Top 3 Tips for Hiring + Mentoring An Ideal Team Player Jan25

Top 3 Tips for Hiring + Mentoring An Ideal Team Player

Last week, we reviewed the three must-haves of any team player, following the essential virtues – Humble, Hungry and Smart – laid out in Patrick Lencioni’s new book, The Ideal Team Player. This post is all about putting those virtues into action – in interviews, staff assessments and team development. Most of our clients already know they want a team player: They ask for leaders – people capable of motivating, inspiring and managing others. They talk about culture – the values, traditions and even emotions that fuel their work. They bring up all the times they definitely did NOT hire a team player (often, painful). But even though they know they’re looking for that “ideal” person, they aren’t exactly sure how and where to identify them. And even with the three virtues memorized, it’s difficult – in the day-to-day realities of HR processes, meetings and deliverables  – to dial-into what truly makes someone “hungry, humble and smart.”   “The cost of hiring a non-team player is lost productivity, downward pressure on the team’s results-and the misery of working with the person.” – Patrick Lencioni That’s where expert recruiters come in. Here are some of the techniques we use to smoke out the pretenders in interviews. We think these same tactics also apply to performance reviews, one-on-one’s and conflict resolution – and personal development, too.    Stay Nimble Recruiters are skilled at the gentle-judo often required to “get real” in interviews. Candidates with large egos (#yuge, even) can present as powerful, capable and extremely confident. When you get the feeling #AlternativeFacts are being presented, a slight adjustment or change of tack in the conversation can help de-stabilize the “only hungry” and reveal their troubling lack of humility. Stop asking hypothetical questions (i.e. how would you...

Three Interview Blindspots You Need To Know About Dec08

Three Interview Blindspots You Need To Know About

Mirror Mirror on the wall – who is the fairest of them all? When it comes to interviewing candidates, being fair should be the top requirement of every hiring manager’s list. The expectation is that each candidate is assessed solely on their credentials and experiences. Although this is the expectation, it is not necessarily what is happening behind the scenes… … truth is – we are human. And, being human means we have blind spots; areas of being and acting and feeling and interviewing that we cannot see. This blog is to help you — the reader, the interviewer, the human — uncover and make aware of 3 important interview biases . Once you can spot them, you can acknowledge and recognize when it is happening. This will allow you to make more informed decisions when looking for the ideal candidate, and will enable you to truly be the fairest of them all.   1. Similarity-Attraction Bias AKA the “I like you because you are like me” bias. The saying that “opposites attract” could be true, but with the underlying tones of the similarity-attraction bias, it is very rare that we will give this opposite person a chance – especially in the workplace. There’s an internal magnetic attraction when we interact with somebody like ourselves. We have a particular bias that causes us to be attracted to people that are like us: extroverts are attracted extroverts, marketers like marketers, GoT fans pull in other GoT fans. It makes relating to one another far easier and can help us create common ground. That said, with all of its good intentions, it can put quite the hook in the hiring process. When we are drawn to people who are like us, we start hiring on grounds of “I...

How to Reel in Interview Rambling in 3 Easy Steps Nov01

How to Reel in Interview Rambling in 3 Easy Steps

Of all the deadly job interview sins, rambling is one of the worst. An HR Manager recently confided to me this about a candidate: He looked great on paper, but in-person he wouldn’t stop talking. I felt like I needed reins. As Matt Youngquist writes in his article on Interview Rambling, “Many candidates talk until they run out of steam or eventually just trail off to the point at which the interviewer decides to interrupt them. This is not ideal, as you might imagine.” Chalk it up to nerves? I’m not so sure. Feeling on-the-spot is one thing, but I’d credit most interview rambling to a simple lack of candidate preparation. As the interviewer, I want to see a candidate’s top performance, not their first rehearsal. After a first meeting, I tend to remember not just what a candidate said but how they made me feel. Was I intrigued? Was I annoyed? Did I feel my time and my questions were valued? Was I comfortable? Unfocused, long-winded talking can kill the sense that a two-way conversation is happening. It can also make a candidates seem unorganized, unsure of his/her self and unable to cope with pressure. And, frankly, it can be boring. Here’s how to pull back on interview rambling and make every word count: 1. Start in a Good Place Glassdoor.com recommends you take some time pre-interview to get happy and confident about who you are as a candidate – especially as it correlates to the job in question. Ask yourself: Why are you a great fit for the job? Do you have exemplary and compelling stories to relate about your career? Are you excited about you? Luckily, interview questions themselves are highly predictable – or at least the overarching themes are (prove leadership; prove likability; prove experience). Career...

