The New Rules of Hiring Good People


Hiring Right is Crucial for Building a Great Culture

Hiring is not a conveyer belt

Changing the rules of how you hire?

Good for you. It's THE name of the game in the next 10 years.

Freelance status is exploding. Average job tenure for Millennials is 2.6 years.

Companies need creative ways to meet and develop ongoing relationships with the talent they need. Inflexible, old school hiring practices will be the kiss of death for any business in the next decade.

Modern hiring practices must show innovation and courage

Keeping great people starts exactly here: How you approach hiring.

Do you have systems for effective remote work? Flexible schedules? Allow job-sharing? Create freelance assignments during life stages that require it? Foster an alumni network for those great people who might return or refer? Choose people for culture ... and then provide the cultural experience you sold them on?

We are entering a Seller's Market for good talent + the Tribal Era of workplace connectivity.

People believe they have greater choice and options now. They'll simply quit if they don't like their job or your company.

And, people of all ages, want workplaces - and work - to be purpose-driven, inspiring, challenging. Working with "great people" is the #1 criteria for most young talent.

Don't we all deserve this?

Consider these facts:

  • By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials, with no interest in working in traditional corporate cultures. They would prefer to start their own company or freelance.
  • 50% of workers will consider themselves freelancers by 2020.
  • In Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital report, executives rated “creating the organization of the future” as their most important challenge.

Hiring practices are where building a culture of the future begins. Hiring strategy should be about identifying people who will rally around your mission, values, and culture. Then, shape work arrangements to keep them connected to your organization.

It's Time to Courageously Innovate Hiring Practices

Got it handled with your technology automation and social media? As Julia Roberts infamously said "That's just geography."

Here are 5 courageously innovative hiring practices to move you past the outdated mindset “You’d be lucky to work here.”

(1) Innovative Hiring Practice #1: Truth-In-Hiring

We’ve all heard of truth-in-advertising. As in dating, the same applies to hiring: If you want a good match, people need to get a real experience of the good, bad and ugly in your culture.

No matter how desperate you are for that super-hero developer or project manager, buckle down and get real: You gain WAY more in long-term performance from someone who can really fit into your organization, versus “filling a seat” that will be empty in a few months.

You build trust when you talk about the downside along with the upside, of working in this environment.

Go beyond “we work hard” generalities, and get into some of the real stuff, like “We are still working on improving our meetings” or "There's long hours when we're on deadline, and we all have to work longer hours."

Can you answer the 3-word description of your culture? (company or team, whichever feels most relevant.) "Our culture is _____, _____ and _____. " Great talent will look to know YOU know your culture.

(2) Innovative Hiring Practice #2: Tap Your Customers

If you have a truly non-negotiable deadline or a huge project that key customers rely on, consider reaching out to form a collaborative partnership between your organization and the customer’s organization – with clear boundaries, goals and timelines.

I know several examples that have worked for companies (but don’t cite them here for confidentiality reasons.) It's a creative strategy if you need the talent to deliver to an important customer, can’t find the right person, and committed to “no consultants.”

(3) Innovative Hiring Practice #3: Woo Versus Overwhelm

The trend towards multi-stage, team-based hiring practices can be overwhelming for applicants, especially if they’re interviewing with more than one company.

Make sure each stage is fun, engaging, and interesting for the applicant. Ditch the video interviews (seriously) and start thinking "How can we attract and build real connections with the right people?" Invite the CEO or top leader of the division / office to come and shake their hand, ask if they have any questions. (assuming this person is personable.)

Consider putting together a fun teamwork challenge for your final 2 or 3 candidates – order a nice lunch, and engage around brainstorming an interesting problem. See how they engage (or don’t) and who fits the team culture best.

Communicate clearly and build mutual appreciation. While it may feel overkill to some, that developer you wanted who took a job elsewhere, will remember your cool postcard with the clever photo and note of appreciation when she’s looking for her next gig.

(4) Innovative Hiring Practice #4: Look for Talent in Unusual People

We all know “looking for talent in unusual places” is an accepted recruiter strategy. Too often, our radar is tuned to “ruling someone out” versus determining if they might be a great culture fit, and thus worth training.

It is well-accepted that values and attitude and emotional intelligence go further toward success than skills – yet the predominant mindset is still hiring based on resume.

Consider every interaction with every person you meet, an opportunity to assess that mission and values match. You never know when and where you’ll meet your next team member. It is likely to be when and where you least expect it – or aren’t even looking.

In an interview with SendGrid’s Chief People Office Pattie Money, she described multiple ways their recruiters and managers – are trained to “look outside the box” for talent you would not normally hire. She once hired a waiter from a restaurant based on his person-ability. He ended up being a star employee in tech recruiting.

Great people are everywhere.

Start looking for Your Tribe over resume.

(5) Innovative Hiring Practice #5: Transform “Corporate Culture” relics

In a recent series of interviews for my forthcoming book, Inspired - Waking Up @Work - 100% of Millennials said "I don't want to work in corporate.” They described it better than I could:

  • "Rigid hierarchies"
  • "Good ideas are valued less than the power structure"
  • "Leaders with closed minds punish risk or failure"
  • "Politics consumers more time than doing valuable work"
  • "People "making decisions" are disconnected from the people "doing the work"
  • "Cube farms, dead energy, 2-week old cake"
  • "You can’t do that because...” was cited as the #1 buzz kill.

You can't eradicate dinosaur corporate culture practices in one fell swoop! But you can show that you make effort to care about people. To show an ALIVE energy of people who share a common mission and values, to candidates. Far more important than the games and beer taps.

Consider these freshening-up Culture First Impression tips:

(1) Update the work environment so it has a fresh, modern feeling. Minimally provide collaborative work spaces and good snacks.

(2) DEAL directly (and compassionately) with bad leaders in people-and-innovation centered roles. They are bleeding workplace energy - and profits - at the expense of your employees.

(3) Have regular fun-at-work events to mingle multi-generations in meaningful activities and break down stereotypes and barriers that make cooperation and collaboration more natural.

(4) Shift to small-step promotions to reward and recognize high performance. Don’t require people to wait a year – or several – to have a review or move forward.

Take our free Culture Makeover training to freshen your special Tribal Energy.

What are some of your favorite Courageously Innovative hiring practices?

Please share!

This article was originally published on Linked In Pulse.

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