Come meet our very own John Assunto, at the NY Ed Tech Week this week! #nyedtechweek
I’ve been interviewing and placing job candidates for 40 years and tracking their subsequent performance for almost as long. Based on this and training more than twenty thousand recruiters and hiring managers on how to actually predict on-the-job performance, one problem always stands out:
The best person for the job is rarely hired. The best presenter is the one who typically gets the nod.
By overvaluing interview presentation skills over past performance we sometimes hire people who are strong but just as often hire people who are not. This causes a worse problem: Not hiring the best performer because he/she is not a great interviewee or doesn't look or sound quite right.
Getting past the veneer of presentation skills and digging into a candidate’s past performance can eliminate both problems. In fact, by just following the simple steps below it can be done in the first 30 minutes of the interview.
Define the work before defining the person doing the work.
Most job descriptions including your company's look like this list of more than 800 jobs on Indeed.com for mechanical engineers in the Chicago area. Other than the common generic responsibilities the requirements define what the person hired needs to have in terms of skills, education and experience. These are not job descriptions, they’re “person descriptions.”
Since clarifying job expectations has repeatedly been shown to be the number one driver of performance, it’s important to define the work that needs to be done before defining the person doing the work. Most jobs can be defined as a series of 5-6 performance objectives. Here’s an example of one and the instruction manual on how to prepare one for any job.
Getting the job is not the same as doing the job.
Emotions play a big role in who gets hired. Most managers overvalue first impressions, affability, assertiveness and communication skills. Techies overvalue the depth of technical skills. Most interviewers quickly eliminate those who “just don’t fit,” using some nebulous criteria including those who seem quiet, less interested and introspective.
One way to overcome these biases is using a scripted 30-minute interview for all candidates whether they make a good first impression on not. This delay forces objectivity into the assessment. At the end of 30 minutes you can then determine if it makes sense to seriously consider the person. Using a talent scorecard with specific ranking guidelines quickly separates the objective interviewers from those who over rely on emotions or their intuition.
Recognize that strangers are treated differently than acquaintances and referrals.
In a recent post, I contended that people who are personally connected to the interviewer in some way – even loosely – are evaluated differently than strangers. Strangers are assumed unqualified to start. Under this premise they are judged largely on the depth of their skills, level of direct experience, personality and first impression. These are terrible predictors of performance and fit. The connected person begins with a significant advantage: they’re assumed competent. The subsequent assessment is slower and based on the person’s track record of past performance and ability to learn new skills. Here’s a simple way to assess everyone the same way.
Managers ask irrelevant questions and assess people on meaningless facts.
Brain teasers were proved not too smart long ago, although it took a huge study by Google before these questions were shown to be useless. I had a GM client who related strong organizing and planning skills with an orderly desk, and wanted to visit every candidate’s office as part of the assessment. This past year I had a client who assumed people who cancel interviews at the last minute due to a family crisis lack a strong work ethic. Since it’s hard to know when a hiring manager or someone on the interviewing team will go ballistic I suggest using more panel interviews. This way everyone hears the same questions and answers and everyone keeps everyone else honest.
The typical hiring process is too transactional.
Filling jobs with those who are the most skilled is totally different than hiring the strongest person possible. The former is largely a box-checking exercise with the compensation determined by supply and demand. The latter involves spending more time with fewer candidates focusing on their past performance, upside potential and intrinsic motivation to actually do the work that needs to be done. When people are hired this way there’s an instant improvement in quality of hire, an increase in job satisfaction and a huge reduction in unnecessary turnover.
There are a lot of great people who don’t get hired because they don’t fit some misguided stereotype of success. And it’s not because these people are different or odd. It’s that the traditional approaches for hiring and stereotypes are flawed. Bottom line: Don’t use the interview to make the hiring decision, use the interview to collect the evidence needed to make the hiring decision.
Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting and training firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He's also a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine, SHRM and BusinessInsider. His new Performance-based Hiring micro-course is now available on Lynda.com. His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), provides hands-on advice for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters on how to find the best job and hire the best people.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Lou Adler
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
A "cross-functional project" is a synonym for "nightmare project" in any corporate. One has to remain on guard from so-called cross-functional team members. And be very cautious and politically bolted in communications. The term 'team' is a misnomer there.
