Hiring Tip #36: Listen

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http://hamptonexecutivesearch.comDon’t “sell” the job in the interview.  Really listen to the answers to your questions.  Get your “gut” out of the way and investigate, seek, quest.

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Interview questions

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http://hamptonexecutivesearch.com Compare apples to apples: use the same questions when you interview multiple people for a job.  Make sure that the questions will actually give you answers that pertain to the accomplishment of the job.

HR and Hiring Managers

Don’t hire the next best because…

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Yes, you need to know them but…

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Hire someone you know (or one of your employees knows), but not too well-known. Friends are different from employees.  Employees can become friends but why stress a friendship with a boss/worker relationship?

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Hire people who are better than you are

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Hiring “Mini-Me” means that you will be hiring all your own faults as well as your strengths. Look for someone who complements you, rather than replicates you.

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Holiday parties

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all ready for holiday partiesThe SHRM survey says that fewer offices are holding holiday parties but those that do might be getting bigger. Is your company holding a holiday party this year? With what went on in San Bernardino not too long ago, it seems, perhaps, irresponsible. But if we let fear stop us from celebrating, then ISIL gets their way.
Police in San Bernardino when the holiday parties go bad
So what will you do to celebrate all these many holidays we have in our multicultural companies? Hanukkah already started. Yule comes next, then Christmas, and Kwanzaa. And I think there are 25 other holidays between now and New Year’s.

menorrah for holiday parties

Do you host an ugly sweater party? Yelp in Berkeley thinks that you should have a paella party (even though the crabs are sick this year). And the And the Bay Area LifeTech (BALT) announced their annual holiday party with amazing libations and a yodeling competition with the bin for collecting cold-weather accessories for the homeless. WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Holiday Party will be tonight. Many groups other than employers have already held their holiday parties.

Ugly sweaters for holiday parties

So is it appropriate? Does it increase employee engagement? Or are people simply too busy with their own personal events to want to come to the company holiday party?

It would be a shame to lose the opportunity to connect with the people you work with, but it would be good to eliminate the drunken brawls and embarrassing moments. What are the lines between a good time and liability? So what do you do?

As you can see I’m entirely on the fence.

Holiday parties

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Hiring in 2016

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Have you started planning your strategy for the hiring in 2016 you will need to do?  

How will you do the hiring in 2016? Do you start from scratch every time or do you have boiler-plate templates for every job?  Do they really get you the best candidates or do they duplicate the ones you already have?

Since it is only smart to hire when you have a problem you can’t solve with the people you are already paying, shouldn’t the job descriptions be better at telling the world what you really need?

I like to use the phrase dragon-slaying stories when I talk with candidates.  I want to know what problems (dragons) they have encountered in their career, what they did and what the results were.

I can match the right people to the right jobs if, and only if, I know what dragons my client companies are facing.

Many HR teams get swamped by random job seekers who want them to look at a generic resume and figure out if their skills will match any need in the company, even if the job description did not mention those skills as needed.  This will happen even if you are very clear as to what dragons you are facing, but describing them should cut down on the “lookie Lous” and will more likely attract the highly qualified people you need.

What keywords are you using in your position descriptions?  How much is “fluff”?  Are you specific enough?  Or too specific?  Can you nail the hiring manager down to really say?

It is one thing to want an entry-level manufacturing person and another to want a creative, problem-solver with ideas about how to approach your particular dragon.

You don’t want a knight who has just gotten his sword but has never fought the dragon if the dragon is breathing down your neck.  You want a knight in slightly banged up armor who has fought your kind of green slimy dragon, not one who has only fought the red, fiery kind.  But if you advertise for a knight, what do you think you will get?

When you decide to hunt for this dragon slayer, you will look in places that are the home ground of your kind of dragon, the sea for the green slimy one or the volcanoes for the red fiery ones.  Where is that?  Is it only in your competitors?  Or do some companies who do not compete with you have similar dragons? Do you know which they are?

Call me if you want to discuss your dragon and see if I know where to look for the right knights!

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Is the War for Talent really happening?

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Are you able to find the right people for your company?  Is talent getting to be hard to find?

the war for talent requires seasoned knights www.hamptonexecutivesearch.com

For years the recruiting industry has talked about the “coming war for talent”.  Are you finding this to be true?  We work in an industry that requires skilled, knowledge workers with initiative and creativity as well as the ability to take direction.  There never have been many of these people.  Your “dragons” need to be fought with seasoned knights, not the fresh from “knight school” squires.

The downturn of 2008 put many on the market.  LinkedIn and other social media suggested that it would be easy to find and hire the right people.  Have you found this to be true?

A couple of years ago it was said that 75% of people were hired because someone in the company knew them and that only 20% were found due to job postings.  Are you finding this to continue to be true?  Even at the manager level and above?

Our industry has continued to morph.  What was not ready for prime time in 2007 is now going gangbusters. The people who had skills needed then are no longer in high demand.

Are you doing internal training for the people you need?  Or are you dependent on those people who are currently looking for a job?  Do you have a way to reach out to the people who are satisfied with what they are currently doing but might be “tempt-able”?  Does the HR department or the hiring manager have time to do the things that would attract the right people?

Even among those who do submit applications, are you losing them to the black hole of your ATS because they have not chosen to use the words you put in the published position description?  How can you find them in there?

I’d love your responses to these questions.  I’ll publish the results (anonymously of course).

For help with finding your seasoned knights, email me at connie@hamptonexecutivesearch.com

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Disability Employment Awareness Month

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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

There are many different kinds of “differently-abled” people.  Some disabilities are invisible and you have people with these on your staff.  Some are easily seen or get revealed in interviews.

This month is a month of awareness about it.  What does your company do to abide by the ADA laws?

Many people have both skills, expertise and one or more disabilities.  There is an entire industry dedicated to making software to allow those with different disabilities to use computers and bring their sharp minds to bear on your problems.  But you might be putting unnecessary barriers in their way.

Or you may have employees who have acquired a disability in the time that they have been working for you.  Do you know about all the potential tools available to be able to keep them on the job?

In the SF Bay area you can contact the RET Project here: www.retproject.org/ to find out more about assistive technology, office ergonomics and job accommodations.

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Bereavement leave

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Elizabeth Forsyth McIntyre death card

Bereavement. We don’t like to think about it and yet, no one gets off the planet alive.

Does your company offer useful bereavement leave?  Time to sit with the dying person and then time to deal with the immediate paperwork and household work?  Are allowances made for the grief-fogged brain?

My mother-in-law died last week and my spouse only got 5 days to take care of everything.  The rest had to come out of personal time off.  And what about the people who get paid the least but still have these sort of responsibilities?

The sandwich generation is being squeezed even more by the death of their elders.

What does your company do to make things easier and not lose your investment in the employee?

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