Top 3 Hiring Myths for 2012

Companies are hiring again! The challenge? Despite all the tools available to help companies hire right the first time, hiring managers continue to rely upon traditional hiring practices or “flavor of the month” hiring gimmicks. Unfortunately, it costs employers thousands of dollars when hiring the wrong person for just a couple of hours! And, can cost millions of dollars when someone is unwilling or incapable of doing the job and the company loses a valuable client or top employee.

These are not new myths.  No formal scientific study was conducted. They are simply ones that have withstood the test of time during the past several decades.

Myth #1: It’s cheaper to re-invent the wheel. Many companies falsely believe they can invent their own tools to attract employees due to numerous social media sites. Yet, sole reliance on your own efforts will reduce your ability to attract qualified applicants. Designing your own applicant tracking system can cost 10x to 1000x more money than selecting a top-rated one with the features you need, like SEO (search engine optimization).  Keep in mind: Applicants will review the top three listings on page 1, skim pages 2 and 3, and not look at any other pages.  While some may argue they don’t want a lot of candidates, picking candidates from a small pool normally means settling for less than the job requires. A well-designed system will provide better applicants for less cost, and allow you to focus your efforts on the best, most likely to succeed candidates.

Myth #2: The perfect candidate exists. Perfection is an illusion. Looking for five “must have” qualities without good decision making tools is a waste of time. Currently, many of us spend less than 6 seconds skimming a resume (or searching for confidential key words); decide “yes or no” within the first 4.3 minutes of an interview; and overlook reference and background checks. How good can our decision-making process be? Top talent will bypass potential employers, if those businesses are unable to understand and follow their own selection system, or use inappropriate tools. Remember, these candidates may be your future clients, vendors and/or suppliers!

Myth #3: I’ll know the person when I meet him/her. Really? Too often we hear, “I can tell the character of a person by looking into the whites of their eyes!” Seriously? If the person does not speak the “hot buttons,” they will not be considered. Many candidates today are well-trained to tell you what you want to hear! It will not make them the right person to achieve the results required to grow your company or keep current clients. Use of qualified assessments (per Department of Labor guidelines) will reduce hiring candidates that simply don’t fit the job, or simply cannot or will not do the job! Review the Technical Manual to ensure proper use.

For additional information on how to hire right the first time: BizSavvyHire.com

For a copy of Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, U.S. Department of Labor contact JLSeibly@SeibCo.com

Jeannette Seibly is an international business advisor and executive consultant for privately-held companies with revenues of $1MM up to $30MM. She has created million-dollar results for 25 companies, and 3 millionaires!

©Jeannette L. Seibly 2012

Myth: Nice Bosses Don’t Fire

Many books and speakers talk about leaders who are cut-throat, egotistical and mean. The myth is they love to fire people. To add fuel to this misperception, many employees subjectively blame their boss for others’ poor work ethic and job performance. They keep their resumes circulating, just in case they are next.

Being “nice” is not a responsible alternative when you are the boss.

Want the truth? In the quest to keep a company financially stable, even good bosses fire people. While there are bad bosses, and good workers mistakenly terminated, many times you will find those departed employees are the same ones who complained about multiple boss challenges (e.g., blamed others for their inability to produce required results and refused to work well with co-workers or management). Eventually they would have ended up leaving anyway.

They fall among the shockingly high 63% to 79% of people who work in jobs they don’t like. Many times these are also the ones who are unwilling or unable to learn the technical or people skills required. All the training and coaching efforts in the world will rarely produce useful or sustainable results when someone does not fit their job responsibilities. (Think, millions of dollars spent without a positive ROI!) It happens regardless of their length of time on the job, previous work experience or popularity with others. Even though demotion is a viable alternative, most people’s egos won’t allow them to step backward, even if they had been extremely successful in that position. Moving them to another job within the company only works if the job fits them! More often, a terminated person finds a better position with another company.

Here’s the reality.  When bosses need to fire or demote people, many times her or his eye is on the customers! Cheating the “bread and butter” out of good service or quality products rarely works well for any company. Not firing people does not make bosses nicer! It simply makes them irresponsible to their customers, shareholders, communities, Boards, and other employees — a natural consequence. The bottom line is critical to keeping the company operational! (Think, keeps more people on the payroll.)

