4 Tips in Hiring Candidates with Grit!

In our ever-constant struggle to find the secret sauce of finding the best talent, many organizations are looking to hire candidates who have grit. What the heck is grit? Candidates who have grit tend to have better resolve, tenacity, and endurance.

Ultimately, executives are looking for employees who will get after it and get stuff done. Employees who aren’t waiting around to be told what to do, but those who will find out what it is we should be doing and go make it happen. Grit.

In tough economic times, our organizations need more employees with grit!

It seems so easy until you sit down in front of a candidate and try and figure out if the person actually has grit or not! You take a look at that guy from 127 Hours, the one who cut his own arm off to save his life. That’s easy, he has grit! Susy, the gal sitting across from you, who went to a great state school, and worked at a Fortune 500 company for five years, it’s hard to tell if she has grit or not!

I haven’t found a grit test on the market, so we get back to being really good at questioning and interviewing to raise our odds we’ll make the right choices for those with grit over those who tell us they have grit but really don’t!

When questioning candidates about their grit, focus on these four things:

  1. Passion. People with grit are passionate about something. I always feel that if someone has passion it’s way easier to get them to be passionate about my business and my industry. If they don’t have a true passion for anything, it’s hard to get them passionate about my organization.
  2. Doer. When they tell you what they’re passionate about, are they backing it up by actually doing something with it? I can’t tell you how many times I’ll ask someone what their passion is and then ask them how they’re pursuing their passion and they’ve done nothing!
  3. What matters to them. Different from a passion, you need to find out what matters to these people in a work setting. Candidates with grit will answer this precisely and quickly. Others will search for an answer and feel you out for what you’re looking for. I want a workplace that allows me to… the rest doesn’t matter, they know, many have no idea.
  4. Hope. To have grit, to be able to keep going when the going gets tough, you must have hope that things will work out. The glass might be half full or half empty, it doesn’t matter, because if I have a glass, I’ll find something to put in it!

I’ve said this often, but I believe individuals can acquire grit by going through bad work situations. We tend to want to hire perfect unscarred candidates from the best brands who haven’t had to show if they have grit or not.

I love those candidates with battle wounds and scars from companies that were falling apart but didn’t. I know those people had to have the grit to make it out alive!  I want those employees by my side when we go to battle.

Should Corporate Recruiters Get Paid Salary & Commission?

First, shoutout to @Hervbird21 (Recruister) on Twitter for starting this conversation (Editor’s Note: Hervbird21 I don’t know who you are but send me a note and I’ll share your LinkedIn if you’d like) Also, take a look at the Twitter thread as there are some exceptional recruiting thought leaders who had thoughts on this subject.

Link to the thread

I’ve written about this a number of times over the years, but with the recruiting market being so hot right now, I’ve actually had a number of Recruiter compensation calls with corporate TA leaders trying to figure out three main things: 1. How do we retain our recruiters; 2. How do I attract more recruiters; 3. How do we reward great recruiting performance?

First, I’m all in on the fact that recruiters should be paid in a pay-for-performance model. That doesn’t mean that corporate recruiters, agency recruiters, and RPO should all be paid the same way. All three of those roles are different and should be compensated based on what the organization needs from each recruiter.

Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Performance Pay for Corporate Recruiters

Pros:

  • You get more of what you measure and more of what you reward.
  • Your best recruiters will be compensated more, and higher compensation is tied to longer tenure.
  • Low performers and internal recruiters who actually hate recruiting will hate it and self-select out.
  • It will most likely raise individual recruiting team member performance in the aggregate.

Cons:

  • You will most likely have turnover with this type of change
  • Potentially, you could get behaviors that aren’t team-oriented. (IE., senior recruiters not helping junior recruiters)
  • Potentially, you could lower your quality of candidates as recruiters move quickly to gain performance comp. (the quantity over quality argument)
  • It actually might increase your compensation budget, initially, until you can find the model that is most effective.

Okay, wait, why did I say “potentially” on the Cons? Primarily, because it truly depends on the model design. Just making a decision to pay more for hires is ridiculous and leads to bad outcomes. But, developing a model that rewards individual performance that is based on recruiting behaviors that lead to better hires, quickly, and in a team setting, well, now you diminish the negative outcomes of pay for performance.

How could we make pay for performance work for corporate recruiters?

