It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the gains realized from the additional productivity of the post-meltdown workforce have been maxed-out. In addition, the culture as a whole has begun to adapt to a smaller and less acquisitive lifestyle and, consequently, the consumer is coming out of the closet, albeit somewhat battered and traumatized, but ready to risk spending again. The combination of these forces is creating a demand for more workers, and for better run, more efficient, more focused, and more competitive businesses. As you look to add more people to your organization, keep the following in mind:
> You will need to recruit people who are capable of doing more than working hard, following orders, and being loyal, in the traditional sense.
> You will need to identify people who like to learn; who are attracted to growth; and who are willing to be developed, personally and professionally.
> Your assessment process will need to be radically transformed and re-done. It will need to focus on who the candidates are; not simply what they’ve done.
> The fulcrum of this new process is the “Deep Dive” interview that zeros in on feeling data, not task data.
> The “Deep Dive” interview is designed to be highly interactive, rich with real-time feedback, challenging, and uncomfortable.
> There will be plenty of people to interview. Most of them will not interest you, primarily because they ceased to interest their former employers.
> We are now living in an “American Idolized” culture. Everyone is a performer and has developed the ability to look good and have the “right” answers. If you don’t drill down, you’ll get snookered (no pun intended).
> You are now interviewing for values match and for specific personal characteristics.
> The traditional behavioral interview, as well as standardized testing, is of very limited value. They lack the challenge, the feedback, and the evocation of bottom-line feelings that give you the data you need to make a decision.
> Don’t tolerate being stonewalled. If most of the answers to your questions are “conversation killers” (monosyllabic, short, clipped responses), confront it right away. Either it changes, or the interview is over.
> Don’t ask open-ended questions. It rewards wandering and undermines your credibility.
> No note-taking during an interview. Neither you nor the candidate. Write down your strongest impressions after the candidate leaves. If you don’t remember anything significant, you either have your answer, or you’re struggling with early dementia.
> Don’t ever let “throw-away” remarks go (i.e. “You know how bosses are …”). They always represent a statement about one’s core values.
> Don’t sell the opportunity. Your style of interviewing should either compel or repel the candidate. Either way, you both win.
> Pay a lot of attention to whether or not the candidate answers the questions you asked. If not, deal with it right there.
> Conducting an interview is like riding an emotional roller coaster. Pay attention to your tummy. Were there more ups or more downs?
> Know your own triggers. What kind of response is likely to cause you to overreact and reach a conclusion that has more to do with you than with the candidate?
> Risk early. Nothing creates trust quicker than honest feelings and feedback from the interviewer, right from the start.