Week 10 – Blog Post: Most Important Thing You’ve Learned

So, this one is easy for me. The most important thing I’ve learned in this class is that recruiting and hiring isn’t an unstructured, “gut feel” process. It takes structure and protocol and persistence.

Previously, I looked at recruiting and hiring as more of a soft skill process. You network with others; you identify talent in terms of people with institutional knowledge, good skills, or strong potential; you interview these people to see what kind of a fit they would be to the organization and how they would add to the overall value of the group; you extend an offer that seems reasonable but doesn’t upset the current salary too much; and then you convince them why they need to say yes.

However, this approach can have vastly varied results, and the structure presented in the course material – specifically tying the idea of “tests” to validity – as well as the “A Method” described in the book Who, has really shown me that there is a prescriptive method to finding and hiring the very best of the best, which is really what we all are looking for.

I look back at recent recruitment and hires that I have been a part of at my current organizations, and I see very clearly some of the mistakes that happened when we made what ended up being poor decisions. I think back to those key moments and realize if I had the same understand then as I do now, we probably would not have made the same mitsakes.

I have always executed unstructured interviews. I assumed that getting to know the person in a more informal and atmosphere was a better way to assess true talent and fit. I simply figured that I could spot true talent, future success, and fit through my own intuition. What I didn’t realize was that I was not giving myself the best opportunity to truly score the individual by not providing a scorecard to lead the way and a structured interview to get us there.

I am now a big proponent of the screening interview and the structured, in-person interview. These are two tools that I had not used before, but now I totally see how and why they should be utilized in a hiring situation. I now have a much better grasp on how to work through an interview scenario with a potential applicant, and I have much more confidence in the decision making that results from the screening and the structured interviews. I will be trying out these techniques on potential candidates that are coming down the pipeline very soon.