Hiring Ideas – 2 Minute Read

Every few weeks, we will add a short, easy-to-implement hiring idea. Each will be written to help you make hiring your competitive advantage.

Hiring Idea #16 – Employee Engagement

Employee engagement starts BEFORE the interview.

Employees leave their managers, not the company.  Studies suggest that most turnover and engagement issues are directly related to the employee – manager “fit.” Yet, companies still hire  based on job fit alone vs. job fit and manager fit.  

Your hiring and promotion process has a direct impact on your current engagement and retention issues.  To increase employee engagement, managers must take more ownership, and be more accountable for their hiring decisions.  A few small adjustments to your hiring process will give you more manager fit and increase employee engagement.

For example:  PRIOR to starting the hiring process, do your managers answer these seven questions – in writing and with their signatures?   

1. What changes in the next 2 – 4 years will impact this hiring decision?

2.  What are the biggest challenges to the job?
3.  Do you have an “A” candidate benchmark for the open position?
4.  Do you have 1 month, 3 month and 6 month expectation goals?
5.  Have you evaluated the current team strengths and weaknesses for  10 -15 traits?
6.  Does my interview evaluation form includes these questions:  
         a)  Will the candidate add talent to my department?  (scale 1-4)
         b)   Will the candidate take ownership of their job responsibilities? (scale 1-4)
         c)   Will the candidate work well with the current team members? (scale 1-4)
        d)   I can manage, motivate and develop the candidate? (scale 1-4)
7.   The company may have a “formal’ company on-boarding process.  But, often there is an “informal” employee lead process to teach the new team members “the ropes.”  Is the “informal” a positive for the department?

Notes:  a)  There are several changes for high turnover areas…..b) More details are in “Free Stuff” section

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Hiring Idea #15 –  Choose 3 Employee Characteristics

If you started your company today, would you hire everyone currently on the payroll?

Your hiring managers and supervisors are the gatekeepers to your company’s future.  How can you give them the “keys” to be successful?  The keys are focus, ownership and accountability throughout the hiring process.

One way to help is getting everyone on the same page.   For example: developing a list of three overall employee characteristics you need to fulfill your Mission Statement.   Then, those characteristics are in front of every hiring manager for every interview and are included on the interview evaluation form.

21 Sample employee characteristics – choose 3

Positive attitude …..results oriented..…integrity..…reliability.….ambitious….persistent…..passion…..self-starter…..team player….strong work ethic….seeks improvement….leader…independent…..happy….instills trust….effective communicator….inspires others….focused….achieves goals…..flexible….creative problem solver

Is hiring your competitive advantage?

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Hiring Idea #14 –  Gen Z

Teenagers started a huge national movement that adults could not – or would not – do.  Are there any takeaways for C-Suite executives and HR professionals?

Yes!  A titanic shift in workplace demographics is taking shape. Over the next couple of years, today’s teenagers will combine with Millennials – already the biggest segment of the workforce – to significantly impact how we do business.  Together, they will be over 65% of the labor market.  Additionally, Baby Boomers are retiring at record numbers.  Result: Revolutionary change at speeds we have never seen before.

Is your company ready?

Generation Z (The speed of Millennials x 2)

  • They are not afraid to force change when necessary
  • They respect managers who act – not just talk and delay
  • They will use social media to challenge the status quo
  • They saw how the Great Recession impacted their parents
  • Smartphones are their lifeline to the instant everything world
  • With social media, every employee can make or break your company’s reputation
  • On-boarding starts in the interview

Will the people you hire today be the people you need tomorrow? Hiring is the front door to your future success. ™

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Hiring Idea #13 – Your Hiring Brand

Real-world examples of situations that are negatively affecting your Hiring Brand:

