Posts Tagged ‘interview’

The Six Most Common Talent Management Mistakes

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Emotional Intelligence

In today’s post, our HR Business Partner Tom Sheehan shares the top mistakes your business needs to avoid when managing talent.

Talent management encompasses a broad spectrum of talent initiatives including workforce planning, recruiting, onboarding, performance management, development, succession planning, total rewards, and others. The goal of talent management is to create a high-performance, sustainable organization that meets its strategic and operational goals and objectives.

HR leaders play an active role in aligning the organization’s talent with its business objectives. Over the years I’ve seen six common talent management mistakes that reduce organizational performance.

1. Paying Below Market Value for Talent

When the demand for talent is high and the supply is low it can be very difficult to attract ‘A’ players. Often the candidate pool will be filled with those who are unhappy or already out of a job. When you pay below market value for talent, you tend to attract the wrong people, the ‘C’ or worse players. This will force you to make hiring decisions based on some of the most mediocre talent in the marketplace.

2. Maintaining a Long, Arduous Hiring Process

The purpose of a hiring and interviewing process is to identify the top potential prospects for a position. It should not be an endurance contest for the candidates. When the total hiring process lasts 2 months from start to finish, the organization will struggle to hire good talent. A good hiring process should last no longer than 3 – 4 weeks, any longer and good candidates will leave the process. Good talent will decide to stay where they are, they will find other opportunities to pursue and they will take other jobs. Make it a priority to keep your hiring process down to 3 – 4 weeks or less to insure you don’t lose the best talent.

3. Hiring Based on Interviewing Skills

Unfortunately, the majority of hiring today is based on the interviewing skills of the candidate and the personal chemistry developed during the interview process. The hiring manager often allows the personal chemistry with the candidate to influence and possibly drive the hiring decision. There are many individuals out there who are ‘professional interviewers.’ They can eloquently answer any question, explain why they got downsized and make it look like it was a promotion. Keep in mind, they are so good at interviewing for a reason, they have had lots of practice at it.

4. Lack of Defined Career Paths

When the goal is to hire top talent, it is imperative to map out the potential career path available, even if the path is dependent upon many variables. As long as the possibility exists, the position will hold a much higher chance of attracting the caliber of talent desired. This is not only important for hiring but also for keeping existing top performers from getting dissatisfied and happy with their career growth with your organization.

5. Not Interviewing When Empty Seats are Filled

It is often normal for organizations to stop all recruiting once their current open positions are filled. Not a good idea. With a low unemployment rate, there is a shortage of good talent. If you wait for the next opening to arise, you will slow future hiring to a crawl. Never stop interviewing for those positions which are most mission-critical or those with frequent turnover.

6. Tolerating Low Performers

GE made a practice each year of letting the bottom 5 -10% of the performers go in every division. The idea was to replace them with “A” players, thus continually creating an influx of strong new talent. It might feel good to have an organization where everyone is happy and there is no goal pressure. However, allowing poor performers to miss performance targets year after year has tremendous consequences.  It conditions the company and the employees to accept and tolerate unacceptable performance and drowns the organization in a sea of mediocrity. Poor performance management and lack of employee accountability can degrade your talent level in a hurry.

Should you have any further questions regarding how to manage your talent, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

First Impressions Vital to Candidate Experience and the Bottom Line

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares the importance of creating a strong candidate experience and its positive impact on the health of your business.

The overall experience a candidate encounters during the interview process is very important to securing the candidate’s continued interest in your organization.   As competition for top talent continues to grow, and candidate expectations of potential employers expand, it is vital to make the best first impression possible.

According to a new CareerBuilder study, candidates who are turned off by a bad interview experience could go so far as to stop purchasing products or services provided by your company and may tell their family and friends to do the same.  According to the study of 5,000 workers and 2,000 hiring managers, candidate expectations are on the rise.

