Goals, Goals, Goals — How Important Are They?

Employee Goals

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We all have goals.

We set goals for the next five minutes, for the next couple of hours, for the next few days and so on.

When I walk into my local Barnes and Nobles’ book store, my goal is to peruse through a couple of books I haven’t read yet while I savor a mocha Frappuccino.

When I start a new week of work, one goal I’m definitely pursuing is to produce more than I did the previous week.

To varying degrees, I think we all have these short term goals. They may not always be clear in our minds, but goals kind of move us along from one episode in life to the next.

Many of us have longer term goals. What do we want to be doing in one year? In five years? In twenty years?

Or we may express this as something we want to have. What do we want to have in a year’s time? In 5 or 20 years time? A really nice house. An expensive car. A family with wonderful kids.

Some of us set very long term goals that span a lifetime. Along this line are:

• I’d like to be remembered as someone who…

• I want my legacy to be…

So, short term goals, long term goals and all kinds of goals in between.

If it is important for you to know what your applicant’s goals are, here are a few questions you could ask:

“Mary, what are your goals for this interview?”

“Mary, if hired, what would be your goals for your first thirty days here?”

“From a work perspective, where do you see yourself in five years?”

“How long do you see yourself working with us?”

“Are you looking for a long term position with us, and, if so, how do you envision that working out?”

I’m sure you can come up with other questions.

You may find the person in front of you says he doesn’t have any goals other than to get hired, do a good job for someone, get paid and keep his options open for the future. Fair enough. And good to know.

Or the person may say she absolutely loves what you do, has had a burning desire to work for a company like yours and would love to make a career of it.

And of course everything in between.

Asking your applicant to discuss their goals with you is a legitimate way to find out more about them and whether they’ll be a good fit for your company.

But you may also find out their goals are not well established…now…but after six months working with you, they may become well established.

So, for me, it’s somewhat of a toss up. It’s good to delve into this area, but don’t make it a deal breaker.



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 About the Diamond In the Rough?

Diamond in the rough?

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Ed comes in to interview for an important position and you can’t believe it. He looks and acts like he doesn’t care whatsoever if he gets the job or not.

He’s wearing a T-Shirt and frayed jeans, his hair isn’t combed and you’re not sure, but you think that’s ketchup on his chin.

His greasy hand slides right out of the handshake and just when you’re wondering when he last had a shower, the first thing out of his mouth is “Whassup?”

You can probably guess where we’re going with this tip. Your first and overriding impulse is to thank him for coming in and then show him the door.

But what if…just what if this guy is a diamond in the rough? What if Ed is a fabulous producer, gets along great with others and could be a huge asset for you?

Yes, I realize that’s a pretty big “what if” — but, every blue moon someone like Ed might very well show up. Their poor appearance and lackluster attitude give you little to no reason to want to hire them.

But what if…

What if you have an inkling that the person in front of you — despite all appearances to the contrary — may be a great hire. What if you get this “sixth sense” about him?

If you get this inkling about someone you normally wouldn’t hire 99 out of 100 times, I have a suggestion for you. Look this person in the eyes and say:

“You know, Ed. I’m kind of put off by your entire presentation here. Your appearance and behavior communicate to me that getting this job isn’t important to you. So, let me ask you: with this many strikes against you, why should I hire you?”

And sit back and give Ed a shot at convincing you he’s your guy.

If his pitch is compelling, ask him to explain his appearance and behavior, providing, of course, he shares your awareness that both were seriously lacking.

All in all, if a candidate shows up disheveled and uninspired, it’s likely he won’t care too much when he’s ‘on the job.’

But that diamond in the rough may be out there and he may end up sitting across from you. If that happens and you want to be sure you’re not discarding a potential asset, then ask very direct questions along the lines of the above and you may be able to ferret out who Ed really is.



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.


To Go With Your “Gut” Or Not

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Yes, those who have read a bit of Shakespeare will recall his famous line: “To Be or Not To Be.”

And of course, here we’re referring to your “gut instincts” about someone you are interviewing. How much weight do you put on your gut instinct when making a hiring decision?

Our clients put it this way:

“Well, I do make decisions based on my gut instincts and most of the time it works out. I get just the person I’m looking for.

“However, there are times when I go with my gut and it was a fiasco.”

A couple of earlier tips discussed this fascinating phenomenon of making a decision based on your instincts.

My views now are the same as before. I would never discount your ability to make a hiring decision — or really any decision in life — based on your gut feeling or your intuition.

But I’m sure you also want to reduce the number of bad hires that sometimes result from this.

Our entire focus with hiring goes like this:

The more you know about someone BEFORE you hire them the better your hiring decision will be.

We help you do that with these four tools:

1) These Hiring Tips (subscribe to the newsletter)

2) The Hiring Tips podcast

3) The Hiring Tips book

3) Our employee testing service

Now that I’ve gotten that shameless plug out of the way, my advice is to do your best to find out as much as you can about a candidate before you make that hiring decision.

When you do that, you may find your gut instincts coming through for you more and more often.



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.


Have Them Turn The Tables On You

hiring interview

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In many cases, anywhere from 90 to 100% of the hiring interview focuses on asking the applicant questions.

The good interviewers will allow the applicant to ask a few questions as well.

But what if we turned the tables here and insisted the applicant ask a lot of questions.

“Robert, I’ve asked you a number of questions here and I appreciate your answers. Now, I’d like you to ask me three questions. Anything you like.”

Or you could make that five questions you want from the applicant.

I realize it’s a bit of an arbitrary number — three or five or really any other number — but the idea here is to get Robert to ask away. And giving him a specified number of questions should help.

Why are we making this request — or some might say, this demand — on Robert?

Well, what Robert asks could be very revealing.

It could tell us how much homework Robert did on your company. Did he do a superficial study or did he really dig in?

It could tell us how willing Robert is to be candid right up front. If he asks about the contents of your vending machine, that’s not quite the same as asking if you feel your company is fulfilling its purpose in the community.

Robert’s questions might also tell you how long Robert envisions being a part of your company.

One of the key reasons, if not the key reason, for the hiring interview is to gain real insights into your applicant.

How many times have you interviewed someone and felt you had a good grasp on how they were going to work out…and then a short time down the road, this person was no longer with you?

Well, asking your applicant to turn the tables on you could be one good way of gaining these important insights.

Let’s just give the applicant a nice push to ask away.



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 Does A Company Owe Its Employees?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

I’m reading an excellent eBook entitled “From Q&A to Z, the Hiring Manager’s Complete Interviewing Guide.” Inside are a number of excellent hiring tips.

You might ask, why would I promote a competitor’s product here?

Well, it’s a big world, and I imagine my company’s clients and prospective clients can benefit from quality information from more than one source.

Here’s the link to this eBook. When I tried the link just now, it wasn’t working, but I believe that’s a temporary issue. If you’re not able to access the eBook from the link, send me a message here and I’ll forward you the eBook directly.

From this eBook, I noticed an intriguing question you could ask your applicants:

“What does a company owe its employees?”

The answers you get are likely to be all over the spectrum.

Some may say they expect a great deal from the company and you may get a long list of specific items the applicant believes they are owed.

Others may tell you the company simply owes them a proper monetary exchange and that the APPLICANT wants to perform at a high level and demonstrate their value to the company before additional exchange is considered.

Between those two views will be a variety of responses.

And I’m sure your personal view of what your company “owes” your employees will influence how you interpret the responses you get.

All things considered, your applicant’s answers will tell you a great deal about their future expectations with you.

Then of course it comes down to whether you feel you can meet those expectations.



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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