  • Manager turnover. A Midwest company hired a new Director of Human Resources whose LinkedIN profile lists six jobs in ten years.  How would you react to new policies or ideas if you thought the new person would stay only one-two years?
  • Abusive personality. A manufacturing company hired a new COO who quickly gained the reputation as “the screamer.”  Employees started voting with their feet and turnover became a serious problem.
  • Ineffective management. A large retail store had an employee that management called “the bitcher” because he never said anything good about the company.  Recently, he received his 10-year pin during one of their daily employee meetings.
  • Theft. An 800-person distribution company found $60,000 had been stolen from their largest branch in an important market.  The branch manager, who had major contacts in that marketplace, was the chief suspect.   Three months after the discovery the Regional VP had not even investigated or discussed the theft with the manager.

Today’s employees are tech savvy and impatient with the status quo.   They respect people – not their title.  If management does not effectively deal with performance issues, they can expect to be trashed on social media.  That will have a lasting effect on your Hiring Brand.

How is your Hiring Brand?

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Hiring Idea #12 – Guiding Principles for Hiring

Are your hiring managers all “on the same page”? Do you have “independent “managers? To improve employee selection, engagement and retention, companies are developing guiding principles for their hiring managers.  Below are a few examples (with definition notes) for your review:

  •  Mission Statement – Hiring    Notes:  List the employee characteristics you need to fulfill your company’s Mission Statement. The statement is in front of managers for all interviews and hiring decisions

Example: We want to hire people who will take ownership of their job responsibilities, and who look for ways to improve themselves and the company.

  • Hiring is the front door to your future success.™   Notes:  Replace “pants on fire” hiring with strategic, pro-active hiring.  Put “A” players in “A” players.Validate the person or lose them as an employee
  • Pre-hire assess candidates for Job Fit + Culture Fit + Manager Fit   Notes: Employees leave their boss – not the company.  Initially more expensive, but these employee assessments will increase engagement and retention rates.  Quality assessments measure your human capital, and should be as important as your financial reports
  • You have the power to advance the company – one person and one day at a time.

Your company’s guiding principles for hiring may be different. To gain a competitive advantage – hiring needs focus, ownership, accountability and continuous improvement.  In these rapidly changing times, even the best HR departments will need the CEO’s strategic help to insure everyone is on the “same page.”  What are your hiring manager’s guiding principles?

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Hiring Idea #11 – Thank You Ben Franklin

Is your company or an individual manager’s reputation killing your recruiting efforts?

Potential candidates search the Internet and social media to learn what current and past employees are saying about the company?

If you want to enhance the company’s reputation, maybe Ben Franklin can help.  He asked himself two questions that shaped his view for day’s activities.

  • In the Morning — What good will I do today?
  • In the Evening — What good did I do today?

Judging from his personal success, and his efforts to help others, I would say this daily activity were successful.  But, how can those two questions help your hiring? Would managers look at their day’s activities differently if they asked themselves these questions?

Would they look at hiring, motivating and developing their team members differently? Would they look for more creative ways to resolve employee issues? Would they get valuable input from employees whose opinions had not valued before? Would they ask more questions, and make less demanding statements?  Would they foster a “we” workplace environment, rather than a top down, I’m-the-boss attitude?  Would your employees be more respected for what they are “bringing to the table”?

These two questions can have a profound effect on employee selection, engagement, retention and motivation.  Workplace acceptance and validation can have a positive impact on the employee, their family and the community.

We have the power to change the world – one person and one day at a time.

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Hiring Idea #10 – HR – Supporting Role or Strategic Partner?

Hiring is the front door to your future success.™

Question: Has your HR department – itself – kept up with the rapidly changing needs of your workforce.

HR should be an “A” position that requires an “A” player.  Anything less and your employees, your clients and your company’s financials will suffer.

Today’s employees want to be validated for what they bring to the company. They want to learn and grow professionally, want more life-work balance, and a manager they can respect.   Importantly, they want to know they are making a difference and contributing to something bigger than themselves.