Questions To Ask In An Interview That Will Increase Your Chances Of Getting Hired Oct27

Questions To Ask In An Interview That Will Increase Your Chances Of Getting Hired

Research demonstrates that an interview is either won or lost based on two essential ingredients. When combined, these ingredients undoubtedly result in interview success. What are these essentials? 1) Confidence and 2) Enthusiasm. The challenge with both of these ‘additives?’ If they are not applied in appropriate measure they can become too concentrated and in some cases, may even become lethal. Truth be told, both walk a fine line: confidence can easily become arrogance and (over) enthusiasm may be interpreted as desperation. One of the best ways to bring these two ingredients to the table without going overboard is to ‘pepper’ them throughout the interview by asking smart, savvy, and well-timed questions. One of the most common pieces of positive post-interview feedback we receive is that interviewers were impressed with the quality of thoughtful questions posed by the interviewee. Conversely, when we receive feedback that the interviewee “did not have any questions for us,” it’s often a deal breaker.  Gone are the days of generic interview questions like ‘how do you define success in this role’?  To actively demonstrate both confidence and enthusiasm you want to ensure you ‘attach’ yourself to the job in question. Meaning, you want to demonstrate that you can envision yourself in the job and establish how you will thoughtfully approach the role (and its mandate).  Asking astute, tailored (vs. generic) questions allows your interviewer to travel with you as you exhibit how you would tackle the role once it is awarded to you. Here are a few tips how to craft questions that demonstrate competencies: Research your interviewer and ask them specific questions about their career-path and how they have landed at the company and why they chose to sign on. Ask your interviewer questions around what projects they currently...

One Profile You Need To Have On Your Sales Team Oct14

One Profile You Need To Have On Your Sales Team

We celebrate them at the Olympics, we cheer them on in university stadiums and we go wild when “our team” wins the fill-in-the-blank Cup. Turns out there is more to dribbling a ball down a court, or spiralling a ball down a field, than once assumed. Behind the entertainment factor, athletes are some of the hardest working individuals around. They’re not simply on the court/rink/field for a few hours, rather they are training 24/7. Whether they’re weightlifting, dieting, practicing or meditating – athletes are constantly grinding to perform better and be the best versions of themselves. So what does this have to do with sales? We’re not saying go out and recruit Lebron James as your newest account manager (which would be cool if you did!) but athletes make for excellent sales potential. Athletes develop mental toughness, a hard work ethic and the endurance needed to succeed; all of which are relevant when it comes to a career in sales. If you are staring at a resume with university athletics or pro league experience, give it a second look. The transferable skills learned in the gym or on the court are almost innumerable, but here are a few of them:   1. Team Players Looking for people who cooperate to achieve a higher purpose, even though they realize they might not get along with everyone along the way? Welcome to an athlete’s world. They know how to put aside personal feelings and put the team above themselves. They truly know what it means to take one for the team and put in the extra effort to make things work.   2. Goal-Oriented This one needs no further explanation. Who better goal-oriented than athletes? This is literally what they live for, and they understand the...

How To Hire Proven #StandApart Marketers Oct06

How To Hire Proven #StandApart Marketers

At Smart Savvy, we’ve interviewed a lot of people over our 10 years (6000+). We maintain: no one has the potential to pull the wool over your eyes like a marketer. When we evaluate candidates, we adhere to the 20-60-20 rule. In the workplace there is generally a top 20%, a middle 60% and, unfortunately, a bottom 20%. With each interview, we are always looking to identify individuals who fall squarely within the top 20% of their field. Those who truly #StandApart. When meeting with candidates, look beyond first impressions (the leading cause of hiring blunders) by performing a ‘deep dive’ through their career (scuba vs. snorkel). For the bulk of our interviewing, we focus squarely on contribution and results. Look for evidence of growth and professional proof to support claims of greatness. When you spot a pattern of concrete, quantifiable accomplishments, you will know that you are zeroing in on a #StandApart candidate. Midway through our interviews, we reach a section that we often refer to as “The Humbling”.  At this stage we ask two questions: What have you done that has had the most dramatic impact on your employer’s bottom line — Specifically, what have you done that has increased revenue, streamlined efficiencies or decreased expenses for your employer(s)? What have you done (throughout your career) that would cause you to #StandApart from other candidates who will be applying for similar roles? Inevitably interviewees slip into describing the character traits that differentiate them from the pack. Although we are keen to learn who people are, at this stage of the interview we must remain focused on what they have done. You’d be surprised at how many ‘marketers’ have a difficult time articulating (much less quantifying) their contributions. Here are a few signs...

How To Effectively Read A Resume Sep14

How To Effectively Read A Resume

So you have a pile of resumes on your desk — wait, scratch that, this is 2016. So you have an inbox with hundreds of unread emails, and they’re all from candidates interested in working for  your  organization. Cover letters, resumes, portfolios. How will you know if they’re a fit for your position and your organization overall? Here’s how to read between the lines, interpret off the paper, and effectively understand a person’s resume: Don’t Jump To Conclusions Resumes are a story. It is easy to read what’s there and harder to uncover what’s not. Encourage yourself to DIG DEEPER! Gaps between positions and/or career trails don’t always make sense. Don’t let this scare you. There’s almost always a reasonable explanation; consider contract work (the candidate may not have stated this on his/her resume); a Master’s degree (blank space in career may be a forward-move in education/skills); or an illness (people get sick – they also get better). Give the candidate the benefit of the doubt to avoid the assumption that it was because the candidate was an unwanted commodity on the job market. Know Your Companies There should be a part of your brain marked “Glassdoor,” filled with reputations and reviews of the companies in your city and your space — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Before a candidate says “YES” they hopefully have done research themselves on your company. Knowing where a candidate chooses to work will help you better understand how selective they have been and will also give you a window into the types of cultures and companies they work well in. Look for patterns and allow for one-offs. How Important Is Progression? Career progression should be high on your “should-haves” list. You want to see clear advancement; someone who is climbing upwards either within the same...

