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Posts tagged ‘hiring’

Hiring Those Who Can Do

As new graduates flood the market and unemployment remains high (especially for recent grads), I found this article by Tom Friedman timely. Friedman writes about HireArt, a start-up firm focused on connecting employers with candidates who demonstrate their job fit through realistic job previews and assessments.

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Avoiding Hiring Mistakes- and Recovering from Them

I’ve seen a recent flurry of articles about strategies to avoid bad hires, perhaps in response to those oft-cited disengaged employees deciding that the economy has recovered enough that they can take a chance on a new position.  In this blog post at  Fistful of Talent from Steve Boese, Jonathan Kaplan, founder and CEO of Pure Digital (creator of the Flipcam), is quoted saying “If you hire someone bad, fire them immediately and give them a big severance package so they feel good about you”.  At Zappos, call center employees are offered a $1,000 bonus if they choose to leave after their first week of training.

Steve’s post explores different termination scenarios in which he feels that paying severance is a reasonable strategy, excluding the case where the employee is not just a poor fit for the job from a skills perspective but also a behavioral perspective.  He rightfully assigns significant responsibility to the employer for not only poor screening and hiring decisions, but failures to onboard, coach and develop new employees.

I’ve blogged about this topic before.  It remains relevant because making good hiring decisions is both difficult and important.  Picking the right employees  requires a combination of clarity on the part of the hiring manager about what’s required for success in the job, an effective working relationship between the recruiter and hiring manager, and the use of appropriate screening mechanisms to objectively determine the right fit for the job.

It seems to me that some of the management omissions that lead to the need to let new hires go quickly are the same ones that create disengaged employees – failure to observe, develop and coach.  Depending on the survey you read, 30-50+ percent of employees say they are likely to change jobs in the next 12 months.  Paying attention to those smoke signals in your organization may not only help you retain your current talent, but improve your odds of holding on to those willing to join you in the future.

Hiring by Design – Finding Job Candidates with the Right Fit

kfquilt.jpgWhy the quilt picture?  I’m a quilter.  While I didn’t make this quilt, it’s by one of my favorite textile artists, Kaffee Fasset.  He makes beautiful quilts, knits, pottery and other wildly colored beautiful objects.  Like the quilt shown here, they may look somewhat ad hoc.  They are all, however, carefully designed in order to achieve the right balance of color and movement in the finished product.

In a previous post related to candidate assessment, I wrote about the manager’s role in helping ensure that recruiters understand the competencies and qualities that will ensure success on the job.  In this recent article from Talent Management Magazine, Steve Hunt expands on strategies that hiring managers can employ to retain qualified hourly workers by investing more time in the first stages of the hiring process to clearly articulate the skills and qualities that correlate to success (and satisfaction) on the job.  In this article, Steve provides step-by-step guidance on how to identify these desired candidate attributes.  Specifically, he helps managers and recruiters dig below generic platitudes (good attitude) and surface job specific descriptions (dependable attendance). 

Another interesting aspect of this article is Steve’s discussion of thinking about candidate fit not only from the perspective of what the individual has done in the past (experience), but also what candidate can do (potential) and is willing to do (motivation).   Hiring managers often focus their attention on candidates whose prior experience directly maps to the job at hand.  When they do so, they not only limit their talent pools unecessarily, but may also be setting themselves up for retention challenges with employees who will become more quickly bored with a job, vs. those who’ll remain engaged longer as they learn new skills.  As is the case with the vibrant quilt pictured above, the effort managers expend in the design phase of the hiring process will pay off in a more successful final outcome – employees who are more successful and engaged in their work.