Here are a few specifics from the study:

The Bottom Line – A negative hiring experience can actually affect your bottom line.  Although eighty-two percent (82%) of employers felt there would be no negative impact to their bottom line as a result of a bad hiring experience,  58% of candidates indicated they would be less likely to buy from a company after a bad hiring experience. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of candidates said they would be more likely to buy from a company after a positive interview in which they were treated with respect.

Networking – According to the study, the average candidate researches an organization using as many as eighteen (18) resources during their job search.  Job boards, social networking sites, and online referrals are just a few of those resources.  Fifty-eight percent (58%) of employers fail to track how candidates learn about a position or how they researched the organization.  As a result, these employers miss a real opportunity to connect with candidates who are actively searching for jobs.

The “Black Hole” – The absolute worst thing an employer can do after interviewing an application is failure to follow up.  Candidates would prefer bad news over none at all.  Unfortunately, 52% of employers say they respond to less than half of their applicants, while 84% of today’s candidates expect a personal email response from their application, even if the answer is negative.  Do not let your candidate applications fall into the “Black Hole.”

Communication – Today’s technology makes it all too simple to send out a quick note via email to an applicant who has been through the interview process.  According to the study 41% of job applicants expect to be notified after the interview process if they were not chosen for the job opening. Seventy-three (73%) said they were never notified of anything post-interview.

KISS – We have all heard of the KISS method.  Keeping it simple is still the best way to keep candidates engaged in the hiring process.  A complicated application process can cause a candidate to lose interest and move on to another company they may be interested in.  Forty percent (40%) of applicants complain the hiring process has  become to difficult and 57% complain the process is too automated and lacks a personal touch.

Make Me An Offer – Making a good first impression during the hiring process can produce other benefits as well for the organization.  Seventy-seven percent (77%) of candidates surveyed said they would accept an offer 5% lower than their expectations if the interview process went well and left them with a good impression of the company.  Eighty-three percent (83%) said they would accept 5% less if the company had a great reputation as an employer.

Companies that have a strong reputation for an excellent hiring process and making a great first impression have a definite advantage.  Fifty-two percent (52%) of employers surveyed admit they do not have such a reputation, giving the other 48% the edge in acquiring top talent.

If you have any further questions regarding how you can develop or improve upon your existing talent acquisition process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

The Single Question Interview

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News and Observer  column, The View from HR.

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

“Come on, now.  A single question interview?”  I hear the doubters already, and I was one before I learned the method.  Suspend disbelief for a moment and see what I mean.

Interviews should not be about ball teams, whether you know the same people, or about your great company or product.  They certainly are not about how many people you can meet in 30-minute blocks.

The purpose of an interview is to determine whether someone is a fit for the role.  The best predictor of future fit and performance is past performance.  What is the best way to uncover past performance?  Ask, but ask hard and ask long.

Here’s what I mean:  At the start of your next interview of a candidate, ask that person to tell you the one work or career accomplishment he or she is most proud of, and say you plan to discuss that accomplishment with them.  Give people time to think.  If they come up with none, you know enough already.  Short interview.  Talk about ball teams for a while.

When candidates describe their most significant accomplishment, dissect it in every way possible.  Ask “Whose idea was it?  Why were you selected for the role?  What was your role in the project?  Who did you report to?  What hurdles did you encounter?  How did you overcome those hurdles?  What was the resource budget?  Did the project meet expectations?”

Request candidates to describe three crisis points and how they were resolved.  What was the impact on the team?  What was the impact on customers?  Have candidates draw a picture of the people involved and how they were able to influence those outside their team.  Ask “What help did you seek that was granted?  What help was denied?  How did you deal with the denial?  What one regret do you have from the project?  What did you learn?  What would you do differently today?  Why did you just say that?  If I interviewed the key team members, what would they say about the experience with you?  Who was your biggest critic and why?”

Ask manager candidates questions revealing how they handled key management responsibilities, communication, accountability, performance management, goal setting and conflict resolution.  Ask others about executing plans, steering around obstacles, getting clarifications or exceptions, meeting deadlines and getting the job done.

