Hiring biases cost you money.

Today, many recruiters are complaining about not finding qualified candidates. Yet candidates with the credentials and required experience never hear back after applying for opportunities. Or, if they are interviewed, they’re told they are overqualified, don’t have a particular skill set, or don’t have the right pedigree (e.g., industry experience, professional titles, salary history, etc.).

Age does matter. Although the EEO and other agencies frown upon age discrimination, we all know it happens all too often. Recruiters are simply following edicts from their bosses to find someone younger and cheaper. They don’t know how to “sell” a qualified candidate to these bosses. Bosses and recruiters don’t believe they have the time to strategically assess what is truly needed and are unwilling to think outside the box to find the gold. Statistically, younger employees are more job-mobile and will leave a position when more qualified ones will not. More-experienced employees have been through the instability every company experiences and have learned to roll up their sleeves and wait it out.

Here’s a newsflash: Amateurs don’t save companies money! A well-qualified professional who fits the job, regardless of age, can normally do it faster, more thoroughly, and with better quality than someone without experience. The failure by hiring managers to objectively assess for job fit by using qualified assessments can hinder your company’s ability to select the right employees. The truth is poor job fit will create short-term employees or employees who simply do enough to get by and keep their paychecks but no more. It’s a costly status quo with a limited return on investment, because it keeps your company focus in a reactive mode, not on proactive growth.

Filter and invest. Infuse objective data into the process upfront, before the interview, because quality information will make for better decisions. Interviews are inherently biased and can filter out well-qualified candidates because of bias factors (e.g., age, weight, tattoos, gray hair, bald, etc.). Example: If you’re looking for a trainer and have candidates who have done training, talk with them. Use a qualified assessment to determine if they have an interest in presenting the subject matter required. What training and skill development will they need over time? Will they be comfortable in small or large groups? Can they write training content or do they rely on off-the-shelf programs? What will be the best return on investment for the company in the long run? What other skills are currently missing in the company that they can provide?

Remember, using qualified assessments can make a huge difference in vetting the right people, regardless of experience. Hiring qualified people, regardless of age and other biases, and investing in them builds a stronger company faster.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Emotional hiring can be dangerous!

Many executives are good decision-makers or they wouldn’t have the title. However, many are so busy that they fail to listen during interviews unless the candidate says the right things. Then their impulsiveness and impatience kicks in and they hire people that “feel like the right ones”! Hiring based on intuitive powers may sound great, but in reality it is an excuse for not using a strategic hiring system.  

Anytime you hire someone who doesn’t fit all the necessary job requirements but has the likeability factor, you’re doomed for failure. Frequent job-seekers—people with backgrounds to hide and manipulative types—have honed their interview skills well! They know what to say and how to sell themselves to get a job. They know how to be likeable.

Infuse objectivity early in the hiring process. (http://wp.me/p2POui-nj ) This will significantly reduce the possibility of interviewing these types of job candidates and falling into the emotional hiring trap. Use a structured interview process, qualified assessments, and due diligence. Call those references! (Learn how to hire the right person. Get your copy of Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition. It could save your own job!  http://BizSavvyHire.com)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Do you believe you’ve mastered the art of skimming resumes?

Many HR professionals and recruiters falsely believe they’ve mastered the art of skimming resumes. The sad truth is they miss out on many great candidates. Although job candidates do have a responsibility to learn how to sell themselves (http://TimeToBrag.com), reliance on reviewing hundreds of resumes with our inherent biases and limited analysis skills will not attract the right people to our enterprises. Learn how to infuse objectivity early in your hiring process and you’ll increase your qualified candidate pool while achieving better hiring results. (See: Easily Infuse Objectivity Early In Your Hiring System: http://wp.me/p2POui-nj)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

GPAs are not good success predictors

Many companies today rely on applicants’ GPAs from high school or college as an objective indicator to predict their success on the job. Unfortunately, knowledge does not mean you know how to use information effectively in a business setting. There are street-smart individuals with lower GPAs who will trump those with book smarts in achieving the intended results. Why? Many street-smart people know how to work with and through others to solicit the 90 percent of information not found in books or on the Internet. Using qualified assessments can objectively help you determine if a person’s thinking style will fit the job you need to have done. (http://BizSavvyHire.com)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Do you hold your hiring managers accountable?