I’m not trying to dump on all the folks who commented on “Quarterly Bonuses” but stop that! “Quarterly Bonus” really means, “I don’t want to be individually measured and held accountable, but I also want more money on top of my great base salary”. Quarterly bonuses in most corp TA shops are a joke. They are usually based on Hiring Manager satisfaction and days to fill, two of the most subject measures that have zero correlation to better recruiting.

Also, internal recruiting pay for performance is not just a modified agency or RPO model. Corporate recruiters do much more than just recruit in most TA departments, so if you reward them to just recruit, understand, you’re just standing up an in-house agency model. Your internal recruiting model for corporate has to be unique to the job.

Some thoughts and ideas:

– Spend a bunch of time deciding what you actually want from your recruiters and from your function as a whole. Those two things must be aligned.

– Before going to a pay for performance model you need to get your arms around your recruiting funnel data. Otherwise, you’re just guessing at what and who to reward.

– In most cases, you can’t make the rewards the same because recruiters have different requisition loads and levels of position. Also, in most cases, certain areas of your organization hire at different times. So, get ready to test and be flexible to do the right thing at the right time.

– It’s okay if a recruiter makes more than you think if the model is producing what you want it to produce. Too often I hear from TA leaders that are like, “Jill is making too much!” But, Jill it killing it and the top recruiter.

– If you can’t get your head around paying for hires, pay for the behaviors and activities that lead to more hires.

– Start with a month or quarter test, make sure during the test no one will lose money. The goal is to try and reach some sort of outcome of better performance, to see if it can work. If they are only concerned they might make less money, you won’t truly see what can work or not work.

– It’s not about quality or quantity. It’s about quality and quantity. I’ve never led a recruiting team in a corporate or agency where good recruiters would ever send a crappy candidate on purpose. That just doesn’t happen, normally. If it did, that recruiter didn’t belong on the team.

I don’t believe in recruiting “team” rewards as pay for performance in most cases. Most teams are not designed and measured for “team” performance, so many on the team are getting the reward for a few doing most of the heavy lifting. You can still have team rewards, but you truly have to think about how you reward your most effective recruiters, short and long-term.

I think the ideal ratio for compensation for corporate recruiters should be 75% base salary and 25% pay for performance, where your best top recruiters can make 125% of their normal total comp if they are killing it. As I mentioned above, you will have recruiters quit because you have “recruiters” on your team that didn’t take the job to recruit, but to administer a recruiting process and collect a nice base salary.

Okay, tell me what I missed in the comments or if you have a model that is working you would like to share with everyone!

Mailbag: Can an experienced Recruiter be any good with 378 LinkedIn Connections?

I had a Talent Acquisition Leader reach out to me this week. She is having a hard time hiring recruiters and was looking for some insight. Now, she was looking for more of a professional generalist recruiter. Someone who can hire some hourly, but also corporate positions that include: finance, IT, operations, marketing, etc.

She mentioned she had gotten a resume of a recruiter who had four years of experience, but when she looked her up on LinkedIn, she only had 378 connections. Could this recruiter be any good with so few LinkedIn connections?

The Answer

No.

Okay, before you become unglued, let me explain.

Let’s say this four-year recruiter was only hiring high volume hourly. That would mean this person would never spend time on LinkedIn, since hourly workers, for the most part, do not have profiles on LinkedIn. So, now you’re thinking, “yeah, Tim, LI connections don’t matter for this person so they could be a great recruiter!”

Still, I say no!

Because, for me, a great recruiter builds a network of other recruiters and sourcers to constantly learn from. It basically takes almost no effort or skill to connect with 500 other recruiters, sourcers, HR pros, and your personal network on LinkedIn. Once you get to the 500 mark, no one knows if you have 501 or 30,000.

I challenge my own entry-level recruiters that have no recruiting experience to get to 500 connections as quickly as possible. Within six months, they should be able to do this very easily. So, if you run into a recruiter who is three or four years into their career, and they are under 500, they are showing you that they probably have very little interest in expanding their network and learning from others.

500 LinkedIn connections are like training wheels for a recruiter. I don’t expect every profession to have over 500, but recruiters, sales pros, and people looking for jobs should always have over 500. There’s no reason not to, it’s literally the easiest professional networking available to everyone for free.

Do more LinkedIn connections then equal someone is a better recruiter than another?

No.

But, wait, you just said…

Recruiters, of all types, need to get to 500. After that point, it really becomes more about the quality of the connections that you build. If you just accept every Open Networker on LinkedIn, that network will be full of Life Coaches and Pyramid Scheme sellers!

