Hiring Carefully Does not have to Mean Slow

by Michael Haberman on August 2, 2012 · 2 comments


Jon Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment, wrote an article in Fast Company called How to Win the Talent War. In this article Mr. Stein was talking about start-ups, but the points he made are applicable to all companies. He makes a distinction between three different types of candidates: A-players, brilliant misfits and future stars. I will let you read his article for the distinction, but obviously the desired candidate is the A-player. So how do you get this A-player? Stein offers a list of techniques, which are below with my comments.

  • Be obsessive about networking. With this he means go beyond the use of LinkedIn. Go to where your brilliant employees hang out. To me the most important thing to realize is that everyone in the company is a recruiter, but most especially the head person.
  • Look for the love. He makes an excellent point that if the candidate is not interested enough about the company to have learned about it before the interview then the match will not be there.
  • Stay close to home. This means don’t forget your user groups or customers. Let them know you are hiring they might have a good referral for you.
  • Hire Specialist. Actually he means to hire flexible specialists. Hire people who are good in several areas. Flexibility is key in smaller organizations.
  • Pay for talent. This one can be tough for many companies, but Stein cites Steve Jobs saying “…the difference between an average programmer and a great programmer as being at least 25:1. Given these odds, paying 30% more for talent seems like a bargain.”
  • Be Timely. He says that A-players don’t wait around and he is correct. One organization I knew took 19 weeks to hire someone and then wondered why they didn’t have the best talent. DUH. But at the same time this does not mean you need to be injudicious. Don’t avoid steps in your hiring process, just make them go faster. Being timely does not mean being sloppy. Stein concludes saying that you don’t need to waste time trying to decide between two A-players just hire them both. Sometimes you just have to take a risk.

All of Stein’s tips dovetail well with my tips. These include:

  • Understand the culture of the company by understanding the core competencies necessary for anyone to be successful at your company.
  • Understand the job you are trying to fill. Not last years job description but the “right now” job description. This is not only understanding the tasks involved but understanding the competencies necessary to perform that work.
  • Understand the goals of the department the person will be working in. Are you trying to introduce something or trying to make something fit.
  • Construct an interview around that information… yes that means prepare your interview!

What other advice would you offer?

Be Sociable, Share!

Sign up for free HR Solutions updates via email

Omega HR Solutions, Inc. uses creative human resource solutions to provide answers to time, money and service issues with employers and their employees. Visit our Products and Services page for more information or contact us to learn how we can help your organization.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Magdalena Masluk-Meller August 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I’d like to share this advice:

Always have you vision in mind and know what capabilities you need to execute your strategy in the future. Review the candidates’ skills against the future your want to build.

“Be Timely” is a great technique indeed. I agree fast hiring process can be a recruiting advantage. Please see my post.
http://breakpointhr.blogspot.de/2012/06/hiring-people-is-not-formula-1.html

Cheers,
Magdalena

Reply

Leena Morrison August 6, 2012 at 1:44 am

HR is always a very consistent and important dept. of any organization. The HRM of any organization should be keenly focused on the vision of the organizations strength to make the company more and more powerful, by hiring some great efforts in the form of some great persons. As everyone know that a company only need some very focused employees to work for it, and so for that the HR has to show their concerns in hiring a nice talent. HR should not hurry that much to interview more and more employee at a time because it can be then for sure complicated for them to shortlist the employees after that.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: