Ask the Experts: Stop Shooting From the Hip

In an ongoing effort to Add Value for you as a Leader, I've been seeking out Experts who have unique talents to ask them for their experiences. This week Doug Wick, a Professional Coach and Business Advisor, shares
some of his thoughts on how you can improve your hiring.

[JDavis] What do you see as the biggest challenge your clients face when they make hiring decisions?

In most cases they're shooting from the hip. Most of them have, at best, a 50/50 chance of someone they hire being the right fit. Not only that, they often don't have any clue to figure out or determine if someone is a solid candidate when they make their final decision. They're simply not confident in their "system" for hiring and, even those companies who who have taken the time to build a "system" aren't sure whether or not it's telling them the right things about people that they're interviewing.

[JDavis] What are the top 2 or 3 recommendations you've made in the past year to your clients on how to improve hiring effectiveness?

1. Embrace and utilize Topgrading. The methodology is terrific.

2. I've built a process to measure and review my clients' hiring "batting average." Through this I've learned to encourage people to look back and reflect on their recent hires and rank "good" and "bad". I had a client who used the Topgrading Methodology but they still missed on a key hire and this reflective activity that I took them through following that mis-hire helped them get a better grasp on what their culture is and how to screen more for cultural fit during the interview process. If you don’t evaluate why you’ve been making mistakes you are bound to repeat the same mistake in the future. The hiring process is often very subjective. Recognizing your mistakes
moves you from making a largely emotional decision to a decision steeped in objectivity with a seasoning of emotion which provides the best hiring outcome.

3. When hiring salespeople, I encourage our clients to use the Objective Management Group's sales screening test. The outcomes [according to OMG research] produce a 96% effective sales hire. From what I've seen, the results do actually match up with those claims. They’re very thorough and accurate. Despite their effectiveness we still recommend doing the Topgrading interview with the candidates the test recommends to make sure their test results and track record match.

[JDavis] How instrumental do you feel regular Strategic Planning is to making the right hiring decisions?

It's important. While it's not as important as employing Topgrading, if a company is doing Strategic Planning they're likely to be more aware of where they are going (and from what I've seen, most companies plan to
improve and grow). With that sense of awareness, they are more cognizant of the need to upgrade their existing staff or add additional staff to achieve their vision. Strategic planning helps companies better understand how important it is to get the right people on the bus because they spend the time understanding their business and its trajectory.

[JDavis] Who are the companies that you've witnessed that have done a great job of hiring the right talent and why?

Ideal Computer Systems (Cedar Rapids, IA) - they have a really solid interviewing process that is based on a step-based interview process that makes people who are candidates go through stages that include really tough interview questions that require someone to prove that they're an "achiever". They also consistently do great reference checks and also ensure that they're always doing background checks on everyone.

Meta Law (Ventura, CA) they had a very long and disappointing process of spending more than 18 months searching for a "successor" to the President of the company. They interviewed local talent and they got discouraged when they didn't find the right person for the role. On my suggestion they went out and ran ads in places like their association newsletter that resulted in them getting introduced to a great candidate who was moving back to the city/location they are based in. Then utilizing Topgrading and not "settling" for someone just because they were tired of looking or because they didn't want to expand their geographic reach, they made a great hiring decision. I always find it so rewarding as an outside consultant when a company can really use Topgrading and it results in an exceptional hire.

Doug Wick

Doug Wick is a certified Gazelles Coach with 12 years of coaching experience and 9+ years as an E-Myth Certified Consultant. Doug coaches his clients on how to develop Strategic Discipline. He focuses on small to midsize business owner/CEO with a ravenous appetite to improve their leadership skills and business results. Positioning Systems provides unrelenting personal commitment combined with foundational and
dynamic best practice tools that enhance management proficiency and produce measurable performance.

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