Employees are far more open about their needs and will turnover or turn off if those needs are not meant.  To meet these challenges, CEOs must look at the HR function differently.  A supportive HR role is no longer acceptable.  HR must have a seat where the tactical decisions are made.

HR is basically in a supporting role if:

  • Your website identifies the key executives without including the head of HR
  • HR is not involved on the front-end of the company’s strategic decisions
  • Remote branches are “doing their own thing”
  • HR is blamed for an increase in the employee turnover rate
  • HR reports to the accounting or legal department
  • Managers say, “we would have hired better if HR had gotten us better candidates”
  • An executive drops a resume in HR’s desk and says “can you get the paperwork going? We just hired him/her, and they start in two weeks.”

If you answer “yes” to four or more, your company is at a significant disadvantage.  One way to gain a competitive advantage is by splitting the HR department.

  • Vice President – People and Culture – this includes the recruiting, leadership and talent development and onboarding. This is an executive level position with the person reports directly to the President/CEO.
  • Human Resources – Administration – reports to the CFO and includes the important support functions like benefits, payroll, compliance, etc.

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Hiring Idea #9 – How NOT do Hire an “A” Player

Hiring is your front door to your future success.™

Companies want to hire high impact “A” players.  To accomplish this goal, senior executives and HR have developed detailed hiring methods.  However, within the company there are always managers who want to short circuit the process.  There are no short cuts when hiring “A” players.

10 Ways NOT to hire an “A” player:

  • The hiring manager does not have a clear picture of the job’s needs, challenges and goals
  • The hiring manager is unprepared or arrives late to the interview
  • The hiring manager seems distracted, stressed or impatient
  • The hiring manager hires based on first impression
  • The hiring manager is intimidated by the candidate’s qualifications
  • The hiring manager is not an “A” player
  • The hiring manager has an antiquated “I’m a good judge of character” attitude.
  • The hiring manager’s decision is based on job fit rather than culture fit
  • The hiring manager talks too much during the interview
  • The hiring manager thinks their current hiring skills are good and is unwilling to change

The world is changing at speeds never seen before.  Whole industries are experiencing revolutionary change.  Is the human side of your hiring process keeping up? Is hiring your competitive advantage?

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Hiring Idea #8  – Did You Know?

  •  Fake college diploma– $1 Billion industry
  • 41% of all interviews are decided on appearance alone     Source: Investor’s Business Daily
  • 71% of all resumes contain fictitious information    Source: the national HR professional organization
  • Candidate can search – “Best answers to interview questions.”  Results: Amazon – 16 books……..Google – 14.2 million hits
  • Many candidates have multiple resumes– each targeted to a specific job, company or industry.  What is the candidate’s real passion?

Hiring is the front door to your future success. Is your current hiring method in need of a “tune up”?

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Hiring Idea #7  – Validate Me – Please

Employees are saying –“Validate me as a person or lose me as an employee.” 

They want companies to know and effectively use what they are “bringing to the table.”  Here is an example:

Several years ago, I became a Vice President with 300 sales people and 10 people in customer service.  One of my first jobs was to assess the talent in the department. Very quickly one woman stood out.

Two previous bosses let her languish in customer service.  However, with quality employee assessment tools, I validated that she was vastly underutilized.   With some coaching and training, she became a Product Manager for one of our major lines. Without those validation tools, she probably would have spent the next five years undervalued and simply accepting a paycheck.

Do you have “paycheck” employees?

Winning coaches accurately measure each player’s talents to determine how they can increase the team’s overall competitive strength.  Assessment tools that measure a candidate’s “job fit” and “culture fit” increase your competitive advantage with minimum costs.

How does that affect my hiring?

Can you use your current employee assessment tool for — selection, promotions, managerial fit, team development, culture fit, conflict resolution, career development, and coaching?

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Hiring Idea #6  – Change Job Titles

The title “Manager” to today’s young employees means – guardian the status quo.

