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Just listened to the preparing for an interview and quick and dirty interview casts. Great stuff.

My question is what do we do when the market is so hot that 1 professional service applicant can choose between 10 jobs? How do we balance the interviewing with the selling of what we offer as an employer? Would you modify the interview process at all?

Looking forward to your thoughts,

Kris

kklogic's picture

Kris,
I have always viewed interviews as both a workplace interviewing a candidate and vice versa. In other words, I always take time to sell our company. This can be done as a monologue, but is more effective as a response to interviewee questions.

We find that this info is shared the most during the team interview (for us, the second interview). We don't have the hiring manager in this one on purpose. It allows for a much more open dialogue and lets the candidate ask questions they wouldn't want to ask that manager one on one.

erikko's picture

what im doing is that i scrutinize first the applicant then i will tell him/her what our company is like it's working environment and stuff like that except for the salary since im not in the position to tell him

erikko's picture

[quote="erikko"]what im doing is that i scrutinize first the applicant then i will tell him/her what our company is like it's working environment and stuff like that except for the salary since im not in the position to tell him[/quote]

manager_atrois's picture

Yeah, in a lot of markets it's a candidate-poor environment, so this kind of consideration has to take place.

I think it depends on your hiring funnel too, though. For example, we get our candidates from recruiting marketplaces like dayak where the recruiter makes a big push to "sell" the company on the candidate (and to sell the candidate on us). I'd say on average the people we've gotten through there have been less reluctant to sign on, probably because the job description was more or less made clear before hand.

But, I hear you. I try to treat it like this -- we're not selling each other on anything, we're just looking for the best match. I try to ask questions that determine how well configured our relationship with the candidate would be, both in regard to his/her skills and his/her job needs. It's not a perfect system but it has helped me to establish rapport with some great people. I always ask in the middle of my interviews: "what would your perfect job be like right now, in all respects?"

bflynn's picture

[quote="krishead"]Just listened to the preparing for an interview and quick and dirty interview casts. Great stuff.

My question is what do we do when the market is so hot that 1 professional service applicant can choose between 10 jobs? How do we balance the interviewing with the selling of what we offer as an employer? Would you modify the interview process at all?
[/quote]

I would greatly modify the interview process and the hiring process.

1) Hire for personality traits, not skill. Pay a little less based on no experience.
2) Use that savings from salaries to train and retain. Use "handcuffs" if you must.
3) Accept that you could become a worker factory. Work on your retention and continue training.

Ask yourself - why are there so few applicants for your job? Because nobody trains people for it. By creating your own employees, you will be ahead of the industry, all of whom will still be handicapped by the shortfall. On the other hand, you will have the capability to grow almost at will and take market share from your competitors.

I don't know if SAP services is your market, but it is the perfect example of this.

Brian

pmoriarty's picture

Early on in my management career, my manager explained to me that it is much worse to hire the wrong candidate quickly than to do without for a prolonged period. Having done both, I agree with him.

HMac's picture

[quote="pmoriarty"]Early on in my management career, my manager explained to me that it is much worse to hire the wrong candidate quickly than to do without for a prolonged period. Having done both, I agree with him.[/quote]

You nailed it, Paul!

-Hugh

jhack's picture

[quote="HMac"][quote="pmoriarty"]Early on in my management career, my manager explained to me that it is much worse to hire the wrong candidate quickly than to do without for a prolonged period. Having done both, I agree with him.[/quote]

You nailed it, Paul!

-Hugh[/quote]

Agreed.

John

bflynn's picture

I don't disagree from a cultural standpoint. But when you ask the cost of doing without, especially in a market where everyone is running at 80% staffing or less because there aren't enough trained people...

What does it cost your share holders in lost sales because you don't have the bandwidth to do the work?

pmoriarty's picture

Turn the question around. What is the cost to the company of a bad hire especially in a customer-facing role like professional services? In my experience, it can be much higher than the lost opportunity cost of doing without. Losing an existing customer is more quantifiable than failing to gain a new customer.

And, if everyone is already extremely busy, where will you find the resources to devote to making a less than stellar hire into the employee you wanted to hire in the first place?

bflynn's picture

[quote="pmoriarty"]Turn the question around. What is the cost to the company of a bad hire especially in a customer-facing role like professional services? In my experience, it can be much higher than the lost opportunity cost of doing without. Losing an existing customer is more quantifiable than failing to gain a new customer.

And, if everyone is already extremely busy, where will you find the resources to devote to making a less than stellar hire into the employee you wanted to hire in the first place?[/quote]

Paul, that is the easy one. That is the question that everyone focuses on. My point is that you also lose by not gaining the work.

To answer your second question - you just do it. Realize that I'm addressing this at a higher level than a front line manager trying to meet their quarterly goals. If you have a hundred or two hundred reports, then you have the ability to do what I'm suggesting. Smaller than that and you don't have the scale to do it.

I do agree that you can't do what I suggested if you're focused locally. I'm suggesting corporate level action.

Brian

kklogic's picture

I agree. Our company will never hire to "get a body in there." It's painful, but we all understand that the pain is worth finding the right team member. It takes us 60-90 days to hire and we have 7.5 year retention on employees(skewed due to large growth in the past three years - so many have been here 10+ years).