Great recruiters build networks that help them learn more and recruit better. I would say once you establish a network, you then become much more selective about who you invite and which invites you to accept. Right now, with my network that runs over 20,000, I only accept about 1/3 of the invitation requests I get based on the criteria I want in my network.

I know recruiters that quickly maxed out their LinkedIn networks with garbage and had to go back and scrub their networks, and it’s very time-consuming. But, I also see recruiters who switch industries and skills who do this as well. Your network should grow and change with you based on where you are at in your career.

So, LinkedIn connections matter and they don’t. That’s just reality in today’s world of recruiting. Whether you are recruiting doctors or truck drivers, you should still be using LinkedIn for your own professional development on an ongoing basis.

Top Speed is Overrated in Recruiting!

I have this tendency to get up on a soapbox and tell HR and TA leaders that measuring “Days to Fill” (Time to Fill, Time to Hire, Applicant to Hire, etc.) is a complete waste of time! I do this knowing that this is primarily the main recruiting metric used by the vast majority of organizations. So, I’m kind of calling them dumb, and I don’t like that, because that’s not what I believe!

I find the majority of HR & TA leaders to be hardworking, caring folks who want to do the right thing, but no one is showing them the “right” thing. I mean, I did in my book, but no one wants to read a full book!

Why is speed overrated in recruiting?

First, there is absolutely no correlation between how fast you got someone hired to how good of an employee they will be. Zero! Nil! Naught! None! So, you are measuring something, and telling people is massively important, but it has zero correlation to whether or not you hired someone that will be good for your company.

Awesome! Wow! Let’s hire faster! The faster we can get these walking zombies in here the faster we can fail! Yay! Fail faster! #WinkyFace

Second, I’ll give you that some sort of speed of recruiting metric as correlated to your industry benchmarks might be a good indicator to let you know how well your function is running or not running. Meaning, if your average days to fill is 40 and the industry benchmark is 30, you probably have some work to do. But, if you are at 29 and the benchmark is at 30, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are better at recruiting, just a bit faster.

Third, you can hire too fast. We tend to never think about all the false-positive hiring we do by moving too quickly. If we are rushing our process, we open the door to letting bad hires into the organization. We also open the door to filling roles before we can truly see what’s available in the market. Oh, Timmy is interested, let’s hire him quickly! And then the day after, Mary, applies and she’s much better, but you already hired Timmy.

Fourth, a large portion of the time in a day’s-to-fill metric isn’t even owned and controlled by recruiting. Hiring managers and the candidates themselves, control upwards of 50% of a time metric in any recruiting process.

Why do we focus so much on speed in recruiting?

Because “speed” is something c-suite executives get all excited about. If we are doing it faster, we must be doing it better. Plus, most c-suites think it takes too long to hire, so slower recruiting validates their belief that recruiting is broken. But, 99.99% of c-suites never recruited, so they are stupid. I mean, they are stupid about recruiting!

Because this is the metric we’ve always used to measure recruiting success in our organizations. Throughout the history of recruiting this is the metric that was measured, so this is the one we use. Kind of like how sports used metrics like points per game, and then advanced analytics came out, like plus/minus and now we look at older metrics as rudimentary in describing the performance of athletes.

Because we don’t know a better way to measure how or if we are successful in recruiting in our organizations. This is a tough one because we don’t know what we don’t know. I wish our ATS and recruiting technology vendors would do a better job of measuring and teaching advanced metrics to TA leaders. (Shoutout to vendors like SmartRecruiters, Greenhouse, Gem, and Predictive Hire – they all have some good stuff if you choose to use it.) The reality is, you would make your technology stickier if you did this.

What should recruiting focus on, rather than speed?

You know what’s coming. The funnel dummy!

We have certain actions that lead directly to recruiting success in our organizations if we analyze our recruiting funnels. The recruiting funnel will show you directly individual and team performance. But, let’s set that aside for a second. The funnel will ultimately give your organization the first truth about recruiting it’s ever had, the actual capacity it can rely on in recruiting. Your c-suite is dying to know this, and all you can tell them is, “we’ll work faster and longer and harder”.

Knowing your actual recruiting capacity will set you free and make you look like a genius as compared to every other TA leader that has become before you in your organization.

Cost of hire by source. Source effectiveness. Quality of applicant by Source (No, not the quality of hire, that’s not a TA metric), candidate experience metrics, recruiter experience metrics, etc.

