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New Ideas About Hiring The Right People, from Harvard!

I’m a big fan of “thinking different“. Whether it’s trivial stuff or big earth-shattering shifts, thinking differently is a business change that pays off. Often, you don’t know how that will look until it happens, but if I can get you to “think different“, you’ll thank me. I promise.

Sometimes thinking different can be a stretch, like looking at The National Football League as an example of socialism. But dig inside and you’ll see the wisdom and benefit that can come from something as simple as looking at things in new ways. Business Change? Yes, please!

Yesterday at Harvard Business Review, three well-respected business dudes published this piece on how to find good candidates for your job openings. And two things stuck out for me. First, you can train good people to be good employees. And second, you’re probably asking the wrong questions in job interviews.

That first point is one I talk about all the time. Long before Moneyball espoused this kind of different thinking, the Dallas Cowboys of the aforementioned NFL put a system in place where they selected the best available athlete with each of their picks in the NFL draft, rather than going the traditional “and now we need a quarterback, so … ” route. It’s this same model I use when looking for Trust Missionaries at PC-VIP. I want great, smart, committed, adaptable people; you’re a crackerjack computer geek? Keep walking.

Take a look at that second point. Now, look again.

Why is it that when we interview people we ask questions like “where do you see yourself in five years?” Isn’t it obvious that the only acceptable answer to that question is “I’ll have your job, sir” ? As the authors point out, asking about what turns a candidate on and seeing if they have the sense—and flexibility—to connect that passion to the job they’re interviewing for is a whole lot more useful.

I don’t say this very often, but underneath all the intellectual property, technology and marketing stuff I make a living doing for our clients, I’m a human resources guy. I’m fascinated by court rulings on things like privacy and company-issues cell phones, broader questions like the legality of reading employees’ e-mail, and game changers like what’s been proposed in Germany regarding employees and Facebook.

Finding great people isn’t easy. So why wouldn’t you use new tools and new ideas to get from here to there?

Need a push in the right direction on cleaning up your broken business processes? Here I Am.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. For Business Change, Stop Using The Wrong Hiring Criteria - [...] This isn’t just about paying your employees more than you might have thought you should. Even The Harvard Business …
  2. The Call for Speakers — And Doing Business in Public - [...] The Harvard Business Review wants you to think differently. A marketing company at this year SWSX hired homeless people. There’s a reason …
  3. Human Resources, Laundry Lists, Dumb Expectations, and Geeks - […] job searches, which had and have devolved into posting wishlists that nobody can fill completely. The Harvard Business Review …

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