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PICKING WINNERS KEVIN C. EICHNER. Picking Winners… There is nothing more important to your success than hiring (and developing) great people. You can.

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Presentation on theme: "PICKING WINNERS KEVIN C. EICHNER. Picking Winners… There is nothing more important to your success than hiring (and developing) great people. You can."— Presentation transcript:


2 Picking Winners… There is nothing more important to your success than hiring (and developing) great people. You can either hire smart or manage tough… but I’ve never met anyone who can manage tough enough. No matter how hard you try, you can never atone for a weak hiring decision. Hiring can represent as much as 95% of a manager’s success

3 Strong & Weak Interviewers Strong Interviewers: Recognize two aspects of interviewing 1.Info gathering – analytical, fact finding method 2.Hiring decision – intuitive component reinforced by 8-10 factors of success Weak Interviewers: ◦Too emotional – 1 st impression/personality ◦Overly intuitive – short cut the process (use a few factors/traits) ◦Too technical – good at info gathering but weak with decisions (analysis paralysis)

4 Hiring Attitude Survey 95% made bad hiring decisions 95% said hiring is #1 or #2 in importance 95% don’t like the hiring process Everyone felt the interview process was inaccurate (57% accuracy in actuality) No decisions are made in 30 minutes or less (interviewers are confident, but not always accurate) Confident yes decisions are made in 1 – 3 hours # of different assessments = # of interviews 3 wks to 3 months to assess new hire competency

5 Process Reengineering & 6 Sigma “Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to reengineer a flawed process with error rates of 5 – 10%. One with a 20% error rate would be considered out of control and shut down! Yet the one process that is considered most important (staffing) has a 40+% error rate and we persist.

6 Hiring Accuracy


8 The accuracy of the hiring decision depends directly on whether a candidate is being measured on their ability to get the job or on their ability to do the job… Get the JobDo the Job Personality 1 st impression Handshake Affability Confidence Assertiveness Appearance Extroversion Boss match Initiative Team skills Competence Management Org skills Intellect Leadership Staffing Accomplishments

9 Type I & II Errors in Hiring Very GoodNot Very Good Very GoodHired Great Decision Hired Error I – Falls Short Not Very Good Not Hired Error II – Good Performer Not Hired Great Decision

10 Exercise #1 – Reflect on Your Hiring Practices Think of your last hires both internal and external. Was there a difference in the process used? In general, what process do you follow for external hires? Are decisions made on a candidate’s ability to do the job or get the job?

11 Picking Winners Objective – to develop a method for outside hiring that closely approaches the accuracy of internal hiring decisions. Internal decisions – “doing” oriented; past performance dominates the decision External decisions – “having” oriented; based largely on the candidates background Some “have” but can’t “do”; others can “do”, but don’t “have”

12 Having vs. Doing Outside Hire Internal Move Predictability55 – 70 %80 – 90 % Primary Hiring Decision Criteria Past Experience Skills & Academics Personality & 1 st Impressions Heavy Experience Globalize S&W Past Performance Talent, Energy, Team Skills, Leadership, Potential Light Experience Balance of S&W Underlying Difference Having of SkillsDoing of Activities

13 Having vs. Doing “We must redefine job descriptions and postings to reflect what needs to get done rather than what a candidate needs to have.” Outcome-oriented rather than input- oriented Better predictor of future performance

14 Emotional Control More hiring mistakes are made in the first half-hour of an interview than at any other time. (delaying decisions by 30 minutes can eliminate 50% of hiring mistakes) First impressions are based on emotions, biases, chemistry, personality and stereotyping. Staying objective is hard work!

15 1 st Impressions

16 Positive “Yes” Response When you think you’re going to enjoy the interview, you’re in trouble…. The relaxation response causes us to ignore negative data, globalize strengths, begin selling, and stop listening If we like someone, we don’t push hard enough.