Change the job title – change a person’s perspective of their job responsibilities.  The new title is a constant reminder of the person’s top priorities.

Old Title New Title
Manager Coach or Head Coach
Executive VP Promoter of the Achievable
VP – Operations Catalyst for Positive Change
Marketing Manager Big Bang Guru
CEO Chief Inspiration Officer
Human Resources Director Employee Engagement Champion
Trainer Facilitator of Growth

These new titles will remind your managers how they can positively impact the company’s future.

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Hiring Idea #5 – College Degree

Are you a college degree snob?

Many managers only want to interview candidates with a degree.  Perhaps they should reconsider:

  • Fake diplomas and transcripts – $1 Billion industry see the websites for Phony Diploma, Next Day Diploma, etc.
  • Successful people without a degree – Simon Cowell, Thomas Edison,  JK Rowling, Rachael Ray, Dave Thomas (Wendy’s), Richard Branson, Bill Gates, etc.

How does that affect my hiring?

  • Life may have gotten in the way of a person finishing their college degree.  (i.e. sick parents, money issues, etc.)
  • There is an enormous pool of intelligent, talented, loyal candidates who are looking for a real-world opportunity.  Look for people who have taken initiative under difficult circumstances and/or who have a sense of urgency.
  • If the person fits your culture you both win.

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Hiring Idea #4 – Background Checks

Have a problem getting information about a candidate from a past employer?

Many companies will only give the ex- employee’s hire and termination dates.  Here is what I’ve used to get around that roadblock.

I begin the my conversation with the candidate’s manager with “Can you help me?” Most people want to help.  If the manager is still reluctant, I ask them two more questions:

  • Does your company have a policy against re-hiring an ex-employee?  If they say “no,” then I ask question #2.
  • Would you rehire _____(candidate’s name)?  If there is a long pause, you have just received some valuable information for your hiring decision.  

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Hiring Idea #3  – Status Quo

Change to the status quo. 

Young people are finding new ways to solve old business problems.

For example: In 2008, two 35 years olds started Airbnb with no experience in the hotel industry.  They literally turned the market upside down.  Seven years later Airbnb’s sales were over $800M.

Note: Millennials will be 50% of the workplace within 3 years – now 32%.  On average, they stay only 2.3 years at a job.  To select and retain the best people companies are moving from “Job Fit to “Culture Fit” (job fit + manager fit + team fit) hiring model.

How will that affect my company’s hiring?

Are they looking at the world differently? Absolutely.  The status quo is their starting point for change. Underestimating their passion, determination and creative problem solving ability will directly impact your employee engagement and retention.   

Are you hiring for “job fit” or “culture fit?”

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Hiring Idea #2 – Employee engagement

Want to improve employee engagement?  Get a signature.   

Hiring is not a single event.  It is the beginning of an employee engagement process that includes meaningful employee onboarding, talent development, internal career planning, motivation, goal setting, etc.

Too often managers say “We would have hired better if HR had gotten us better interviewees.”   Essentially, that means the hiring manager has not taken ownership for their hiring decisions and/or the employee’s development.

Why do I need a hiring manager’s signature?

With a signature comes ownership and accountability.  Have the manager develop a road map for the new employee’s success, and then get their commitment for implementation with their signature.

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Hiring Idea #1 – Hiring – Mission Statement 

Do you have a Mission Statement – Hiring?

The Mission Statement – Hiring is a short, positive, non-discriminating expression about the employee characteristics you need to fulfill the company’s Mission Statement.  The statement is in front of all hiring managers for every interview.

Example:  We want to hire passionate, innovative individuals who have a sense of urgency and a take charge approach to life.

Example:  We want individuals who will take ownership of their job responsibilities, and who want to improve themselves and the company.

Why do I need it?

The Mission Statement – Hiring becomes both a benchmark and a constant reminder for your hiring managers on what is needed to drive your Mission Statement.  

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