Tag Archives: hiring team

Pulled on to the Hiring Team

“The time you spent preparing for this interview has taught you more than most interviewers understand about the hiring process,” I said.

“Why is that?” Kimberly responded.

“Most managers are too busy with important adult stuff, so they don’t have time to think about hiring. Here is the way most managers get pulled into the interview process.

Hey, Joe, we have a hot candidate for that new supervisor’s position. A couple of people have talked to him and they are really impressed. Say, could spare fifteen minutes, go meet him down in the conference room, and see what you think?

“So, tell me, Kimberly, what chance does Joe have of conducting an effective interview that will give him the proper information to make a hiring decision?”

“Well, I suppose he could just see if he likes the guy.”

“Exactly, with no understanding of the job description, without sufficient thinking about the specific skills required, with no opportunity to think through effective questions, Joe will have no other choice but to make his decision on whether he likes the guy or not. One of the biggest hiring mistakes is making the decision based on gut feeling.”

“So, as a candidate, where does that leave me?” asked Kimberly.

“Armed with what you now know, you have more power than you think.”

Who Should Be on the Hiring Team?

From the Ask Tom mailbag –

It sounds like you favor hiring teams, but I can’t tell if you recommend team interviews. How many people in the room?

Yes, I recommend hiring teams. Not an ad-hoc team, but a purposeful team, a reason for each person on the team. First is the hiring manager. The quarterback of the team, is the hiring manager’s manager, the manager-once-removed from the open role. That’s two people on the team, so far. I like a technical person, someone who knows the skill part of the job. I like a culture person, someone who understands, models and can explain the company culture. Each person on the hiring team will listen for things that others will miss.

I like hiring teams, but not in the room at the same time. Too many people make the candidate nervous. I don’t need nervous candidates. I need candidates who can calmly describe what they have done in specific situations in the past, related to the critical requirements of the role.

In addition to the candidate, no more than two people in the room. And one of those should not talk, only observe. The purpose of the interview is to collect organized data about the candidate and their past experience. Disconnected questions disrupt the continuity of details we need. And, yes, we need details. -Tom

Hiring Talent – 2016 Registration Open

Registration is now open for our online program Hiring Talent – 2016. Program calendar below. As this economy ramps up, your next hires are critical. This is not a time to be casual about the hiring process. Mistakes are too expensive and margins are too thin.

This is the only program that combines an understanding of Levels of Work with Behavioral Interviewing. The research on Levels of Work is powerful science. The discipline of behavioral interviewing is the methodology for its application. This is the only program that puts these two ideas together in a practical framework for managers faced with Hiring Talent.

Purpose of this program – to train managers and HR specialists in the discipline of conducting more effective interviews in the context of a managed recruiting process.

Candidate Interview

How long is the program? We have streamlined the program so that it can be completed in 3-6 weeks. The self-paced feature allows participants to work fast or slow, depending on their personal schedule.

How do people participate in the program? This is an online program conducted by Tom Foster. Participants will be responsible for online assignments and participate in online facilitated discussion groups with other participants. This online platform is highly interactive. Participants will interact with Tom Foster and other participants as they work through the program.

Who should participate? This program is designed for Stratum III and Stratum IV managers and HR managers who play active roles in the recruiting process for their organizations.

What is the cost? The program investment is $499 per participant. Vistage members receive a $100 discount, just indicate VISTAGE in the registration.

When is the program scheduled? Registration is now open. The program is scheduled to kick-off with orientation Jan 25, 2016.

How much time is required to participate in this program? Participants should reserve approximately 2 hours per week. This program is designed so participants can complete their assignments on their own schedule anytime during each week’s assignment period.

Register now. No payment due at this time. We will send you a payment link later this week.

Jan 15, 2016

  • Registration Opens

Jan 25, 2016

  • Orientation

Week One – Role Descriptions – It’s All About the Work

  • What we are up against
  • Specific challenges in the process
  • Problems in the process
  • Defining the overall process
  • Introduction to the Role Description
  • Organizing the Role Description
  • Defining Tasks
  • Defining Goals
  • Identifying the Level of Work

Week Two

  • Publish and discuss Role Descriptions

Week Three – Interviewing for Future Behavior

  • Creating effective interview questions
  • General characteristics of effective questions
  • How to develop effective questions
  • How to interview for attitudes and non-behavioral elements
  • How to interview for Time Span
  • Assignment – Create a bank of interview questions for the specific role description

Week Four

  • Publish and discuss bank of interview questions

Week Five – Conducting the Interview

  • Organizing the interview process
  • Taking Notes during the process
  • Telephone Screening
  • Conducting the telephone interview
  • Conducting the face-to-face interview
  • Working with an interview team
  • Compiling the interview data into a Decision Matrix
  • Background Checks, Reference Checks
  • Behavioral Assessments
  • Drug Testing
  • Assignment – Conduct a face-to-face interview

Week Six

  • Publish and discuss results of interview process

Registration is now open for this program. No payment is due at this time.