17 The Negative Response Some candidates bother you from the start. You must fight through this initial characterization. Recognition is the first step to emotional control. Keeping the emotional switch open is the key to an accurate, unbiased assessment.

18 Emotional Switch YES – we become relaxed & comfortable ◦Ignore negatives ◦Maximize positives ◦Globalize strengths ◦Stop listening ◦Start selling NO – we are bored, uncomfortable, uptight ◦Ignore positives ◦Maximize negatives ◦Globalize weaknesses ◦Stop listening ◦Undersell the job

19 Basic Hiring Formula Performance (Doing the Job) + Character (Doing the Job Right) + Personality (Working with the Team) Initiative, drive, talent, leadership, management, team skills, decision making, focus, results, intelligence, skills, vision Honesty, commitment, integrity, responsibility, goal orientation Attitude, warmth, style, pace, affability, poise, social confidence, presence, dress

20 The Top Down Approach

21 Exercise #2 – Staying Objective Reflect on your interviewing style. What emotional behaviors do you demonstrate? How do you feel those behaviors are functional or disfunctional (how does being emotional work for you?) What are some ways that you could keep yourself more objective?

22 10 Ways to Stay Objective Recognize your emotional state 20 minute phone interview Don’t start the interview right away Use a preplanned structured interview Measure 1 st impressions after 30 minutes Change your frame of reference Listen 4x more than you talk Treat the candidate as a consultant Talk about real work Use panel interviews

23 Performance-Based Interviewing Assessing past performance & job competency… Performance = Talent x Energy (squared) + Team Leadership + Comparable Past Performance +Job-Specific Problem Solving

24 Performance-Based Interviewing ◦Getting at the Performance Equation… Q1: Motivation (talent x energy) – Please think of the most significant accomplishment of your career Q2: Team Leadership – Please think of the most significant team accomplishment of your career Q3: Past Performance – Please think of the most significant accomplishment of your career Q4: Job-specificity – If you were to get this job, how would you solve this job-specific problem?

25 Performance-Based Interviewing Assessing Past Performance: ◦Develop a trend analysis to judge increases in performance and responsibility

26 Performance-Based Interviewing Determine Job Competency ◦Anchor Objectives: “We would like to accomplish {objective} during the next year. Tell me about your most significant related accomplishment” ◦Visualize Objectives: “As we’ve discussed, {objective} is an important aspect of this position. If you were to get the job, what additional information would you need to know and how would you accomplish this objective ?

27 Funnel Your Questions

28 Performance-Based Interviewing Observing good visualization:  Job-specific problem-solving  Verbal communications  Reasoning and thinking skills  Adaptability and flexibility  Self-confidence  Insight and job knowledge  Creativity  Organizational skills  Logic and intellect

29 Performance-Based Interviewing Unlock Character/Values ◦“Tell me about a time that you were totally committed to a task.”  The ability to persevere under difficult conditions is an essential characteristic of top performers. It’s the character component of energy. ◦Determine if commitment is to an individual, team or company. ◦Much of this is revealed in the other portions of the interview

30 Performance-Based Interviewing Personality and Cultural Fit ◦Personality is, in an absolute sense, unimportant. How candidates used their personality in achieving results is what’s really important. ◦“What three adjectives best describe your personality? Give me examples of when these traits have aided you in performing your job. When have they hurt?” (Sizzle alert!) ◦Look for change, growth, and candor.

31 Exercise # 3 – Selecting Performance Objectives Think of an important position in your organization that needs to be filled. What are the specific competencies that drive performance for that position? Develop some specific questions that can be asked to determine a candidate’s job competencies for that position. Now funnel to the next level.

32 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Hiring is not at the top of the list of fun things to do…so there is a natural tendency to “short-cut” the process. Completing the 10-Factor assessment doesn’t take any extra time, especially if you become familiar with it and integrate it with the interview. All 10 are important…don’t make a decision without considering each factor.