All of your questions so far should be about the single most important accomplishment in the candidates’ own career.  They should be the expert on this accomplishment.  They should be well-prepared.  They should not hesitate or sweat.  They should not bob or weave.  This is their own story, after all.

A serious effort will take you an hour or more.  Ask one or two others to join you to keep the follow-up questions fresh, responsive and useful.  Press hard and long.  Others will pick up on things you will not see or hear.  A good candidate may feel this was the best interview he or she ever had.  A bad candidate or poor fit may look stressed.

Afterward there is time for ball teams, tours, 30-minute meetings with others, selling the candidate on the company and such.  Try it and let me know how it went.

For additional guidance, please give our Advice and Resolution Team a call at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

6 Insightful Interview Questions for Finding the Right New Hire

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

right hireCAI’s Advice and Counsel team member Reneé Watkins gets several  phone calls from employers asking for interview questions that will assist them in determining if a job seeker is a good fit for a position. To help organizations ask the right questions, Reneé references information from Jeff Haden’s Inc.com article 14 Revealing Interview Questions . Jeff shares the favorite interview questions of various top executives.

Try using a few of the unique questions from the leaders during your next candidate interview:

(1) “If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?” – Randy Garutti, CEO – Shake Shack

The answer to this question reveals whether the candidate has done her research not only on her position, but the company’s mission and values as well.

 (2) “When have you been most satisfied in your life?” – Dick Cross, CEO – Cross Partnership

This question will help you uncover what the job seeker needs to be content with his career path and how your organization can help him achieve job satisfaction.

(3) “If you got hired, loved everything about this job and are paid the salary you asked for, what kind of offer from another company would you consider?” – Ilya Pozen, Founder – Ciplex

Decipher if the candidate is driven by money, responsibility or an enjoyable work atmosphere when you ask this question.

 (4) “Who is your role model and why?” – Clara Shih, CEO – Hearsay Social

Ask this question to learn what the candidate values and the types of character traits he admires.

(5) “Tell me about a recent project or problem that you made better, faster, smarter, more efficient or less expensive.” – Edward Wimmer, Co-Owner – RoadID

Allow your interviewee to brag about herself. This question will help you get insight on the candidate’s work ethic.

 (6) “So, what’s your story?” – Richard Funess, Managing Partner – Finn Partners

Get more information about the candidate and his life experiences by asking him this question.

For more tips to enhance your recruiting and hiring process, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Avoid these 4 Hiring Sins to Find the Right Candidate

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The post below is a guest post by Greg Moran, the CEO of Chequed Employment Testing, a Predictive Talent Selection suite to help organizations hire better. You can follow Greg on twitter @CEOofChequed.

In the hiring process the main objective is fairly obvious–find the best candidates for your open position. Whatever the position is, finding the right person for the job is important whether it’s the front desk assistant, head of HR or the customer satisfaction associate – each plays a strategic role.

This is why even just one bad hire can seriously impact a business on a variety of different levels. What I find amazing is while the impact bad hires can have on any organization is fairly well known, so many continue to commit serious errors in their hiring process; committing hiring sins if you will. If your organization is hiring or you’re involved in the hiring process,  make sure your not committing these hiring sins.

Sin 1: Measuring the wrong traits

Many companies look to assess their top performers as benchmarks for incoming recruits. While this thinking is correct often the approach and decision of what to measure is flawed. When establishing an effective benchmark, the most important part is to know the difference between your strongest and weakest employees.

Most of your recruits will share many traits with your top performers, but they could also share too many with your weakest hires. This is the fact that many often overlook  and the results can be catastrophic. If you’re only focused on what they can do well, there’s a high probably you’ll get blindsided when they turn out to be an organizational cancer.

When creating benchmarks and choosing what traits to measure, be sure that you outline all their traits to find only those that best correlate with top performers and differentiate them from the rest.

