The Golden Rule of Hiring: Hire for the Anniversary Date, Not the Start Date. – Thrive Global

Posted: February 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm

In their landmark study First Break All of the Rules: What the Worlds Best Managers Do Differently Gallup introduced their Q12 employee engagement survey. The Q12 describes in priority order what the best managers do and need to do to create high performing teams. Number one on the list is, Clarify Expectations Up Front.

Ive lived this idea for 40+ years as a recruiter and trainer. In my first search project for a plant manager, the president and I walked through the factory and identified the top six things the person needed to fix over the first 6-12 months to be considered successful. This list of performance objectives became the job description.

More recently, I worked with a Board consisting of investors and founders for a $150 million food manufacturer getting ready to hire a new CEO. After a few hours of wrangling we finally agreed on these two critical performance objectives:

Now Im working with the founder of a recently funded startup looking for a head of engineering. I asked him what the biggest thing the person has to accomplish in the first year to be considered successful. This is what he came up with:

Last month I asked a team of hiring managers to define success for a customer success manager for a complex business process application. Heres what they came up with as the major objective:

Every job can be fully defined by 6-8 performance objectives like the above describing the major objectives and their critical subtasks. Heres why this is essential information for everyone involved in the hiring process including the candidate.

Sourcers: You dont need to be a Boolean expert to find people who meet the performance requirements of the job.By being creativeits easy to find 15-20 highly qualified people who have the right titles, worked for comparable companies and who have progressed rapidly AND would see the job as a likely next step. These steps increase the likelihood the person will respond to your message AND the hiring manager will want to see the person.

Recruiters:Persistence is criticalin order to engage with at least half of the 15-20 prequalified people the sourcer has found. Then during the first conversation figure out if you can make a strong case that one of your openingsputs the person on a better career trajectorythan other opportunities being considered. If not, get at least two prequalified referrals. None of this is possible without knowing the job.

Hiring Managers. Since hiring managers need to clarify job expectations after the person is hired, they might as well do this before the hire.

Interviewers. When members of the hiring team dont know the actual performance requirements of the job, they overvalue first impressions and assess people on factors that are too generic to make a difference.

Candidates. The strongest people wont waste time with recruiters or hiring managers who cant answer the question,What are some of the tasks and challenges involved in this role?Thats why every candidate should ask it early in the interview to ensure theyll be accurately assessed.

It has been proven time and again, e.g.,Googles Project Oxygen, that clarifying expectations upfront is the key to successful management. Whats surprising is that its not a prerequisite for hiring. Unfortunately, too many people are still hired based on their depth of skills, first impressions and if their salaries are consistent with the budget. By following the Golden Rule of Hiring things will finally begin to change:Hire for the Anniversary Date, Not the Start Date.

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The Golden Rule of Hiring: Hire for the Anniversary Date, Not the Start Date. - Thrive Global

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