33 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Energy, Drive, and Initiative ◦Don’t compromise here….universal trait of success. ◦Key to personal success is to do more than required. ◦Low-key candidates do not necessarily lack energy and enthusiasm. ◦Look for special projects and extra effort in those with little experience

34 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Trend of performance over time ◦Examples of major accomplishments and org changes for the past 5-10 years ◦Excellent candidate has had comparable jobs and is showing upward growth ◦Also look at staff size, complexity of issues, standards of performance, rate of company growth and level of sophistication

35 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Comparability of past accomplishments ◦Anchor the SMART objectives ◦Use work-type profiling to ensure a good match ◦Make sure each interviewer has a copy of the SMART objectives with them during the interview

36 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Experience, Education, Industry Background ◦Strong experience and education can sometimes offset a weaker accomplishments rating ◦Examine experience in the context of the environment ◦Direct industry experience and education deserve some extra credit

37 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Problem solving and thinking skills ◦Understanding the work, solving job-related problems, anticipating needs ◦Ability to use previous knowledge and experience in solving problems ◦Quality of questions asked ◦Use the visualization approach

38 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Problem solving & thinking skills (cont..) ◦Candidates should exhibit high intelligence..  Technical intelligence: strong analytical skills, processing of detailed info and systematic thinking  Tactical intelligence: marshalling resources, getting team results, practical solutions, bottom- line focused  Strategic/Creative intelligence: thinking/planning future, understanding long-range consequences, conceptualizing ideas, big picture, out-of-the-box.

39 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Overall talent, technical competency and potential ◦Represents candidate’s ability to grow, develop and take on bigger roles.  Thinking skills: job specific problem-solving  Business understanding: holistic view of organization  Technical skills: ability to apply or learn job specific skills

40 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Management and Organization ◦Managed, built and developed groups of similar size (to job) and achieved similar results ◦Use project to get at organizational skills ◦Use org charts to find a pattern of building, developing and managing strong teams ◦Beware of candidates who complain about team, talk about management success in general terms, or who have lots of team turnover

41 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Team leadership – persuasion & motivation ◦Ability to tap and harness the energy of others. ◦Two dimensions  The subordinate team  Peers/subordinates in other departments/outside ◦Extroversion vs. introversion ◦Attitude and confidence

42 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Character – values, commitment, goals ◦Summarizes a persons integrity, honesty, responsibility, openness, fairness in dealing with others and personal values ◦Adler recommends saving for last  Ask basis of personal values system  Ask why they want to change jobs  Look for goal setting/achievement pattern  Ask how candidate is getting ready for promotion  Look for frank and open responses

43 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Personality and cultural fit ◦Look for accomplishments and flexibility in a variety of contexts ◦Use ABC to determine the preferred relationship pattern ◦Personality should be used for disqualification (ie: conflict, ego, inability to work with others)

44 10-Factor Candidate Assessment Fatal Flaws… ◦Management role doesn’t seem to be growing ◦Too assertive ◦Dominant or stern personality ◦Extremes in behavior –too analytical, too friendly, too persuasive ◦Answers that are too general (sizzle) ◦Too many I’s or we’s (balance)

45 Interviewer Professionalism Weak assessments can be a result of a bad interviewer rather than a bad candidate Candidates judge the quality of the company and the quality of their potential supervisor by the quality of the interview and interview process Be prepared, be aware of emotions, train and assess interviewers, get written assessments of candidates, use at least an hour of discussion

46 Benefits of Strong Staffing To the Company Short Term ◦Reduced turnover ◦Increased Productivity ◦Efficiency ◦Legal Long Term ◦More responsive ◦More innovative ◦Competitive advantage ◦Flexible workforce To the Manager Short Term ◦Save time ◦Natural transition ◦Clarify expectation ◦Basis of PM Long Term ◦Become better mgr ◦Stronger staff ◦More promotable ◦More effective team

47 Final Exercise – Picking Winners Everyone involved in the hiring process needs to build competencies in staffing. How will you embed the skills and processes for “picking winners” into your organizational culture?

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