Using Psychometric Tests During The Hiring Process Sep01

Using Psychometric Tests During The Hiring Process

How would you describe your hiring process? Intuitive? Personal? Subjective? What about technical or scientific?  The next time you hire, you may want to consider getting to know your candidate from a new perspective by inviting them to take a personality or aptitude test. More and more, the recruitment industry and HR departments are looking to data to help legitimize the hiring process through talent measurement tools called ‘psychometrics.’   WHAT Some of these tests have gained notoriety over the years, such as personality test Myers-Briggs which ranks individuals on four distinct areas (but is actually not recommended for hiring purposes). Others, such as the Birkman (a must-do for internal employees at Smart Savvy) assesses both personality and behaviour, and gives a comprehensive overview of how you work and where your career strengths are. There’s also the Kolbe, DISC, EQ-i, and StrengthsFinder (which we’re hosting a LeaderLounge session on in September, if you’ve ever wondered how to put your strengths into play in the workforce.)    WHEN Hiring managers and recruitment firms use psychometric tests varyingly. You may encounter them: After an initial resume screening (this method helps recruiters and HR managers weed through piles of resumes before moving forward to in-person interviews) As part of the interview process (either used in the decision-making process or used not for selection but rather simply to facilitate discussion) In the final stages of candidate deliberation (to truly assess one candidate against another and seek further evidence of personality traits or strengths that were not satisfied in conversation).   WHY Some believe that psychometrics can be used to add to the candidate experience and ensure that how they’re treated during the hiring process is nothing but fair. Rather than making gut instinct decisions, decisions become founded on test results and concrete information afforded by the candidate themselves. These tests also save the...

The Most Common Mistakes Hiring Managers Make Aug15

The Most Common Mistakes Hiring Managers Make

Do you talk more than a job candidate during an interview? Do you hire carbon copies of yourself and end up with a team of people just like you? Do you hire solely for cultural fit rather than skill set? We’ve seen it all before: Well-intentioned hires that become quick mistakes.  In this video, Horizon Recruitment interviews 3 industry experts on hiring (including our own Peter Reek #humblebrag, as well as Warren Smith of The Counsel Network, and Feras Elkhalil of IQ/IT Tech Recruiters) and where the gaps lay between HR and the job candidate. With many years of acquired knowledge, we lay out common mistakes that we’ve seen in hiring, and how to put a better foot forward in terms of interviewing and hiring. Anyone (and we mean anyone) involved in HR, hiring, or the onboarding process, should see this video.   [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PP64jF5mmw[/embedyt]   Here are a few Sparksnotes for you from the video itself if you’re not a Youtube person.  Common Mistakes Made By HR Managers: The “I’ll know it when I see it” mistake. Know what you’re looking for before starting out on an interviewing spree. The tyranny of the urgent error. The urgent things of the day get your attention but the important things get put to the bottom of the list. Make hiring a priority and talk to your clients or candidates before 4:30 pm in the day.  Hiring people similar to yourself. Good teams need complementary skill sets and diversity in order to be a stronger collective.  Common Mistakes During The Interview: The one-sided mistake. You’re not there for airtime, you are there to facilitate a conversation and learn as much as possible about the job candidate. They are evaluating you as much as you’re evaluating them.  Lack of preparation. Know what you’re looking...

How To Spot A Future Sales Maven Aug03

How To Spot A Future Sales Maven

Grit. Resilience. Drive. Three words that separate the hunters from the gatherers. Three qualities that separate the gold medal from the participation ribbon. We all want to hire candidates that embody each of these qualities, but how can you spot your next sales guru? We all want to see those three things on a resume and in an interview, but how can you be sure your candidate is a walking version of the job description? Here are a few key ingredients to look for when making your next sales hire. Relationship Builder Bottom line: people don’t want to be sold a product. They want to be sold an experience, and only people can offer that. Developing strong, consultative relationships with clients in order to find solutions to their business problems is how one #wins at sales. Ask yourself: what is their network like? How many connections do they have on LinkedIn – and real life? How natural are they around people? Candidates with strong relationship building skills and a focus on making a difference rather than a dollar are key to look for. Coachability Hire athletes and train them into salespeople. Athletes are used to being coached, living off of feedback, and trying again and again until they get it. A willingness to learn is an important quality to look for in any hire – so if you find driven individuals that are open to feedback and personal development, do your best to pursue them and get them on YOUR team (not someone else’s). Ensure your recruiters use sports search terms when recruiting for sales positions; you won’t regret it. Initiative Seek out go-getters. Plain and simple – find people that make it happen, rather than wait for it to happen. Look for candidates...