How to hire people
Hire smart, your company wins; hire dumb, you die. People are the scarce resource in the new economy, but no one teaches employees how to hire people. Successful fast-growing companies have caught on. They now hire people who are good at hiring others. Between these book covers is a million dollars worth of hiring advice, the best anywhere. If you are in business, ignore at your peril.06/7/04
You can't spend too much time or effort on "hiring smart." The alternative is to manage tough, which is much more time consuming.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Strategy No.3: Give an assignment before the interview. Ask the candidate to visit one of your stores, plants, campuses, offices, or Web pages before the interview. Then ask for the candidate's observations.
Strategy No.5: Read resumes in teams if possible. It's helpful--and faster--to read the top candidates' resumes in teams of three to five people. Teams that work well together are more accurate and insightful about potential employees than individuals are.
Strategy No.6: Cast the widest net possible. Microsoft assumes that the best candidates are not looking for jobs. In fact, candidates who approach Microsoft are actually less attractive to the company.
Strategy No.13: Ask all your questions at once. That's right. Put all your initial questions on the table up front. This strategy accomplishes three things. First, in a manner of speaking, you pass the baton. You've asked the questions, now the candidate must respond. Performance depends upon the candidate, not selling yourself and the organization. Second, more importantly, this strategy directly confronts the most common problem in interviewing: not listening, and talking too much...Third, this technique forces you to listen. If there's one practical tip you should try in your next interview, I suggest this one. Asking all your questions at once, and following up later in the interview, allows you to settle back and watch a candidate's behavior as well as listen to his or her words.
Strategy No. 15: Assign a mini-project to finalists. Three quarters of the way through the interview, give the candidate a task to perform. Not only does this demonstrate the candidate's behavior--it also breaks up the monotony of most interviews.
Strategy No. 32: Ask the references to call you back. Here is the simplest, most effective reference check that I know. It's also fast and legal. Call references at what you assume will be their lunchtime--you want to reach an assistant or voice mail. If it's voice mail, leave a simple message. If it's an assistant, be sure that he or she understands the last sentence of your message. You say: "John (or Jane) Jones is a candidate for (the position) in our company. Your name has been given as a reference. Please call me back if the candidate was outstanding."
The results are both immediate and revealing. If the candidate is outstanding or excellent, I guarantee that eight out of ten people will respond quickly and want to help....However, if only two or three of the references selected by the candidate return your call, this message is also loud and clear. And yet:
No derogatory information has been shared.
No libelous statements have been made.
No confidence or laws have been broken.
Strategy No. 39: Invest in people, not ideas.
Unfortunately, an employer's ability to hear bad news about a potential employee is inversely proportional to the time spent courting that employee.