Hiring people may be the most important thing a manager does.
Every new hire changes an organization. If the new employee is better than – or has the potential to be better than – half the people already doing this job, your organization just got better.
Yet organizations repeatedly hire people who are in the bottom 50% of employees the minute they walk in the door.
That brings everything down.
Change The Process
Very often, a hiring “process” will continue to give you the same results. The only way to fix it is to change how things are done.
Here is one way to achieve an immediate improvement in how you hire.
It’s called “watching the movie backwards,” which is probably how 80% or more of most job interviews go.
In the typical interview, the first thing most of us ask about is the applicant’s current or last job.
It’s exactly what we shouldn’t do. You shouldn’t be surprised that every applicant has a canned answer for the “last job” question.
Watch The Movie From The Beginning
But aside from the job interview questions, more importantly we’re starting in the wrong place. When you ask about a person’s last job, what you are doing is watching the movie backwards.
If you start at the beginning of the applicant’s work history – or very near the beginning – you get to watch the movie the way it played out in real life, forwards.
When you ask, “What was your first paying job?” you’ll begin to see the work/career values that shaped the applicant.
You’ll better understand the how and why of their careers. And you will better understand how those things influenced later decisions.
You are also likely to get more candid answers, because most applicants haven’t given those early jobs much thought recently.
You can build an entire interview off that particular question.
Here’s how it goes.
- What did you do next?
- How did you learn to do that job?
- What were probably the three most important things you learned?
- Did you ever teach anybody else to do that job? (Because we want our best people to do the teaching, not our worst people.)
- If you were going to teach me how to do that job, how would you teach me to do it?”
- Where’d you go from there?
Run the movie forward, job to job. The picture will come out very lifelike, and very focused.