2.27.12 hiring connect


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A presentation on hiring I am doing in the coming weeks at a user's conference mixing some humor with the not usually very exciting world of hiring and human resources. Book available at https://www.createspace.com/3691301; free stuff at http://hrhiring.wordpress.com/

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  • Today, we’re going to talk about a number of very cool things. We’re going to discuss ESP, which I’ll undoubtedly refer to as ESPN at some point, but I’m talking about Extra Sensory Perception and we’ll perform some exercises that may help us improve our ESP. And we’ll talk about probability and chance. And the third thing we’re going to do is try to tie all this into hiring and talk about a tool I developed in hiring that I believe could rock your world.Let’s start with hiring. This is a two part question, so before you answer the following, wait for the second part: does anyone have a, or know their, hiring process? And, here’s the second part, if you have and know your hiring process, are you willing to share it with the group as best as you can? DisccussDo you use job descriptions? DisccussAre you supposed to review those before sitting down with an applicant? DisccussI’d like to get into our ESP experiment and ask you another question much simpler than any of the preceding…CLICK
  • Here’s a non-trick question, you can answer on that sheet of paper in front of you:Take a moment and write a one sentence description of the object above “A” on this slide.I’ll reveal what the object is in a moment above “B,” but think and use your ESP.Then pause for a moment and let folks write a sentence.Okay, what did you come up with.CLICK.Okay, let’s try a second one just for practice because practice makes perfect.CLICK.
  • Write a sentence that describes the description above “A.” Do not describe the notepad, but the words “a computer.”Your sentence might read “Through my incredible powers of ESP I believe the computer that will appear above “B” in a moment is an Dell laptop.”Okay, you all write your sentences.Then pause for a moment and let folks write a sentence.Okay, what did you come up with.CLICK.Hmm…not the best results, but we’ll keep practicing, we’ll keep trying.CLICK.
  • Late in my tenure at Coke I was working to try and hire better merchandisers. Merchandisers are people who put our product on the store shelves. That was our job description. That, and, “must be able to lift 50 pounds.”I took kind of a unique approach in that I went and interviewed merchandisers, their supervisors and I even interviewed store managers.Here is what I found…Now, shift gears with me. Try this next ESP experimentCLICK.
  • Remember, think, concentrate, meditate and then write. Then pause for a moment and let folks write a sentence.Okay, what did you come up with.CLICK.So, are we getting better at this ESP thing? DiscussPerhaps we should try a different tactic to get to an answer.CLICK.
  • Back up with me for a moment and return to the mid-1990’s I was interviewing a guy for an HR Manager’s role. I was the VP of HR at Coca-Cola. I had been using the prescribed behavior-based interview for some time and hadn’t really had great success, but it was a process our Corporate Counsel, my boss, was real high on, so I continued to use it.We were 90 minutes into the interview when I asked the following “tell us about a time when you were involved in employment law litigation and what that process was like.”He responded “I’d rather tell you about a time I wasn’t involved.”“Bimbo chick attorney…”Because of this single success, this single “this is it” moment, I would not look for anything else for a number of years, but I really wasn’t having that great an outcome with the process I was using. I just kept going back to the “bimbo chick attorney” guy and saying “man, this stuff works great!”Then I finally got fed up with telling myself that story and I began my quest for the perfect hiring tool in earnest.I knew there had to be something out there I could use that would ensure I made a good hiring decision every time.I began reading everything I could about hiring. Yes, it was exciting, but I read it anyway. What I found out was somewhat amazing.But before we get to that, let’s see if your ESP is improving.CLICK.
  • I had several folks in the room who showed up early and had them flip a coin to determine which side of the coin would come up more frequently, heads or tails. Let’s find out the results.How many of you, if you had a loved one needing say brain surgery would select a doctor who advertised “I’m successful 55% of the time?”Or, how many of you would travel on Castle Airlines where we advertise “we’ll get you to where you’re going safely 55% of the time?”We wouldn’t accept those percentages with any business process and yet what I read about behavior-based interviewing told me, by itself, behavior-based interviewing was successful 55% of the time.I wondered why at Coca-Cola where we could get the Coke in a can or bottle, and do this right virtually 100% of the time we would accept a process with such a low percent of success.Statistics will tell us we are successful about 55% of the time using behavior-based interviewing by itself. Couldn’t we save a whole bunch of time and simply flip a coin, or couldn’t we save a whole bunch of time and use our powers of ESP? Couldn’t the outcome be approximately the same?But before we opt for those two methods we may want to consider what I found in my quest?CLICK.
  • The SNB sales story.Alan Lackey going off to start a new bank.CLICK.Buying lunch.“If there’s one over-arching HR principal you could provide us what would it be?”I said “hire really happy, really smart people and pay them really well, and if you can’t pay them really well, hire really happy because you don’t want to work around a bunch of grumps.”Between that somewhat flippant comment and reality is a lot of science and I’d like to talk with you about that science.The mystery for me has always been “how do I hire the best possible person for the position I have open at the moment and how do I do it every single time?” This has been a singular quest and an interesting journey. I started with my merchandisers at Coke and then really got into defining the ultimate model at State National.Unlike at Coke, at State National, however, I focused only on the superstar.CLICK.
  • Who in this room has ever worked around one of these people?Anybody?Throughout my career supervisors have told me things about these sorts of people like“I don’t think of myself as supervising this person. She supervises herself.”“When I have something that absolutely, positively has to be done, I give it to her.”“He’s always in a good mood.”And when one of them left, oh my.When I looked at the transactions, the volume of customers the Tellers I interviewed served, in a day, I was startled. All were well above average; some were working approximately 7 times as fast as their counterparts.In business terms what that meant was if I had a Teller line with 10 people on it, I could do the same volume of transactions with 3 superstars. That last statement has enormous implications for everything from compensation to staffing strategy.And then I was glancing through one of the things I was reading and ran across an author who was suggesting that these top performers worked at a level “producing up to 7 times the results.”The pieces to the puzzle were gradually falling into place.CLICK.
  • My quest became more of an all-consuming passion, or perhaps obsession.I began to realize as I fumbled through my first Model for a Merchandiser and then my Model for a Teller that I wanted two things from my Model. First, I wanted to concentrate on only the best of the best. Not the least of the mediocre, who could be a top performer in the right group, with the right manager, but focus on employees who were blowing the doors off. Second, I wanted to get multiple inputs from as many different angles as I could and develop a composite sketch of the superstar performer.And, as an aside, I learned early on in this process that I had to throw away what I thought.And, as an aside, the sequel, I had to dramatically, DRAMATICALLY, revisit, revamp and radicalize my recruiting process to ensure I was getting the sorts of candidates necessary to hire superstars. Without the right recruiting I’d never see the superstars.If you think about this from the perspective of our ESP example, think of it in terms of the first example of ESP you tried to define.CLICK.
  • The job description for a Teller, I pulled from monster.com reads like this…example.My Model I built at State National, although with a lot of detail for training my managers and discussions around behavioral interviewing was 62 pages long and probably represented a couple hundred hours of work.Our job description at Tyler for Project Managers is 3 pages; my Model is 16 pages long and probably represents three or four times the amount of resources that is required to produce a job description.Models, on the front-end, are a ton of work.My argument after years-and-years and years of building and using the things is they’re worth the investment on the front-end because the results are so exceptional.If you choose to use the Model, I will guarantee you within 3 to 5 years it will dramatically change the way you hire, it will dramatically change the way you conduct your business, and it will dramatically change your world.CLICK.
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