No one sets out to make a hiring mistake. We are easily enchanted by people who can talk a good game. This is especially true when looking to fill a sales leadership role. After all, sales people have mastered the art of talking a good game. They say all the right things at the right times.
I was recently interviewing for an open position. As I observed the rest the panel becoming enchanted by what the guy was saying, I realized he wasn’t really saying anything. He never directly answered any of the questions; instead he went all around the world with impressive words dancing around the question. After about a half-hour I was able to convince the rest of the hiring managers of my observations and we passed on that applicant.Use these 4 questions to determine if you made the right hiring decision or if you were under the spell of interview enchantment.
1) How clearly defined are the expectations during the on-boarding process?
This question requires you to be open and honest with yourself. You need to have a high level of confidence that you relayed the expectations clearly and reinforced them multiple times. There are several steps to this process: tell them, show them, watch them, retrain them and manage to sustainability. Most of the time the process seems to stall at show them.
2) Were the measures of success clear and understood by both parties?
What are you measuring and does the new hire know and understand how the measurement is tracked? One of the best and often overlooked measures for a new hires success is their behaviors. The reason these are so good to use is that their behaviors are the one thing they have complete control over. Are they on time? Are they in a hurry to leave? Are they attempting to get to know their peers? Are they asking for more work, more knowledge, and more things to do? Do they participate in meetings? All of these things can easily be identified within the first 10 days.
3) Does the new hire have the competence to do the job?
Now they you have hired them it is time to put their interview responses to the test. Have them listen to calls and provide coaching. Assign them a small and quick project to complete. Have them analyze data and provide assumptions and solutions. Have them hold a team meeting and gauge their ability to motivate. The faster you provide opportunities for them to demonstrate their competence for the job, the quicker you can decide to keep them or remove them.
4) Are they able to prioritize their daily tasks in order to achieve optimal results?
Time management is critical especially for new hires since they have not yet established a routine. However, they should have some sort of process that they have developed over the years and you should be able to clearly see them implementing it. You need to know where they are spending their time and observe how they are moving from one activity to another. Ask them for their time management process, review where they are spending their time in your one-on-one meetings. Help them identify areas where they could see efficiency gains.
Keeping a bad hire has such a widespread domino effect. A bad hire will hire more bad talent. A bad hire will not set the right expectations for their direct reports. A bad hire will not coach and develop your existing talent pool. Hiring and keeping the wrong talent in your organization will not only halt your progress it will in fact take you backwards.
Do your best to ensure you are letting the right people in the door from the onset, when an applicant casts a spell of enchantment over you and you hire them, use these four questions to help you break the spell and remove them from your team quickly.
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