Friday, March 11, 2011 · 6:13pm ET


Posted by: Harold Byne

Being a hockey fan, one of the intriguing, fun experiences during the latter part of February is watching as the drama of the NHL trade deadline unfolds. The teams in the hunt for the coveted Stanley Cup, are trying to find that one player that will make the difference in their run for victory. Those out of the championship race are seeking to unload salary and personnel that do not fit into their long range plans. It is a lot like the challenge you face in business as you try to build the right team for achieving your business vision.

One of my human resource offerings is providing my clients with hiring support. The INTEG Pre-hire Process provides an outside perspective, and is a valuable resource for the hiring process.

There are some things about hiring new personnel that present some significant challenges. The challenge is represented by some of the comments I have heard from clients over the years … “It is so hard to find good people” … “I thought I had found the right person, boy was I wrong” … “He may be a good person, but he is definitely not right for the team” … “I wish there was some fool-proof system that was guaranteed to work” … “The whole interview process is a crap shoot … there are too many critical questions you can’t ask”. It is indeed a major challenge to find the right people.

It occurs to me that with the economy moving in a positive direction that you may be in the hiring mode either now or in the near future. I thought I would like to share some of my philosophy on hiring.

1. Everyone has a story, and your job is to get the story. Everyone that sits across from you during an interview brings to that room their unique story. It is in learning their story that you will be able to qualify them. The big mistake I see business owners and manager’s making is they talk too much instead of getting the story. They are so busy telling the person what they want or what the company is all about, that they fail to get the person’s story, wherein lies all the critical information. So get the story.
2. The story doesn’t lie. Most people come to an interview trying to figure out what answers you are looking for, and they will feed you those answers. You have to get the person off that mode and into telling you their story, and if you do, you will learn amazing things. Recently I got the story of a person who when she was a child, her parents were told she would never talk. I got an amazing story of dedication, drive and resiliance. As I asked more and more questions about her story, I knew I would want this person on my team, and that she was a fit for my client. A person’s story provides the truth about the person.
3. When people tell their story, they will often answer the questions you can’t ask. We all know there are some questions that it is not permissable to ask in a pre-hire interview. When you think about those questions, they are all key parts of the person’s story, and the answers will come out as their stories unfold. Central to a person’s story are the things they hold dear, the things that got them to where they are, the things they want for their life in the future, etc. etc. Get the story and you will get the answers.
4. Building a strong team is bringing two stories together. The critical challenge for bringing new people on to a existing team is making sure the stories fit. Going over my notes after an interview, my first priority is to get a sense of whether or not this person is a fit … with the existing team, with the vision and values of the company, with the leadership, etc. A person is either a fit or he is not, and if not, you can never make them a fit. Often, in our search for a person with the right skill set, we neglect to find out if that person is a fit.
Finding the right people will always be a challenge, maybe your most critical challenge. I believe it is an art, not an exact science. It takes time and involves a process that should never be short circuited. I can help. I have developed an interview processes that can be a valuable resource to you as you seek to build your team. Give me a call, I would love to chat with you about it.

“Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.” – David Ogilvy

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