Most shops run a classic 6-3-1 funnel. Meaning, it takes six screened candidates passed onto a hiring manager, who will then choose three of those candidates to interview, and then make an offer to one. If you take the billions of hires done at all organizations each year, it will almost always, on average, fall into a 6-3-1 model. Top of funnel, I.E., how many applicants to find six screened candidates, is a different story. That is dependent on a number of variables.

So, should you stop focusing on speed?

Yes. And, No.

Yes, you should stop focusing on speed if you are in a cycle where this year’s recruiting speed goal was to reduce your days to fill from 37.1 days to 36.8 days. At that point, your speed goal is worthless. You are only incrementally getting faster and you’ll see no real positive outcome from such a small time savings, even at enterprise and a million hires. Yes, I know the math says different at scale, but you are also forgetting the most important part. THERE. IS. NO. CORRELATION. BETWEEN. SPEED. AND. QUALITY. IN. RECRUITING!

No, you should not stop if you know your recruiting is flat-out broken and you are not even in the ballpark from a speed perspective. If it’s taking you 50 days to fill a position that your competition is doing in 25 days, you’re broken, and while speed isn’t the cure to your ills, you’ve got to catch up on the process side of things.

Okay TA Peeps! Tell me I’m wrong in the comments!

Want to be more competitive in this candidate market?

Of course, you do! It’s one of the only things people want to talk about right now. How the heck can we hire more people, our competition is killing us for talent?! Then ten minutes later I talk to their competition and they say the exact same thing!

So, I’m going to tell you what a state government is doing to find talent, and most of you will say you can’t do this! By the way, state governments and federal governments are historically awful at hiring! Like the worse in any industry awful! They put tons of unnecessary rules and processes in place that make it almost impossible to hire, and then to fix it they create more rules and processes!

The State of Maryland, though, just broke ranks in government hiring and announced that they will be dropping educational requirements for many jobs that used to require various degrees!

“As an alternative qualification, Maryland will seek out  “STARs” (Skilled Through Alternative Routes) — those who are “age 25 or older, active in the labor force, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have developed their skills through alternative routes such as community college, apprenticeships, military service, boot camps, and most commonly, on-the-job.”  

Okay, first, as HR pros, can we realize how funny it is that a state government HR office actually named their new hiring process (STARs) when since forever the most popular behavioral interview process is called “STAR”!? Only in government would you see something like this happen! “Hey, we need to come up with a cool/hip acronym for this new program! Let’s call it STARs!? No one has ever used that before in HR!”

Okay, enough making fun of our peers in Maryland, because this idea makes 110% sense and that is completely against the norm in government hiring and it should be celebrated! Also, thank you to all the tech companies that started doing this five years ago and showed big hiring entities, like governments, that education might be the most over-valued criteria in candidate selection!

Seriously, this is big news! If the great state of Maryland can change in such a major way so can your stupid hiring managers who are demanding degrees for positions that actually don’t need them! I mean, we should be screaming this from the highest hills! Someone actually has common sense in Maryland government! That is no small feat, for a government or a company!

If you are finding it super hard to find qualified talent and using degrees as criteria, eliminating this requirement could really open up your candidate pool, and without losing any quality! It’s called having the right skills to do the job, not a random four-year degree that is almost useless for that job you have open.

Don’t take this as I think education is worthless. I don’t! I love people going through formal education. I will force my three sons to get degrees. Yes, I said force. That’s how highly I value education in my household. So, I do not take the elimination of degrees lightly. I also have seen the light in my own company, as I use to require degrees and stopped and found amazingly talented people that were intelligent and had great learning agility and could perform as well or better than similar folks with degrees.

I also will never allow my family to get surgery from someone who doesn’t have a medical degree! Education still matters in many fields, but it also has no correlation to performance in most professions. So, like Maryland, we adjust and try new things. I think Maryland made the right decision and I really like where this trend is heading for so many people!

It’s Harder to be a Corporate Recruiter than an Agency Recruiter, Today!

And in this corner, weighing at 185 and standing 6 feet 1 inch, from Shrimp Taco Capital of the World, Mr. Corporate Recruiter! And in this corner weighing in at, “wait, what? what do you mean she won’t give us her weight?” Weighing in at the same weight she was the day she got married, and standing 5 feet, 6 inches with heels, from City of Night Lights, Ms. Agency Recruiter!

It’s been an argument that is as old as the profession. Who is better? Who has the tougher job? Etc.

