Are Mo, Larry, And Curly Doing Your Hiring?

I’m serious.

Let’s get real, have you ever hired someone you knew little about for a job you knew less about? It happens to all of us.

I started my own company for the first time when I was 29 years old. I had a pre-teenager, a young son, and a new baby due any day.

The company I was with was shutting down, literally, that night. The girls and I took our stuff and needed a place to go, FAST. I had no operations experience, no management experience, no finance, no marketing, and certainly no technology experience. I had no operational infrastructure, organizational design or business plan.

We had a couple desks, a phone, and a hard floor. Failure was not an option, as I was the breadwinner.

Our first year we did $1,000,000.00 in sales, we had a temp division and a direct hire team. As I began to think about growing, I started to hire. I hired people who reminded me of me. Imagine that? In one year I hired 35 people. All failed, were fired, quit, or stayed far….far too long.

I was a producer and I knew how to make the donuts, fry them up in a pan, serve seconds, and then make more donuts. I did this over and over again for over a decade. It was who I was.

When the Pinnacle Society accepted my application I was flabbergasted.

My billing status was a pretty big deal. I was good at this job. So the technician became a business owner, not out of a carefully designed plan, out of survival.

The bottom line is in 10 years I spun through over 100 people. Some commission, some not. When I spoke to other business owners in the staffing and recruitment industry, I was told this is what we get; our industry has an extremely high turnover, deal with it.

My paradigm for the staffing industry was developed on my first job. I was brought up in a company that hired 10 people per month and if one was left at the end of the year, that was a victory. The difference between them and me was that they had a person whose only job was to hire, train, and churn people. I was the biller, owner, sales rep, recruiting manager, HR, and the so-called trainer.

Given my strong willed personality and insatiable appetite to get better, I knew I had to change, so I went to my Vistage chair (formerly known as TEC).

Mike Donahoe sat me down and we looked at what the high turnover, poor hiring practices and mediocre on boarding was costing me. I knew it was costing me money, I never considered it was costing me time with my kids, happiness and fulfillment.

That meeting changed my life.

My coach had me take the income I earned in one year and divide it by the amount of hours in a work week. Then he had me research how long each hire was with me, and the amount of my time was spent training, coaching, fixing, correcting, answering questions and un-ruffling feathers. Then he worked with me to figure out the cost to the organization in terms of lost sales, unhappy customers, unfilled orders.

Then he had me take a calculator to it. The impact was astounding.

It was then, the fall of 2002; I chose to become a Manager. I chose to be a business leader that is effective at hiring and selecting employees, managing performance, on-boarding, compensation, employee engagement and retention. Choosing was just the beginning; I then had to learn how. It did not happen right away, it took a ton of work.

However, when I finally got it, I got it.

Before I knew it, Alliance HR Network (my previous company) was training our customer’s HR departments, Corporate Recruiters, and their front-line Chicago area managers how to hire, onboard, and manage their new employees. The better I got, the better they got.

When we surveyed our customers they told us they would like to see us offer more ‘people consulting’ services, such as performance management, hiring process training, human resource consulting, new hire selection, employee on boarding, employee retention and succession planning consulting for the people we placed and some of their key players. Our first projects were about installing effective hiring processes for growing companies.

In companies where the hiring process used to be a game of golf and a shot of Jack, they upgraded to using psychometric assessment tools in addition to an M interview and a behavioral interview to evaluate candidates. In Chicago area technology start ups, where normally a skill on a resume gets an interview, they upgraded their hiring process to glean the right behaviors, competencies and emotional intelligence required by the role. Skills are a given, they wanted more than skill from their technical consultants, they wanted to achieve corporate effectiveness through each and every hire.

Since those early days I have worked with many companies on different variations of our service offerings from Recruitment Process in Sourcing, RPI to Employee Retention consulting.

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More often than not, we are bringing our recruitment, hiring, employee selection, and onboarding knowledge and processes to companies that have little or no internal Recruitment and Talent Management infrastructure.

I find it interesting, funny, and amazing that most companies do not put more of a strategic emphasis on who they hire. The ones who do have sky rocketed in sales, in innovation, in service and in customer retention. The ones who don’t, well maybe that is one of the reasons they fade away.

