I asked for help hiring – I didn’t ask for change

Leora Baumgarten —  September 5, 2017 — Leave a comment

help hiring

I write and talk a lot about all the ways recruiting can go wrong. When we understand why or how recruiting is going wrong, we are more willing to take action.  And action implies change. Until today I hadn’t considered that you want to hire the right person –  and making a change probably wasn’t on your radar at all – even if you’re having trouble hiring and you reached out for assistance.

Today I read the first chapter of the book Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith. As I read the first chapter I had a realization about our customers – about you.  And I had a realization about us – the people at NewHire.

Here is the quote from page 10 that really got me thinking: “…adult behavioral change [is] hard. If you want to be a better partner at home or a better manager at work, you not only have to change your ways, you have to get some buy-in from your partner or co-workers. Everyone around you has to recognize that you’re changing. Relying on other people increases the degree of difficulty exponentially.”

Getting buy-in from partners and coworkers is important in making changes. Recognizing the change is needed, requested or is happening is important too. AND adding more people makes it more difficult. Wow. This is good stuff. But what does it have to do with you and me and recruiting?

When recruiting isn’t yielding the expected (or desired) result and you engage with an outside service, like NewHire, to solve the problem, you were probably not thinking about changing. You were thinking about solving a hiring problem. But sometimes solving a problem comes with a healthy does of change.

Here are four behaviors we will be asking you to change as you recruit with us:

1. We will ask you to change HOW you evaluate talent, both the criteria and the tools.

Plan to experience some discomfort as we coach you through this change. The feelings we have when we start doing things differently is kind of like feeling an itch we can’t quite reach. Sometimes that’s really frustrating and makes us angry. Be open minded and try the new way.

Practice thinking out of the box about talent when we review candidates together. Remember that we are on your team! We share the same goal – to hire efficiently and effectively every time.

2. Respond quickly and honestly when we ask for your feedback. We depend on your timely, realistic input. (And we know you depend on ours too.)

We are glad when you like our work. We are also glad when the interview goes well. And we’re as disappointed as you are to hear that an interview didn’t go so well.

We want to hear from you if the news is good AND if the news you’re sharing isn’t so good. We promise to share good new and not-so-good news too.

When it comes time to share feedback about candidates and interviews we want detailed  information – so we know what to do next on your behalf. When we ask you for feedback about the candidate interview, we are trying to answer these key questions: Should we schedule a second interview for this person? Or should we modify the type of candidate we recommend next? Tell us!

Be realistic in your evaluation. None of the candidates (or staff at NewHire) have superhuman powers, be realistic in your expectations.  Be specific with your feedback in three key areas: the candidate’s skills, experience, and demonstrated work behaviors. Don’t be shy to deliver bad news (or better yet – good news) quickly. It will speed up the entire process if we know right away.

If you need something from us, and you haven’t heard yet, please please let us know. Remember we are on the same team and we share the same goal – to hire efficiently and effectively every time.

3. Don’t freak out when we Fail Fast.

Fail Fast in an idea that comes from Kanban, lean engineering / manufacturing  and inquiry based science. It is be a misleading term for a positive outcome. Let me repeat that: Failing Fast is a positive outcome.

Of course the goal isn’t to fail, the goal is to learn from the failure. The faster we get you to interview candidates who are not-quite-right, the faster we can make adjustments and get to the people who are just-right. We are tough and want to know what you thought (see #2 above), which will help us move the needle together on your recruiting.

When you feel like we’ve failed you might find that you have an emotional response – like anger or frustration. It’s ok and it’s normal. Remember that we are failing fast – not failing flat on our faces. We want to fail fast and we want get your feedback on that failure – so we can make the appropriate adjustments that will lead to success. And that leads me to the last and most important behavior change we will ask of you.

4. Collaborate with us. You’re the inside expert and we are the recruiting experts. Together we can be awesome.

Building trust is a two way street. We work hard to keep you up to date. But we don’t want to overwhelm you either. We can’t read your mind, but we can read your email. Engage with us by asking questions and sharing your preferences.

We want you to understand the Why, the How and the When of our tried and true 6 step hiring process. If you don’t understand or don’t remember or just want clarification – let us know. Be open minded about trying something a little bit different and new.

We want to move your recruiting project forward quickly, but not at the expense of the end goal.  We believe that every job deserves the right person, and we are working hard to get the person to you!

Leora Baumgarten

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Leora is Vice President of NewHire and a pro when it comes to hiring & recruiting for SMBs. When not at the office, you can find her swimming in Lake Michigan or spending time with her family in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Connect with her on Google+.

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