For the most part, it’s an easy breakdown. Corporate recruiting folks, on average, do far more inbound recruiting, than outbound recruiting. Agency folks do far more outbound recruiting than inbound recruiting. Corporate folks have way more meetings and politics. Agency folks have to way more ass-kissing, but get to do way more actual recruiting. Corporate folks do way more administering of the recruiting process. Agency folks do way more contacting of candidates.

All that being said…

Corporate Recruiters Have a More Difficult Job, Today!

Why?

Basically, in today’s market of ultra-low unemployment and way too many open jobs, corporate recruiters are put in a no-win, highly stressful situation. Yep, they get paid salary and very little performance pay, but they are being forced to perform right now, so that big salary is really meaningless when your quality of life sucks!

Let’s breakdown all the reasons:

  • Corporate C-suites are pushing their TA teams over the edge. The c-suite thinks their TA teams suck, but really have no data to support it except for all the open jobs. But when you take a look at what those same TA teams did in 2019 vs. today, in almost all cases they are performing better. But, hey, the job isn’t getting done so let’s bash them over the head with extreme pressure.
  • Corporate recruiters can’t go tell a hiring manager who sucks to just f’off. Oh, you want me to find you someone but your JD sucks, you won’t give me feedback, you won’t give me interview times, and you throw me under the bus in board meetings! Agency recruiters won’t tell you to f’off, but they’ll just not work on your awful opening. Espeically right now when 99% of companies have needs and there is always someone better to work with.
  • Corporate recruiters have been conditioned and trained to do mostly inbound recruiting and for decades it’s actually worked okay. That is what made the job so desirable! Oh, hey, I get paid full salary and great benefits and I just have to post jobs and wait for someone to apply!? Yes! Sign me up! Inbound recruiting, by itself, is not working very well right now. Corporate recruiters are being forced to do heavy lifting and work longer hours. All the while, without the tools and training they need to be successful.
  • Corporate TA teams have worked for decades under this notion from our finance team that every year we should be able to reduce our budgets. Than we have a hiring crisis and some dumb corporate Accountant in finance who thinks they know everything says you can have 10% more to “help” out. When in reality you’re probably closer to around 300% underfunded to actually make it work. Agency folks are historically cheap, but they spend money when they can get the business! And they can turn that around over night!
  • This one stings a little, many Corporate Recruiters didn’t actually take the Corporate Recruiting job because they love to recruit. They took it because they love to administer a recruiting process. Those are two very different things, but now they are being forced t recruit. That sucks. If you took a job that you loved and now someone changed that job, that sucks.

All of this leads to the fact that being an Agency Recruiter, today, is a better job than most Corporate Recruiting jobs. Agency Recruiters have far less stress. There is still stress, but not like corporate. Agency recruiters can pick and choose, way more than corporate, on the openings they work and focus on. The commission stress that agency recruiting gets a bad rap for, isn’t really an issue, today, because everyone is so busy.

Do you agree or disagree? Give me your reasons in the comments!

The Most Brilliant Talent Tips Condensed Into Tiny Sentences!

I wrote a book with a lot of words. One I discovered is that people love for you to have a book, but no one really wants to read 60,000 plus words. They want you to break it down to about 500. “Just tell me what I really need to know!”

Okay – Here you go:

  • Always give personal feedback to candidates you’ve interviewed but didn’t hire. 
  • Make every candidate believe you desire them until you don’t. 
  • Job advertising works. Programmatic Job Advertising works best. 
  • You don’t hire the best talent; you hire the best talent that applied to your jobs. 
  • If your team only uses 50% of your ATS, it’s not an ATS problem, it’s an adoption problem. (which means it’s a leadership problem) 
  • Measuring the recruiting funnel will give you far better results than measuring days to fill. 
  • Only hire Sourcers if you truly have recruiters willing to do outbound recruiting. 
  • 90% of your recruiting is inbound recruiting, but your hiring managers believe 50% of what you do is outbound recruiting. 
  • Your diversity hiring woes can be tied specifically to certain hiring managers, but we are too afraid to connect the dots politically. 
  • 99.99% of candidates will never accept a job without first talking to a real person. Call volume, in recruiting, matters. 
  • If your sourcing tech is failing, it’s not a failure of the tech, it’s your recruiters hate doing outbound recruiting. 
  • They key to being a great recruiter is getting someone who doesn’t know you to trust you with their career. 
  • A candidate will always respond to a hiring manager more than a recruiter on average. They’ll respond to the CEO of your company even more than a manager of a function.
  • On average, there are worse selection strategies than hiring the most pretty people you interview.
  • The most underutilized recruiting resource you have is your own database of clients.