Progressive, hiring savvy companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Enterprise Leasing, etc. do a very good job of following a hiring process, but most of the rest, from the perspective of over two thousand corporate recruiters and executive search consultants, don’t even come close. They treat hiring like a crapshoot or a collaborative popularity contest.

My question to a CEO of a growing organization is, “Why would you have a C player interviewing potential candidates?”

I have heard jokes cracked that Mo, Larry, and Curly led the interview in unison.

People who have never been trained in interviewing, who don’t fundamentally understand people or the role asking route questions, thinking about how much “other” work they have to do, and resenting ever minute of it.

No wonder my first sales coach, Tom, used to say: “The biggest problem with sales departments is the manager who does not know how to identify true sales people. They thought they hired John Wayne only to find out it was Woody Allen.”

I can’t tell you how many times I interview a company that hired the wrong person; he or she failed in the role because they hired from the hip and not the head.

I see that type of behavior, specifically in sales recruiting; the candidate shows up and looks strong, only to stop short of the finish line. The company, or the hiring manager, bought the shiny penny, the creative communication, and the glamour of having “the name” on the team.

If it is our job to run a profitable company, one that delivers excellent service, then it’s also our job to run an operationally efficient company.

Bad hires, people who miss the mark, people who are not aligned with the mission and vision, people who lack the work ethic and passion to get it done — they all lead to operational inefficiency and high cost.

Remember:

  • We cannot compete with high overhead and operational waste.
  • We cannot compete with average sales people.
  • We cannot compete with inefficient people, systems, or tools.
  • We cannot compete without the right people, in the right roles, doing the right things, in the right way.

If your company carefully vets its investments of time, money, and resources and your people are your largest, then it’s time for a change.

It’s time to choose wisely.

Magi Graziano, as seen on NBC, is the CEO of Conscious Hiring® and Development, a speaker, employee recruitment and engagement expert and author of The Wealth of Talent. Through her expansive knowledge and captivating presentations, Magi provides her customers with actionable, practical ideas to maximize their effectiveness and ability to create high-performing teams. With more than 20 years’ experience as a top producer in the Recruitment and Search industry, she empowers and enables leaders to bring transformational thinking to the day-to-day operation. For more information on Magi please visit www.KeenAlignment.com.    

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3 Comments on “Are Mo, Larry, And Curly Doing Your Hiring?

  1. Thank you for another excellent article. It seems there may be a word or a few words missing in the last few sentences? Just trying to help.

    It is amazing how often the hiring process, critical to an organzations success, is….a crapshoot, left to chance. It amazes me that organizations can survive for long that way. And some do/many of them Local/State/or National governmental units/although…I think the “bird” is coming home to roost/what with the pensions/benefits promised et.al.

    There is much room for improvement. Glad to know that you are helping to make things better. Problem is, those who need the most help often perceive that they cannot afford the help, or worse, don’t need the help.

  2. I agree with you 100%. My last position finally wrapped it up for me after 20 years in the business. It was my dream job. This company had never really had a recruiting program built for them before and I had it laid out perfectly. Had the leadership buyin that was needed. I did phase 1 interviews for corporate culture, making sure they had the key ingredients they senior management wanted. Hiring mangers were uncharged of technical interviews. I was new to the company and asked upper management to keep an open mind to changes to the process based on what developed in the interview process. When I saw them kicking out qualiied candidates for ones they “got along with” better or “wouldn’t try to express thier own ideas” I politely lost my mind. I understood right away we needed to come up with a way to train them to have better interviewing skills but also make upper management understand that we have a bigger problem than I thought. When we regulated the yearly reviews things got even weirder. After the first year I finally asked if we could do a 360 review to see what going on within the departments that we may not know and the proverbial shit hit th fan. The same 2 managers that I was having suspicions about thier hiring techniques had also been discriminating against thier 3 female employees removing certain engineers from projects but leaving thief names on reports and billing petty cash expenses against them. HRhadbto do a complete investigation on them. After all is said and done nothing changed, they continued thier way of hiring, petty cash was removed from the project site since the records could by be maintained accurately and business went on as usual. I was requested to continue to try to keep finding candidates for this hiring manager. His emails became rude, he stopped answering my calls letting them go to voicemail and replying to them by voicemail or having one of his leads return my call. 6 months later I injured myself deep sea fishing and had to have the first of several shoulder surgeries. I decided to resign, told them medical reasons, mostly mental:)

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