Nagging Questions Before the Offer Letter

You are ready to extend the offer letter, but there is this nagging hesitation in your mind.

  • Is this the right person?
  • Am I making a mistake?
  • What happens if I am wrong?

But, you have a 90 day probation period, so if it doesn’t work out, no harm, no foul.

And, you will have to start over again, 90 days down the road.

  • Why do you have to wait 90 days to find out if this is the right person?
  • How can you eliminate mistakes in your hiring process?
  • How can you up your batting average, reduce the times you are wrong?
  • What separates the average hiring manager from the few who most consistently make good hires?

There is no magic, no fairy dust, just a little managerial work. Most managers make hiring mistakes because they didn’t know what they were looking for in the first place.

One thought on “Nagging Questions Before the Offer Letter

  1. Alphonso Cheponis

    A good hire requires a proper fit. The proper fit requires that we must first understand what the job looks like in terms of behaviors. Most job ads are nothing short of a PR piece that talks about the “organization” and highlights the perceived technical attributes of the job. Fundamentally, we’re using the wrong bait, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we catch the wrong fish.

    We have been taught and told to look at resumes, education, references, and then ask questions that offer little if any insight to the person – then we add our personal biases to the equation to make a not so great “gut” decision and justify the decision with other persons “gut” feelings. It’s little wonder why only about a third of American workers are engaged – according to Gallup.

    To attract the right people, we must get clear on the behaviors of the role or job. Tom is right; there is no fairy dust; this process requires transparent communication and a clear understanding of the role from all people involved (at least three – no more than five). Whether you’re using tools to work through this process of doing it longhand, it must be done for every role in the organization – and, NO, it can’t be copied from another company.

    Use The Right Language
    We must use the right language when looking for the ideal new hire. Your job ad should reflect the qualities you are seeking, and avoid any conflicting qualities. In the case of an executive assistant, you wouldn’t want your job ad to also say “independent, flexible, and fast-paced.” These behaviors are the opposite of what the role requires.

    Identify Your Culture
    If you run a small business that’s tight-knit and team-oriented (which indicates lower dominance), you wouldn’t want to use words like “competitive,” “driven,” or “ambitious” (which indicates higher dominance).

    Keep The Description Short
    A laundry list of responsibilities can be off-putting to candidates. Focus on the top five to seven responsibilities a candidate will take ownership of. Ask yourself: What are the absolute essentials? Which responsibilities are most representative of what this person would be doing regularly?

    Customize the Job to Your Company
    The needs of a role may differ from organization to organization. For example, a lawyer for a fast-paced startup will need different behaviors than a lawyer in a highly regulated industry. A startup might require a lawyer who’s more risk-tolerant and can move quickly, while the regulated industry would require a lawyer who’s risk-averse, methodical, and detail-oriented.

    When crafting your job posting, consider the traits necessary to succeed in your organization—not just the role.


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