What is your favorite tiny piece of talent advice? Put it in the comments, and I use it in my next book which will only be 2,000 words!

You Are No Longer Fit For Duty…in Recruiting!

I’ve been hearing a lot of “Fit-for-duty” stuff in the news lately and it got me thinking. Are any of us really fit for duty for the jobs we have!?

Fit-For-Duty, according to OSHA, means that an individual is in a physical, mental, and emotional state which enables the employee to perform the essential tasks of his or her work assignment in a manner that does not threaten the safety or health of yourself, your co-workers, your company’s property, or the public at large.

That’s a lot, right!? I mean, on a day-to-day basis I might make one or two of three of those, but being physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared each day!? Get out of here!

As recruiters being physically ready probably isn’t our biggest hurdle. I mean, let’s face it, we sit in front of a computer. If we can physically type and make some calls, it’s not the most demanding job from a physical standpoint. Also, mentally, is recruiting really challenging anyone day-to-day? We aren’t trying to figure out how to put puppies on the moon, we are just trying to talk someone into accepting a job we have open.

Are recruiters fit for duty?

The problem is the emotional side of fit for duty. You see, Recruiters face rejection all day, every day. An average recruiter will face more rejection in one week than an ugly, short dude gets on Tinder all year. That’s to say, it’s a lot!

The recruiter also has to constantly placate dumb hiring managers that believe they are way better than they are and that believe they know how to recruit talent better than the recruiters they work with. On top of that, we have the serial repeat candidates who are awful but can’t take “no” for an answer. So, each week we spend hours with candidates whose own mother wouldn’t give them a job, but somehow they believe they should be the next executive VP at our company!

Let’s not forget our HR brothers and sisters who secretly, and not so secretly hate us, because they ain’t us! It’s hard being this sexy, smart, and cool. We get it, but let’s just be friends! And still, somehow we take the blame for our organization’s lack of talent when we have psychopath leaders who turnover people like there’s an endless supply of warm bodies just craving our average pay, average benefits, and average, cold, work location.

Emotionally, there’s no way, most recruiters are fit for duty!

And, yet, we show up, pick up the phones, and keep finding fresh suckers every day to fill the jobs of our organizations.

When is a Recruiter no longer fit for duty?

Here’s the real deal, because, for all the joking above, there is actually a time when a recruiter is no longer fit for duty in your company. The time they are no longer fit for duty is the exact time they stop believing.

That moment when they stop believing your company is a good company.

That moment when they stop believing that the job they are working on is a good job.

The moment when they stop believing that the hiring manager they are working with has the ability to be someone good to work for.

Now, I get it, we all have a bad hiring manager here and there. a bad job here and there, but overall, the majority is good. The moment we no longer believe this is the exact moment you can no longer recruit for your company.

You are no longer fit for duty, because “believing” can’t be faked. It shows up. It shows up in the bad candidates you let go on to the next step. How you sell your company to the world. How you allow a partner to make a bad decision and just walk away.

As a recruiter, you are no longer fit for duty the moment you stop believing. That is the moment you must leave. Maybe not the company, but certainly your job as a recruiter.

I think a lot of CEOs would like to believe this is a fit for duty criteria for every role in their company, but that just isn’t true. I don’t need Ted in IT to believe in the company, I just need to make sure he keeps the network up. Do I want him to believe? Heck, yes! But, I desperately must have my recruiters who believe!

Take a good long look in the mirror today. Are you fit for duty?

What if you allowed anyone in your company to hire?

Let me walk you through a scenario and you tell me what I’m missing.

We all have hiring needs right now. Almost all of us are struggling to fill those needs. We love employee referrals! We also have great employees, doing great work who work with us, that we trust.

What would happen if we went to our employees and said, “Hey, we love you and trust you, so we are going to allow you to hire one person. You have total say in whether this person gets hired. We have a few parameters around HR stuff, drug screen, background check, etc., but the hiring decision is yours”.

You could probably add in some fun parameters like:

  • Here are the positions we have open that you can hire someone for. (IE., you might have some positions you don’t want the run of the mill making hiring decisions on)
  • If your hire fails, you won’t get this chance to hire another person for at least a year, so make it a good one!
  • If your hire succeeds, you will be given the ability to hire another person.
  • Maybe you want to throw some sort of bonus to your folks for successful hires, explain what “success” looks like, etc.

