjectively determined if they “liked” the candidate.
  4. There was only superficial probing. Most interviewers asked a few very high level follow-up questions and then moved on. Rarely was there any in-depth questioning.
  5. Each had their own ideas about the characteristics required to “fit” in the position and company. There was no consensus as to what characteristics were required and how to validate them during the interview? It was left up to each person to pick and chose their own.

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The Number One Hiring Frustration – Can’t Find Candidates

In the last 7 years I have asked thousands of CEO’s and their key managers “What is your biggest  hiring frustration?” Consistently the answer is, “Can’t find people.” A few will even reply, “Can’t find qualified people.”

It should not surprise anyone this is the answer. How many of these CEO’s or managers have ever been trained how to find and recruit qualified people? Very few. They do what has always been done. Run ads. Then hope qualified candidates will show up. When that doesn’t happen they blame HR and get frustrated.

This process for finding and recruiting candidates is completely reactive.

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Simple Reason Why Hiring So Often Fails – Manager Training

Companies simply accept hiring failure. This is how it has always been and so this is how it will always be. There is nothing a CEO can do about it. Just accept this fact and move on.

Sound familiar?

Or when hiring fails blame HR. HR couldn’t find qualified candidates. HR took too long to fill the job. HR did a poor job screening candidates. HR is incompetent. It is all HR’s fault.

It is easy to blame someone else or HR. Instead of blaming, consider getting to the root of the problem. Simply put, few, very few, managers have ever been trained how to hire. A small percentage may have had some interviewing training, but even this doesn’t address the issues of finding candidates, cultural fit, counter offers, resume filtering, properly defining the expectations of the position, marketing the position to attract passive candidates, etc.

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10 Mistakes Companies Make Picking A Recruiter

The last article listed mistakes ten through eight. This set lists the next three mistakes companies make when selecting a recruiter.

As a reminder how we came to this list.We undertook an in-depth survey project conducted over a 3-year period with 425 CEOs and senior executives.  IMPACT Hiring Solutions examined the top 10 mistakes and false assumptions in working with recruiters.

Mistake #5: All Recruiters Help a Client Define a Great Job

Participants in our study had contracted with executive search firms assuming they would help in effectively defining the position. They politely described most recruiters’ efforts in this area as a re-write of their internal job descriptions. They found that the recruiters they’ve retained took their original two page job descriptions, added 4-6 pages of boiler-plate information, and had the audacity to claim a portion of their fees were based on this “value-added” service. When both the recruiter and the executive use the Success Factor Snapshot as the primary tool to guide the search project, accuracy and success soars like an eagle on a consistent basis.

Mistake #6: All Recruiters Do a Good Job of Assessing Candidates

Our participants were under whelmed by their executive recruiters’ ability to conduct an effective interview. Our participants found that they still had to conduct initial screens and catch the glaring errors and omissions ignored by recruiters. Our participants were stunned to find that most recruiters haven’t the slightest clue how to deeply evaluate a candidate. The vast majority of recruiters conduct meet-and-greet sessions with candidates in an attempt to determine if the candidate can interview effectively. Forget about determining if the candidate can do the job. Most recruiters are simply measuring likeability. A recruiter who uses a structured approach, such as our 5 Core-Question Interview and the Magnifying Glass Approach to Interviewing, overcomes this fundamental mistake.

Mistake #7: Recruiter’s Value is based on Showing Candidates

Study participants recognized that assuming the fee paid for an executive search was directly correlated to the presentation of candidates was a major mistake. The investment in search fees for most companies is a major expenditure. When this expenditure turns into nothing more than a high-priced resume service, there is likely to be significant disappointment in the value perception, even if one of the resumes presented turns into the candidate who gets hired. Top recruiting professionals have a rigorous and systematic business process for hiring, such as the Success Factor Methodology, which encompasses a cradle-to-grave process to raise hiring accuracy from historical standards close to 50% well up into the 90% range. Since most recruiters lack a rigorous process, our participants felt that there was a significant gap of value received

Please let me know if these are helpful as your company considers engaging recruiters. I would appreciate your feedback and thoughts.

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10 Mistakes Companies Make When Choosing A Recruiter

Many of the frustrations executives experience with recruiters stem from initial mistakes in hiring the recruiter.