Very few companies manage their hiring processes by holding their hiring managers accountable. Instead, they experience high levels of turnover and increased difficulty finding qualified candidates because managers reliance on gut reactions or play the blame game.  Neither will resolve systems or bias issues when new employees fail. What would happen if instead your hiring manager’s compensation was tied to employee turnover and performance? A bad manager would either step aside or improve in order to create an environment for employee success. (http://ow.ly/mL7n0 (Bad Managers eGuide)) They would improve their use of qualified hiring tools to ensure the best objective information is being utilized and reviewed to ensure laser-like coaching for employee success. (http://BizSavvyHire.com)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Do your employees feel safe?

With white-collar crime and substance abuse on the rise, the chances of your company hiring co-workers and bosses with different sets of values has greatly increased. Poor hiring practices will cause your employees, clients, and vendors to distrust you and your company. The good news? Poor hiring practices can be changed! Although the results derived from using qualified hiring tools and processes cannot guarantee 100 percent success, objective information will always improve your selection decisions. Remember, as a business owner and/or executive, you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect your employees, customers, proprietary information, tools, and communities. (http://BizSavvyHire.com)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Mediocrity Stifles Results

All business owners and executives wish to succeed in their business. Yet when they hire inexperienced and unseasoned professionals, thinking they are saving money, their bottom line suffers. Why? The employees have not had time to develop the business knowledge and acumen needed to perform at the level required, instead relying on “it’s good enough.” Mediocrity stifles results—you get what you pay for.

When hiring for any position, be clear about the attributes required for the person to succeed, and the required results for the company to prosper. Use a structured interview to ensure the person has the actual hands-on experience by drilling down into his or her responses. Often candidates talk hypothetically, not having had the actual responsibility you are looking for. Use a qualified assessment to ensure they have the thinking style, occupational interests, and capabilities to do the job the way it needs to be done to achieve great results. Don’t be afraid to conduct reference checks to ensure the person can and will actually do the work, not just talk about it. (For further information on how to do it, get your copy of Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition (BizSavvyHire.com).

Although hiring people light on experience and heavy on job fit can be a good idea, realize it will take an extra investment of time and money before they can produce at the level required. Adjust your expectations appropriately.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Jeannette Seibly has been hiring amazing employees for over 34 years. She delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. You may contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to discuss your hiring challenges. Get her newest book, Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition: Improve Your Profits (and Your Work Life)! http://BizSavvyHire.com.  It includes templates for interviews and reference checking.

Moving Top Performers

Did you know promoting or transferring top performers into the wrong job can be the greatest hidden expense for many companies? Other high-cost risks include relocating employees geographically or offering them the opportunity to become a business partner. What seems like a great opportunity can become one of your greatest challenges.  And yet most companies don’t take the time to incorporate objective information into their decision-making process and are surprised when the outcomes are not win-win. They fail to understand how moving top performers can negatively impact results.  

What happened? Usually the boss was focused on rewarding a top performer or employees threatened to leave if they weren’t given what they wanted.  During pre-move conversations, employees may conceptually understand their new role, but the reality can very different. Many employees rely upon their initial excitement and fail to ask enough good business questions before accepting the new assignment, and therefore don’t know what is required to succeed. After they are on the job, some may not wish to work that hard to develop the new skills required of the position (despite what they tell you), or they may lack the qualifications or “job fit” to achieve the required results.  Believe it or not, some employees find themselves being offered new jobs because they said the right thing to the right person at the right time!

What’s missing? A clear directive and navigational guide on how to do it that works for them. Instead, employees are determined to do things their own way. Then, when things don’t work out, these once stellar performers feel forced to leave rather than return to their old jobs. Their egos prevent them from taking a reduction in status, perks, and compensation, or there are no other options available since the previous position was filled or is no longer needed. So they end up leaving with all the training, proprietary information, and on-the-job knowledge you provided them – many times taking other employees with them!  Some pursue costly litigation. Meanwhile, your clients and remaining employees are concerned about how this impacts them.

As part of the decision-making process, use a qualified assessment to objectively clarify a person’s strengths and weaknesses. Contrary to some opinions, you can’t build a successful career focused on weaknesses. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you can fix and change the person to fit into the new job responsibilities —nobody works that hard. Put together a 180-day plan to keep newly promoted employees focused on critical areas for client interactions, critical goals, people and project management, and self-development while providing training to enhance these skills. Hire them a coach from outside the company— it’s a requirement to develop these superstars faster and more effectively. All of these steps can also prevent these top performers from leaving when inevitable challenges occur and no one knows how to manage them.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Jeannette Seibly delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. Along the way, she helped create three millionaires. You may contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to discuss your coaching challenges.