Sin 2: Skipping the Reference Check

The main purpose of contacting candidate references is to get insights that you can’t get from other components of your hiring process. Granted, we’ve all had reference calls that never get returned, the reference provides little value or they’re overwhelming concerned about legal implications that they don’t provide anything. While this can and does happen, it’s not a reason to completely abandon the reference check all together!

Most of the time, you can actually get responses and valuable data if your process is done the right way. The best way to accomplish this is to automate the process as much as possible and drive candidates to prompt their references to respond. Think about it: If the person can actually vouch for the candidate then they should be able to contact them!

Sin 3: Putting too much weight into Interviews

All too often companies look to the interview as the golden opportunity with which they can appropriately and completely assess a candidate.  Sadly this is true even though hard numbers dating back decades prove that interviews are, for the most part, ineffective. As early as 1984, John and Rhonda Hunter’s University of Michigan study demonstrated that interviews increase the likelihood of choosing the best candidate by less than 2%.

Why less than 2%? Because companies typically conduct interviews as though they’re Wednesday night chats over a game of Bridge, performing minimal research beforehand regarding the types of questions that will be most beneficial. Although, we have to point out that Bridge would likely provide you a more objective assessment of even the most charismatic of individuals than would an interview.  Interviewers too often become vulnerable to inaccurate first impressions and gut feelings.  Keep in mind interviewees can be very talented actors when it comes to portraying the ideal candidate.  Highly structured assessments that are based on scientifically validated job profiles can see through such facades much more easily while simultaneously minimizing interviewer bias.

Sin 4: Filling a position is the end

This hiring sin is especially easy to overlook as a faulty misstep.  When we finally fill the vacant position, we often view it as a success and continue on to the next HR situation.  However, the opportunity for feedback that follows filling a vacant position is immensely important; it’s the time when you can track how well the new hire is performing to see if your pre-hire tools worked appropriately or if they need further refinement.  Doing so turns the hiring process into a cumulative learning experience and allows you to better prepare for all future hiring occurrences.

While there is no foolproof method yet for hiring the perfect candidate, science and technology are getting us a lot closer.  It’s time to abandon our old ways and become devout believers in hard data and proven statistics. Our success, and that of our companies, depends on it.

Photo Source: Victor1558, Victor1558

Components of a Successful Interview

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

The interview process – it’s what some refer to as the “make it or break it” moment of careers. The face-to-face time with potential employers is the one opportunity job seekers have to sell themselves, leave a lasting impression and give reason to why they are most fitting for the job at hand.

With most interviews, employers tend to ask the same question across all industries:  What questions, if any, do you have for us?

Don’t miss this opportunity. This is the last chance before the selection process to stand out among the competition. By not asking a question, or asking the wrong question, you could possibly close the doors altogether. Consider the following as you prepare for your next interview.

Responsibilities – You have seen the job description and are aware of the basic skills and responsibilities required for the current position. Take time during the interview to decipher the day-to-day expectations and uncover what is of most importance. Out of all the roles this position fulfills, what makes it vital to the long-term health of the company?

Management – To perform well, employees must comprehend the type of leadership the organization employs. Discuss the management styles within the given department and consider how they match with the kind of communication you work best under. Employers will respect your desire for clear communication and working under a team-oriented mindset.

Culture – A majority of interview discussions are centered on the required tasks and functions of a position, but take the opportunity to redirect the close of conversation toward corporate culture. People most often remain loyal to an organization because of its culture, and employers will be pleasantly surprised to know that you value the work environment just as much as the job you fulfill.

Vertical growth – Most people aren’t satisfied with performing the same job for the rest of their career. If your personality is one that is focused on growth, it’s important to inquire about the internal advancement process. Are there any formal processes in place and is internal advancement a common occurrence within the organization? Discussing advancement doesn’t mean you won’t be focused on the current position, but shows employers that you desire challenge, additional responsibility and a long-term relationship within the organization.

For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo Source: TenSafeFrogs