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Jan
28
Alex Somos

Today’s marketplace offers an abundance of tools to help make the hiring process more efficient and effective. We can scan resumes for key words, penetrate defenses and look for evidence of related experience with behavioral interviews, test for affect, personality and leadership styles, and check references through our connections using social media. All of this is designed to help us validate our conclusion and it is a helpful and prudent thing to do. However, with all of these tools, it is sometimes easy to overlook the human side of hiring people. I have had enough experience and bruising in hiring the right candidate to know that finding a good hire comes from these three techniques:

Humanize the Experience: Look for a mutual fit. Imagine enlisting the candidate in the process of seeing their hire as a one-way street with both of you walking in the same direction, toward the same destination. Be real and speak candidly about the positives and negatives of the job. Create an environment of openness and disclosure where you become vulnerable and lower their defenses all with the intent of making the right hiring decisions together. Speak gravely about the costs to all of making a misstep and draw out fears and assumptions that may be present. Demonstrate genuine interest in the person and their story because you are hiring a person - someone with hopes, feelings, aspirations, responsibilities and a desire to perform. This is a person, not just an asset or a pair of hands; they are unique, gifted and multidimensional.

Pay Attention to Chemistry: Chemistry, a key ingredient, when present, fosters the flow of ideas, allows people to initiate, and the higher good of the organization and the team to be served. There is a feeling when all the right things are in place that can best be described as hum. Positive energy is present, enabling people to overcome daunting challenges and obstacles to create truly outstanding performance. To access this chemistry, include your team in the interview process. I don’t mean a perfunctory interview to get to know them, I mean your team actually helps you make the decision. Include your top candidates in team meetings, invite them to job shadow, and take them out for lunch. Understanding the dynamic of chemistry will inevitably lead to superior hires and a great team.

Listen to Your Niggles:  Everyone has experienced a niggle, but not everyone knows what a niggle is. A niggle is a question, a feeling, or that something “inside” that you or your team may not be able to articulate but is present nonetheless. I can’t tell you how many missteps have been avoided by paying attention to my own or other’s niggles. They typically come from a place of tacit knowledge that is manifested in a feeling, or a dis- ease the person may or may not be able to put into words. You may feel something is off, but you’re not sure why. My rule is, follow the emotion to the reason much like you would follow smoke to a fire. It pays off.

What ideas do you have to help you find great candidates?

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