What might happen?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never done it, but I think I would be willing to test it out.

Let’s dig into what we think would mostly happen.

My best guess is you would have some employees who would be like, awesome, I’ve got a friend or family member I think would do a great job, and I’m going to hire them. Yes! Some positions get filled and they have some employee sponsorship that will probably help hold them accountable and be more successful.

You will probably have a few misses. Yeah, I thought Johnny would do well, and since he has a record no one will hire him, but he’s my sister’s kid and I really thought he turned his life around and this was a great chance, but ultimately he’s a loser.

You will probably have some employees who think you are nuts and not serious.

The big question is would you allow this for any positions, or just low/no-skill type of positions? I mean, really, conceptually, it works for any level. If I have a finance position open, and there are certain requirements needed for the job, then it isn’t really that hard to see if the person can conceptually do the job or not with their experience and education. So, it could work for any level job, blue-collar or white-collar.

Does this empower your employees?

Imagine being an individual contributor in your organization and one day you wake up and go to work and you realize you can actually hire someone. I can have that experience of making a life-changing decision for someone else. That seems like it would be pretty powerful!

Do you remember the very first person you ever got to hire? That’s a giant career moment. I tend to think every person you hire is a pretty great career moment, but the first one is big!

I think being able to hire someone would be super empowering and it’s really just a next-level employee referral program. Instead of you just referring someone, just take it few more steps and make it happen!

I tend to look at our current staffing problems with a strong testing mentality. Let’s try a bunch of stuff and see what might work. Most of it won’t work, but we might run into something amazing! Maybe our first test of this concept is to go to a hand-selected group of 10 or 20 employees and give them the first shot. Measure the results, gather feedback, decide if it should be rolled out further or what changes should be made.

All that I know is that early in my career if the CEO came into my cube and said, “Tim, we are going to allow you to hire one person to work here!” I would have taken that assignment very seriously and would have thought that was super cool!

What do you think? Tell me how crazy this is.

6 Signs You Shouldn’t Make That Offer!

If I have learned anything at all in my HR/Recruiting career it’s that everyone has an opinion on what makes a good hire. If you ask 100 people to give you one thing they focus on when deciding between candidates, you’ll get 100 different answers! Especially with today’s difficult hiring event where we are pushed to hire any warm body, don’t!

I’ve got some of my own. They might be slightly different than yours, but I know mine work!  So, if you want to make some better selections, take note my young Padawans:

1. They only have bad things to say about former employers. Notice I didn’t say “employer” singular, because we all can have a bad, toxic work choice we’ve made. Once it gets to multiple, you now own that, turns out you’re bad at knowing what’s good for you! Plus, there is a high correlation between hiring a candidate that bad mouth their former employer and that eventually they’ll be bad-mouthing you as well!

2. Crinkled up money. Male or female if you pull money out of your pocket or purse and it’s crinkled up, you’ll be a bad hire!  There is something fundamentally wrong with people who can’t keep their cash straight. The challenge you have is how do you get a candidate to show you this? Ask to copy their driver’s license or something like that!

3. Slow walkers.  If you don’t have some pep in your step, at least for the interview, you’re going to be dud as an employee. Of course, if the person has a disability, ignore this point!

4. My Last Employer was so Awesome! Yeah, that’s great, we aren’t them. Let’s put a little focus back to what we got going on right here, sparky. Putting too much emphasis on a job you love during the interview is annoying. We get it. It was a good gig. You f’d it up and can’t let go. Now we’ll have to listen about it for the next nine months until we fire you.

5. Complaining or being Rude to front-desk and/or waitstaff. I like taking candidates to lunch or dinner, just to see how they treat other people. I want servant leaders, not assholes, working for me. The meal interview is a great selection tool to weed out bad people. Basically, if you feel comfortable in an interview treating anyone bad, you’re a bad person.

6. Any communication issue where they aren’t apologetic. “Yeah, I know you contacted me five times about the interview, but like, the new game came out and I was like busy and stuff.” Hard no! I don’t need you to respond immediately, but at least have some awareness of the moment! Before you lose your shit, this is for both candidates and recruiters! If a recruiter is bad at communicating with a candidate they should be apologetic as well. Common civility is a bare minimum for an offer!

What are your signs not to make an offer?  Share in the comments!