We undertook an in-depth survey project conducted over a 3-year period with 425 CEOs and senior executives.  IMPACT Hiring Solutions examined the top 10 mistakes and false assumptions in working with recruiters.

Here they are in reverse order.

Mistake #10: All Recruiters Know How to Recruit Top Talent

Another major mistake that occurs during the selection of a search firm is the assumption that all recruiters are outstanding at recruiting, motivating, and nurturing the selective and sleeper candidates from the deep end of the pond. Our participants were frequently disappointed that the search firms they engaged were unable to attract and interest selective and sleeper candidates. They realized that most recruiters took the easy road of fishing in the shallow end of the pool, where the candidates are desperate for work and don’t need to be recruited. The very best recruiters understand candidate motivation at a deep level and are able to craft compelling statements of work that appeal to the primary motivators of top talent. The Success Factor Snapshot and the Compelling Marketing Statement provide tools for top-notch recruiters to demonstrate to a high potential candidate what they will learn, what impact they will have in the organization, and what they will become for being in this new role. The very best recruiters consistently recruit, excite, and close selective and sleeper candidates.

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Is Your Interviewing Random and Unstructured?

Most managers have never had any training on how to interview. They simply show up to the interview and start asking questions. This is especially true when the candidate comes back to meet the manager’s peers or others in the company. The manager rarely sits down with these interviewers and explains the purpose or expectation for their interview.

Every interview should be well planned and have specific objectives. They should never be random and unstructured.  The manager should give each subsequent interviewer a particular topic or area to interview. The same is true for the first interview with the manager. Pick two or three important topics for each interview and then probe deeply on each. For example, if leadership, international sales and a hands-on management style are important for this person to be successful, then design a series of question around these three topics. Start by asking for examples of where the candidate believes they have demonstrated these and then probe for details. Try and determine how well these examples align with the company’s culture, resources, systems and department structure. Repeat this same process with anyone else conducting interviews. Give each interviewer at least two areas for them to a conduct thorough in-depth interview.

Never again simply ask someone to interview one of your candidates without first planning out their role and what the expectations are for the interview.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, You’re NOT The Person I Hired. Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Why Job Descriptions Don’t Attract Top Talent

A recent research study identified the ten biggest mistakes companies make when hiring. The study included over 130 companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 to mid-size privately held organizations, a wide variety of industries, and more than 250 job openings.

The number one hiring mistake made was rather surprising and one rarely even considered by most companies. Yet, this one mistake impacts the whole hiring process, including how candidates are sourced, where to find candidates, compensation, performance management, advertising, position title and what questions should be asked during the interview. Everything seems to go sideways all because most companies fail to properly define the real job.

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How Much Value Should Be Placed On Background Checks?

Question: How much value should be placed on background checks when hiring someone? Seems like we discover the people we want to hire have some issue in their background just before we are ready to offer them the job.

I believe before you hire anyone, from the janitor to the CEO, you should conduct a background check. Depending on the level of the hire a background check maybe more extensive and involve multiple locations, but the information gained is important to know before hiring anyone. Discovering a potential issue may not be a knockout blow, but it should be addressed with the candidate.

Advising the candidate that they will be going through a background check early in the process might eliminate your second issue. Towards the end of the first interview let the candidate know exactly what you are going to check (driving record, credit, criminal, degrees) and ask if there will be any issues when the check comes back. If they say, “No” and then issues come back you may have a dishonest person. Often you will find the person to be upfront and tell you something will show up. You can then have a discussion about these issues and decide whether to proceed or not. This should greatly reduce the number of surprises at the end of the process.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, You’re NOT The Person I Hired. Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad

Four Ways Companies Shoot Themselves When Hiring

I recently asked over 100 CEO’s and their key executives, “Is hiring top talent critical to the success of your organization?” Not surprising everyone replied “Yes, it is critical.” Not simply important, but critical. So then I asked,”If it is critical, then how much time each month is spent focusing on hiring, excluding when you are actively looking to fill a position?” Not surprising, only three people raised their hand.

WOW, something that is critical to the success of the organization, gets virtually zero time unless there is a current need. Is that the way most critical issues are handled in your company? No strategic planning. No thought or action discussed or taken until the problem arises? Only once the problem arises is it dealt with. Until then it is that famous management strategy, “Out of sight, out of mind.” or “We will cross that bridge when we get there.”

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