Small Employer Hiring

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and on average employ 1 to 10 employees. Many of these business owners have previously worked in corporations, and falsely believe they don’t need a systematic way of hiring due to their smaller size. While they may be right about not needing a formal hiring policy like a larger company, cutting corners and using subjective tools and practices will not protect them from litigation. The sad fact is that a small employer is more likely to make a hiring mistake for multiple reasons, mostly due to lack of experience in hiring. They are under the mistaken belief they can coach and motivate anyone for success. Their lack of awareness simply creates sleepless nights and unnecessary expense of hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars!

The biggest challenge? One bad hire can literally force a small enterprise to close its doors due to theft of money, data and proprietary information. Or, they incorrectly reason it won’t cost them anything to hire a straight commission salesperson, if that person is unable to sell. They don’t calculate the cost to their reputation nor the excessive marketing costs with no positive ROI. One small business owner suffered through theft of proprietary information. It cost him dearly. Instead of seeking better ways to hire people, he simply recreated the mistake by solely relying upon his gut.

Gather objective information. The more objective information you can gather up-front, the less likely you are to interview and select the wrong person. Most interviewers make their decision within the first five minutes of an interview, but spend the next thirty or sixty minutes asking questions that make no difference in changing their minds. Instead, use a structured interview format focused on experience, education and job skills. Have candidates take a skills test to determine true proficiency. Often overlooked is asking about any special requirements. Never assume they read the job posting simply because they applied for the job (e.g., if travel is involved, ask if they are available to travel and how often).

Qualified assessments. Many small employers need to broaden their perspective of what is a qualified assessment. If you’re relying upon non-qualified assessment results, its pay now or pay later in loss of clients or the employee’s unwillingness to do the required activities. Insist upon reviewing the Technical Manual for any assessment you wish to use; do not rely upon a letter from the vendor telling you it meets all federal, state and local laws. Select qualified tools in accordance with the Department of Labor Testing and Assessment 2007 guidelines (for a copy contact: JLSeibly@SeibCo.com. If you have developed one on your own, spend the millions of dollars required to ensure the validity and reliability coefficients comply with EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity), DOL (Department of Labor) and various other requirements.

Training. Since most small business owners don’t hire often, they may overlook current employment laws. Set up a written strategic hiring process and have it reviewed by legal counsel. Review it each time you hire. Take time to learn best interview practices, how to correctly use assessments and skill testing and when to conduct background checks and drug screens (states laws vary). The basic rule of thumb is stay focused on the job responsibilities along with the applicant’s ability to successfully achieve intended results.

All jobs are important! One business owner didn’t feel the receptionist position was an important job in his company. He didn’t understand it’s the client’s first impression, and often a long-lasting one! He spent 5 minutes talking with each candidate and then selected the first one he liked. He went through three employees within a month. He not only lost several clients, one top employee left in protest of his hiring practices.

Hiring Amazing Employees, 2nd Edition, is coming soon! I’ll share more information during this upcoming month.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012  All Rights Reserved

Hiring Refresher for Busy Bosses

http://ow.ly/d6yi1

  • Did the last hiring mistake zap you?
  • Still spending sleepless nights, over-thinking how to fix it?
  • Customers complaining about the quality and timeliness of deliverables?

You may need a refresher on hiring and selecting the right top performer.

As busy bosses, we do not hire often. When we do, it becomes very time consuming. We hope to find a quality candidate like the one who just left, or avoid hiring a similar problem to the one we fired.

This is a short 30-minute refresher on “secrets” to shorten up the selection process and ensure  hiring the right person. The first time!

  • How to use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) effectively to weed out less desirable candidates.
  • What is a legally qualified assessment? What makes them different than the 3,000 published ones on the market?
  • Completing a full due diligence now saves countless hours and money later.

Join us on Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 9 a.m. MDT (11 a.m. edt/8 a.m. PDT)

Registration takes only a minute and will save you many sleepless nights!

Infuse consistency, reliability and validity into your hiring process! Register today! http://ow.ly/d6yi1

About our presenter:

Jeannette Seibly has been successfully assisting her clients to hire the right person, the first time, for over 20 years. With over 33 years of human resource, business management experience working with companies ranging from $100K to $100MM, and reducing countless turnover and poor hiring selections, Seibly has saved companies 100’s of thousands of dollars. She’s the noted author of “Hiring Amazing Employees” (BizSavvyHire.com), “It’s Time to Brag!” (TimeToBrag.com), and over a hundred articles on hiring and being a biz-savvy executive and business owner. She’s already at work on the 2nd edition of “Hiring Amazing Employees.” (BizSavvyHire.com for current copy).    Register today! http://ow.ly/d6yi1