Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer

Developing a world-class selection process. Surviving cancer. What do these two accomplishments have in common?

Throughout the book, Jim Roddy doesn't talk a lot about his past illness. The point, in his own history, at which his personal and professional life collided is revealed only in one of the last chapters.

But his recruitment recruitment method requires a personality trait that is obviously necessary when you fight cancer: tenacity.

Only beginners and amateurish recruiters think that selection is primarily a matter of instinct and gut feelings. Real HR pros know that hiring the best requires rigorous, focused and repeated efforts.

As an executive in the publishing industry, the author draws the lessons from several years of recruiting. He explains in many details how to organize the recruitment process and how to ask questions. He shares his methods, stories, and even 258 interview questions.

Among his most original tools and useful ideas, are the following:

Focusing on aversions

Aversions are potential problems the interviewer thinks he could have with the candidate. In his hiring process, Jim Roddy reveals them transparently to the candidate and asks as many questions as necessary to discard any risk.

The questions are “behavioral”, based on the candidate's actual behavior in past circumstances.

Hiring for bench-strength

The author recommends to hire a person who has the potential to perform not only in the position you are filling at the moment, but also in positions one or two levels up. If you are looking for a salesman, ask yourself if he could one day be a good sales manager or sales director.

The emotional outcomes of an interview process

You don't want a candidate to leave the interview or the whole selection process with bad feelings about your company. The author explains how to make sure all potential hires find your organization professional and exciting.

Managing expectations

Many interviewees promise a lot during the selection phase, but might soon “forget” what they told you. The book shows how to transform vague promises into clear formal commitments.

The dinner interview

I'm really not sure this one would be well received in Europe, where we have a different culture, but I found it very interesting. At the end of the selection process, the recruiter invites the candidate and his or her spouse or “significant other” to the restaurant.

The decision to join a company will have consequences for the candidate's family. It is thus fair, and pragmatic, to recognize that the spouse should take part in the decision.

More interviews, more questions

One of Jim Roddy's motto's is: “A candidate who is not a definite 'no' is a 'yes' to bring back for another interview”. Each step of the selection process is a chance to discard aversions, or to discover new ones.

Where the usual interviewer asks one question, Jim Roddy asks two or three, just to be certain. One of his favorite is: “Can you give me another example?”.

Why? Because he doesn't want to take a risk. He recognizes selection as the key to his company's success. He hires like his company's life depended on it. This is the sense of “hiring like you just beat cancer”.  

Book Data

  • Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer - Hiring lessons, interview best practices, and recruiting strategies for managers from a cancer-surviving executive
  • By Jim RODDY, President of Jameson Publishing
  • Dog Ear Publishing
  • 163 pages
  • Available on Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer

Jim also posts great articles about recruiting on HR website

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