How Do They Define Success?

Successful Employee

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With different ways of defining success, let’s look at a few of the obvious ones:

1) When you achieve what you want or intend.

2) When someone achieves a high position in their job, on a course, in a sport, in society etc.

3) When a person or business makes a lot of money.

Finding out how your applicant defines success is likely to give you some good insights into their personality and into their drive.

But let’s break this down a bit. Here are some questions you could ask:

1) How do you define success for yourself in the business world?

2) How would you define success for yourself with our company, say in the next year?

3) How about in the next five years?

As you well know, your applicant might not be considering your company for five years. But it can’t hurt to ask.

Success for some is having a job and a pay check. Enough money to pay the bills.

Success for some is making an adequate income AND having a great work environment. Friends, companions, caring about others and others caring about us.

Some equate success with status. A high position in a company, an impressive sounding title.

It’s going to be different from applicant to applicant, but if you can get in there and get some honest answers here, you’ll learn a great deal about your prospective staff.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Don’t Write Them Off So Quickly

Hiring interview

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Sometimes people rub us the wrong way in an interview.

And that’s enough for some of us to move on to the next candidate.

An exaggeration on the résumé may be grounds for some of us to pass on that candidate.

I’m not here to challenge your intuition or judgement.

If you don’t feel comfortable with someone and you want to keep looking, that’s 100% your prerogative. If you feel someone has fudged their résumé and this is simply unacceptable to you, again, you should do what you think is right.

(the word fudge means: to change facts to deceive people)

But I would ask you to consider this: sometimes what rubs us the wrong way is on our end of things and that individual could end up being a real asset for us.

And, when it comes to embellishing or exaggerating on the résumé, you probably know this is done fairly often. This does not make it right. Your integrity is important and making decisions one way or the other based on how honest an applicant is — well, this is also important.

Human beings are interesting creatures. We try to do the right thing and we sometimes find ourselves justifying the times we know we didn’t do the right thing.

“Well, I’ll just say on my résumé that I worked at Acme Enterprises a couple of months longer than I actually did. Then I can say it’s 3 years instead of 2 years and change. I think that’s okay, because if I’m hired in this new job, I’m going to do a great job here.”

Again, I’m not advising you to lower your standards.

If you find discrepancies, ask about them.

If someone rubs you the wrong way, bring that up directly and discuss it with the individual.

And of course, there are degrees in all things.

An outright lie on the résumé is different than an embellishment.

If a person rubs you the wrong way because they came into the interview wearing a tee shirt, torn jeans and slurs their words, well, that’s not so good.

I’m using some extremes here, but I’m sure you get the point. Humans aren’t perfect — none of us are — and sometimes it’s a good idea to keep that in mind when making hiring decisions.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Fearless Are They?

Fearless

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Fearless.

That’s an interesting quality.

We’d probably want a soldier to be fearless, or at least as close to fearless as possible.

If an entrepreneur is embarking on a new activity, being fearless has its advantages there, right?

But, for our everyday applicants, is fearless a quality we’re interested in?

Let’s look at a definition of fearless : not afraid of anything. With synonyms of brave, courageous, bold, daring, adventurous.

I do like those synonyms!

If you’re looking for someone to just get the work done — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that — then fearless isn’t a critical quality.

But if we’re looking for someone to make a breakthrough for us, in the areas of marketing or sales, for instance, then someone bold and daring may be exactly what we’re looking for.

What if we wanted a supervisor or office manager who never backed off from handling a situation in their area? Someone who always rolled up their sleeves, waded in and located what needed to be addressed and got it resolved? What if we wanted that kind of manager?

If so, then “fearless” would be an asset, right?

So how do we locate this quality in people? A simple, direct approach would be:

“Bob, tell me some things that you’re afraid of.”

Most of the time Bob will give you some things that he’s afraid of.

A fearless Bob, however, may say, “well, there really isn’t anything that scares me.”

The key to this answer is: Did Bob deliver it quickly and easily? Did he deliver it without the slightest flinch?

In a number of earlier tips, I’ve mentioned this ability that you want to be continuing to develop:

The ability to observe when your applicant is easily answering a question and there is no “flinch.”

I think you know what I mean by “flinch.” When someone answers a question with complete comfort, you are likely getting a candid answer.

Fearless.

If you’re hiring for a position that requires a bold and daring approach, zeroing in on “fearless” may get you just what you need.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Should We Stop Looking For Team Players?

Steve Jobs

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Jeff Altman, a recruiter for many years, shared this viewpoint in an article:

“Stop looking for team players. When you do, you announce that you don’t want people who can think and want people who are docile and obedient. You’re saying that Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell and a host of others should never apply to your firm.”

What do you think about that?

Do you think we should take “team player” out of the hiring equation?

Let’s look at this a bit.

If you’re looking for someone who will bring brilliant ideas to your company and you don’t care if he roughs up your current staff — then, well, have at it.

I imagine some of the greatest businessmen and women and some of the creative giants were difficult to get along with.

But may I emphasize the word: “some.”

Yes, some of the greatest leaders and creators in our world have been deficient in people skills.

Some.

I would say, however, that most of them have brought exceptional quality to both their creativity and leadership and to their ability to get along with others. We just don’t hear about them as much, do we?

If you get the idea that you can and should hire someone who is brilliant but is somewhat or even very abusive, then you’ve decided to be in a continual state of juggling his worth versus his harm to your company.

Here’s a very simple and direct question:

Is it possible you can find a brilliant individual, someone capable of bringing dramatic, positive change who also possesses that not-so-elusive ability to get along with others?

You can certainly answer that for yourself.

Here’s my answer:

Absolutely.

When you encounter a recommendation to undervalue qualities that you know are essential to your way of doing things, think twice and even a third time before you accept that advice.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


What Are We Really Looking For?

Socrates

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Yes, what are we really looking for: someone to get the work done for awhile or someone we can count on to be with us for years to come?

For the positions with routine turnover, this question is fairly easy to answer.

But what about the key positions?

Has the hiring culture changed so much that even the key positions are experiencing routine turnover?

I know we touched on this subject in a couple of earlier tips, but I’d like to give another perspective here if I could.

When it comes to long term commitment, what do we feel we have the right to look for and require?

If we travel back into the past some, qualities such as loyalty and allegiance were sought after and sometimes demanded.

Now, when I say “back into the past,” I’m not referring to medieval times with nobles and serfs.

For the greater part of the 20th century, when we hired for key positions, there was often an agreement between the employer and the prospective employee — whether openly stated or not — that important positions required a healthy commitment in time. The further back you went, the more the concept of allegiance played a role.

But here we are, well into the 21st century, and what can we expect? What can we require?

Has the hiring landscape changed so much that now every position is subject to routine turnover?

I think, for many of us, the answer is yes.

If we’re looking for commitment and even loyalty, we realize these qualities are earned, not just given.

That seems fair, right? The prospective employee is checking you out while you are checking out the prospective employee.

Let’s say you’re hiring for a key position and you’ve got a very qualified candidate in front of you. The résumé, the background checks, their test scores and the hiring interviews all look great. Before you make that decision, it might be worth your while to have one more conversation.

Have a conversation about commitment. Find out what that means to your candidate. Does it have any importance to them? And you should ask about it both ways. How important is it that their new company show commitment to them? And how important do they see their side of that coin?

It’s possible this conversation could influence your final decision.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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