The other reality is many times the remaining employees are privately clapping and sighing in relief. They have been the ones cleaning up the “elephant tracks” and listening to the excuses for poor results created by their former co-workers. They can pull their resumes out of circulation until the next “poor” performer is hired due to the poor hiring practices of their company. (BizSavvyHire.com)

Does this mean your boss should be mean? No! Some bosses simply need to resign. (The above stat includes them!) All bosses need to learn to be effective when hiring and working with others, while balancing the strategic and tactical needs of their organization. These skills are not solely learned in books or seminars. They can be learned right on the job if there is a qualified biz advisor with whom to bounce off ideas and keep them on the right track. (SeibCo.com)

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Avoid Disruptive Employees

As a boss and leader, it’s important to handle disruptive people issues immediately! Waiting can cause more destruction than a bad competitor. How can you avoid them?

Hire the right person for the right job. Good job fit normally creates better team members, whether they need to work independently or interdependently. Have others involved in the interview process. Conduct due diligence by first clarifying what you need to achieve. Use a consistent interview guide and ask the same interview questions of each candidate. This will make the process to compare responses easier. Moreover, it keeps it legal! Don’t settle for less than is required. Accepting someone as “good enough” can create negative and costly impacts to your clients and company.

Integrate new hires into team. Give new hires basic tasks to complete. Enable them to win immediately. Remind them, winning requires everyone pulling together for the benefit of the team. The good news is that the “right” person who does not like these tasks will find great opportunities to get them done faster, often with less cost! A true win for everyone.

Come Down to Reality. Realize there are times when people who create a lot of brouhaha truly are grounded in the mission and goals of the team. It’s time to have a reality check. Be open to the new opportunities healthy discussions produce, without dissing what caused the exchange of ideas.

Just fire them. There comes a time when someone is unable or unwilling to be part of the team, or do the work. It’s kinder to let them go, than to keep haranguing them to perform the job tasks they were hired to accomplish. Working around them wastes costly time drains precious energy. Sadly, this strategy rarely solidifies the team into working well together.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Measure Sales Success During the Interview, Not After

Timeless reprint from 2008 and 2010

Contact me for a complimentary analysis of your sales team! JLSeibly@SeibCo.com

Selecting sales candidates who can actually sell is a huge challenge for any employer.  Even if they sold the same or similar products or services for your competitor, it doesn’t mean they can adequately sell for you.

Many times future employers are “sold” or mis-led about an applicant’s sales abilities when:

  • They have very good verbal skills (does not mean they have the personality and/or interests to deliver the results);
  • They appear to be good team players (many good sales people are not); or
  • They are able to sell themselves (does not mean they can sell your products or services).

The following interview metrics do not eliminate the need to use valid and objective assessments that actually (and legally) measure your candidates’ true sales capabilities (think, learning style, core behaviors and occupational interests). These questions simply provide you additional information to ensure you’re getting a true sales person, and not a “marketing-type person” who relies upon others to sell and close the deal.  Your sales people create your company’s reputation, now and in the future.

  • What was your candidate’s quota for his last employer(s) – did s/he hit it?
  • What was the average size deal?  (Dollars and re-sales)
  • Did s/he make President’s club or receive other industry recognized “acknowledgement.”
  • Does s/he have inside vs. outside sales experience?   Which did they prefer?  Why?
  • What were the number of cold calls, conversations, presentations, etc that s/he made daily and weekly?
  • What was his or her close ratio? (How many presentations vs. number of actual sales?)
  • Where did his or her leads come from – were they generated by the person or were they given to them by others in the company?
  • What were his or her day-to-day activities, including time at the desk and time in front of the potential customer?  Or, in front of current customers, up-selling or cross-selling?
  • What formal sales training has s/he had?
  • What tracking system did they use to keep stats on lead generation, lead conversion, and repeat business?
  • Do they plan their work and work their plan, effectively?   How do they know?
  • If they were to describe a sales person, what words would they use?  (Remember, you’re looking for the positive attributes, not the age old “snake oil” descriptors.)
  • If they were to use one word to describe his/her customer’s experience of working with him/her, what would that word be?

© Jeannette L. Seibly and John W. Howard, 2008-2011

Jeannette Seibly, Principal of SeibCo, is a nationally recognized coach, who has helped 1000’s of people achieve unprecedented results.  She has created three millionaires.  You can contact her:  JLSeibly@SeibCo.com OR http://SmartHiringMadeEasy.com  Jeannette is also the author of “Hiring Amazing Employees” (BizSavvyHire.com)  and “It’s Time to Brag!” (TimeToBrag.comContact me for a complimentary analysis of your sales team! JLSeibly@SeibCo.com

John W. Howard, Ph.D., owner of Performance Resources, Inc. helps businesses of all sizes increase their profits by reducing their people costs. His clients hire better, fire less, manage better, and keep their top performers. He may be reached at 435.654-5342, OR JWH@prol.ws