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Insanely Smart Hiring

by Miki Saxon

Yesterday we looked at insanely stupid hiring and I said we would explore the alternatives today.

Every time a manager tells me that staffing gets in the way of their “real work” it makes me crazy. For decades I’ve heard this same stupid statement from various managers, from CEO to team leaders, and none of them was stupid.

Insanely smart (or stupid) hiring starts with individual MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™).

Here is the basic attitude of insanely smart managers, voiced decades ago by Terry Dial, who eventually became vice chairman of Business Banking at Wells Fargo.

“People are 90% of our costs as well as the key to customer service and satisfaction. The only thing that should take priority over hiring a new employee is keeping a current one.”

Overview of insanely smart hiring

  1. Hire people to be part of the team. In other words, people who share your values, will support your culture, are fascinated with your product and believe in your company.
  2. Take time to define what you really need. In other words, the right person for the right job at the right time and for the right reasons.
  3. What you see may not be what you get. In other words, commit the time needed to interview thoroughly.
  4. Performance isn’t always portable. In other words, be sure you can supply the management and environment in which the candidate can flourish.

How to practice insanely smart hiring

  • Insanely smart mangers know that no matter what else they have to do it is people, acquiring them, motivating them and retaining them, that is their “real work.”
  • Insanely smart managers never lose sight of this basic law of managing—there is nothing a manager can do personally (to save their review) that will off-set the effect of their under or non-performing group.
  • It is easier to be an insanely smart manager if you work for an insanely smart company, or at least manager, that understands there is no hiring gene and good staffing skills are learned, not born—but don’t count on it.
  • Insanely smart hiring is real work that requires time, energy and commitment.
  • Insanely smart mangers focus on ending up being the dumbest person in the group.
  • Insanely smart managers never hire jerks, no matter how much pressure they are under.

Join me Monday when we consider how insanely smart hiring creates stars and boosts retention.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ideaconstructor/563596890

One Response to “Insanely Smart Hiring”
  1. Julie ENo Gravatar Says:

    I wish every manager above me would read this post. 2 years ago I was marked poor on my evaluation and put on probation for being the worst in my department at doing certain things in relation to clients. I was floored. I hired the people that work under me! I hired the best, brightest, top of their class and boy did I get punished for it. I just didn’t even know what to say at that point. I was thinking . . . so I should have hired substandard employees so I would have been the best?
    She actually told me that the manager should be the best at everything or they shouldn’t be the manager. Talk about a slap in the face after over 20 years of working for this company. Fortunately she moved on and my next manager did not share this philosophy.

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