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  • Now Hiring: Before You Do, Do This

    If everyone loves your preferred candidate, something is wrong. No hire is perfect and there should be some dissenting voices around the table. What are the candidate’s weaknesses? They may not be critical but they must exist and it’s better to identify them (and figure out how to accommodate them) early.

    When you’re hiring, you’re growing. That means business is good. It’s easy to let that euphoria go to your head and, in a rush of enthusiasm, hire great people who, nevertheless, could be wrong for the job, or your business.

    During my career, I’ve hired hundreds of people and fired a few too. Here are some of the most important insights I’ve gleaned the hard way:

    1. Write up a job description that matters.

    The best job descriptions don’t just outline duties, responsibilities, and necessary skills. They also articulate how you want the work to be done, and the moral climate in which the company operates. If you’re a fiercely competitive company that likes to pit teams against each other, say so. If customer or patient care is critical, don’t assume that a candidate’s empathy is a given. I’d say the how often matters more than the what but it’s so hard to measure that most people prefer to ignore it. Do so at your peril.

    2. Know the talent you already have.

    Are you sure there isn’t internal talent that might seize an open opportunity? Internal hires tend to do better than outsiders so if you promote from within you’re likely to reduce your risk. You want to encourage the talent you already have so work hard to discover what you have before you go looking for more.

    3. Align your values with your hiring process.

    There’s no point saying teamwork is important and then letting one person make the hiring decision. If you say you value instinct, then doing a wide array of personal and professional assessments probably isn’t the way to go either. If you value creativity and risk-taking, don’t set ridiculously hard problems that humiliate the people who can’t solve them.

    4. Use professional assessment tests for senior leaders.

    Every HR professional I’ve spoken to argues that interviews don’t work; everyone is so hopelessly biased that, however lengthy the interview process, results are just too subjective. So bring in a professional assessor who can match evaluations to the skills and qualities you are looking for. Using an outside assessor can save you from yourself because she won’t be swayed by likeability.

    5. Listen hard for dissenting voices.

    If everyone loves your preferred candidate, something is wrong. No hire is perfect and there should be some dissenting voices around the table. What are the candidate’s weaknesses? They may not be critical but they must exist and it’s better to identify them (and figure out how to accommodate them) early.

    Inc.com

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Career

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