My Senior Managers Are Too Busy

From the Ask Tom mailbag –

In your workshop, you talk about the Manager-Once-Removed, who, you say, has a major role in the hiring process. I have to tell you. My “managers-once-removed” are too busy to participate in the upfront part of recruiting. Why can’t we delegate some of the initial sorting, telephone screening and first round interviews. We usually get the manager-once-removed involved only when the hiring manager is down to the last three candidates.

What more important function is there, for the manager-once-removed, than to build the infrastructure of the team? I would ask, why is your manager-once-removed so busy? Is it because the MOR did such a lousy job of building the team in the first place.

Lets say we have an open role at S-II, supervisor position. The hiring manager is appropriately at S-III, and the manager-once-removed is the hiring manager’s manager, at S-IV. In the hierarchy, (remember, I’m a structure guy) it looks like this.

S-III – Hiring manager
S-II – Supervisor (Open role)

What pain is occurring?
For the hiring manager (S-III) – a production team is likely running without supervision, meaning the hiring manager has to fill the gap and work down a stratum level of work, at least part time. Simultaneously, the organization is looking to the hiring manager to initiate a recruiting search for a replacement.
For the manager-once-removed (S-IV) – one of the S-III managers (the hiring manager) is currently under stress, spread thin, covering for an open role, making sure production gets done while simultaneously recruiting for that open role.

When does the role need to be filled?
For the hiring manager – yesterday would be good.
For the manager-once-removed – when the right candidate is identified in the candidate pool.

What is the critical purpose for the recruiting effort?
For the hiring manager – to remove the stress in the production system, created by the open role.
For the manager-once-removed – to build a stronger team, finding a truly qualified candidate that creates bench-strength.

What is the hiring methodology?
For the hiring manager – whatever is fastest. Use a job posting for the role description. Hope the hiring team likes the first candidate. How fast can the candidate give notice on their current job? Better yet, are they currently unemployed and can they start tomorrow?
For the manager-once-removed – slow the process down. Make sure the role description is well written and understood, it’s the central document for the process. Create a hiring team with well-understood roles on the team. Use the hiring team to identify the critical role requirements. Use the hiring team to create a bank of interview questions, ten written questions for each Key Result Area. Bring value to the decision making process of the hiring manager.

Who is accountable for the quality (output) of the decision made by the hiring manager?
A manager is that person held accountable for the output of the team. The manager-once-removed is the hiring manager’s manager. It is the manager-once-removed that is accountable for the quality of the decision made by the hiring manager.

Do not leave your hiring manager to twist in the wind. The manager-once-removed is the quarterback of this process. What more important function is there, for the manager-once-removed, than to build the infrastructure of the team?

For a VP, What Is Necessary?

“This hire is for a Vice-President,” Cooper explained. “And there is no one inside that I can promote. So, we have to go to the outside, likely have to go outside our industry. It’s a scary proposition, bringing someone in at the level without our specific industry background.”

“Why is it scary?” I asked.

“It’s a lot of money. It will likely take this person several months just to understand the way our company works in the market. If we make the wrong hiring decision, it’s not only expensive, but we lose time. Not to mention the impact on the people in this division.”

“What will be your decision criteria?”

“We have a job description, and several resumes. In fact, do you want to look at the resumes while you are here?” Cooper baited.

“I wouldn’t know what to look for?” I replied.

“Sure, you would. You know our company, and you would know a VP when you see one. Just give me some direction, a screen, a filter,” he pressed.

“It’s not that I wouldn’t recognize someone with VP potential, but they still might not be the right person. I don’t know your critical role requirements, because you haven’t defined them. When you look at this role, and its parts, its Key Result Areas, what is necessary?”

Benefits of Team Interviewing

“We have been using a Team approach to hiring,” Byron floated. “What do you think of having Team interviews?”

“How do you find that helpful?” I asked.

“Sometimes a single interview might miss something important. If there is another Hiring Team member in the room, they might catch it,” Byron replied.

“I am all for Interview Teams. But I don’t want to gang up on candidates. Here is the way I like to use Teams.

“Let’s say we put three people on the Interview Team. We have a meeting to decide on what areas we intend to cover during the interview. Some areas will overlap and that’s fine. These will be separate interviews and I would like to know if the candidate tells the same story to similar questions.

“And some of the areas will be different, depending on the Interview Team member. They have different areas of expertise and follow different lines of questions.

“But the most significant reason to work with an Interview Team is to put together the list of 50-60 questions that create the base line for the interview.”

Byron looked a little surprised. We had talked about this number of questions before, but I couldn’t tell if he was a believer. “Fifty or sixty prepared questions?”

“Yes, and that’s only the beginning.”