A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other. - Simon SinekCross-functional teams are the fundamental weak link for all development methods (lean, agile, kanban, waterfall etc.). Its inefficiency deprives these methods of realizing their full execution benefits. The credibility of the development method itself goes down. Despite the root problem was in the team dynamics.
Cross-functional teams - "Complete your assigned tasks."These teams are present in all projects involving different departments. The representatives from different departments work together. They play their defined part in a larger project and do not need to worry about other counterparts tasks. The final outcome is not everyone's responsibility.
Characteristics of typical Cross-Functional Teams:
Solver Teams - "Sail and sink together. Get-Shit-Done!!"Solver team is a self-sufficient set of people who are tasked to 'Solve' a defined problem. Together they are accountable for the outcome.
It is called 'Solver' team, as the intent is to solve a problem, not just build features. Often a problem can be solved just by using docs, spreadsheets or even pen-paper itself. The success metric is same for all team members. This motivates members to help each other and avoid failing together.
Characteristics of Solver Teams -
*P.S. - Solver teams concept was conceived in the early hyper growth and expansion phase at OYO. Phase in which OYO grew from ~5 to 200 cities, ~50 to 6000 hotels, from few to ~3000 employees. Now it is also powering the violent execution at Knowlarity, as it gets set to conquer the cloud communications space.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Ajay Shrivastava
Recently I had the honour of delivering the graduation ceremony keynote address at my Alma mater – the Australian National University in Canberra. In searching for some memorable and universal advice I realised looking back at my career that there is a big difference between your expectations leaving university or college and the reality of how your career unfolds.
As such, I was eager to give this talented class of Commerce and Economics graduates a gentle reality check on how to get ahead in their careers by sharing the Four Pieces Of Advice No Graduate Wants To Hear.
You can watch the full address here with a summary of the key points below:
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Creel Price
There's little surprise that many international students want to get an internship or a job in the states. After all, it's the land of opportunity. Last summer, I interned at Andreessen Horowitz, and now I'm in the hunt for a full time job. The search process? It's like riding a roller-coaster, to say the least. I'm drafting this on Thanksgiving Day, What do you think? During my interactions with employers, I noticed some commonalities and summarized the top 9 myths of hiring international students.
Myth I: Why international students? It's not worth my time, money and effort.
• Extensive work experience • Multi-lingual • Team-management in various environments • Divergent perspective on global issues • Cross cultural understanding of market dynamics • Flexible to relocate • Potential relocation to origin country could provide employer a reliable international liaison.
Highly educated immigrants are twice as likely to hold patents, three times as likely to start their own businesses.Myth II: It is illegal to hire a student without a green card.
Fact: Federal law permits international students to obtain off-campus employment on their F1, J1 Visa. Students are allowed to work in jobs related to their field of study.
76% of patents from the top ten patent-producing universities in 2011 had a foreign born investor. Myth III: International students need work authorization before I can make a job offer.
Fact: Students DO NOT need work authorization before an employer makes an offer. Students DO need such authorization ready before they can BEGIN working.
25% of high tech companies in the U.S. from 1995-2005 had at least one immigrant founder. Myth IV: Hiring process is exhausting and paperwork is time consuming.
Fact: There's NO paperwork needed from the employer to hire a student working on F1/J1 Visa. To hire an international student on an H1B visa, the employer just needs to prove: 1.The job must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, 2. The employee is paid equal to or more than the federally determined prevailing wage.
More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies in 2010 included at least one immigrant founder or the child of an immigrant founder. Myth V: Sponsoring H1B Visa is expensive.
Fact: The total cost of a qualified immigration attorney and filing fees for a 3-year H1B visa ranges from $3500-$5000. The visa cost is only a fraction compared to the overall value of finding the best candidate for your role.
So is the case with Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, P&G, Pfizer, Kraft, Comcast, Intel, Merck, DuPont, Kohl’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Sun Microsystems, United States Steel, Qualcomm, eBay, Nordstrom, and Yahoo! Myth VI: I must advertise H1B position and prove there is no qualified U.S. worker.
Fact: Employers DO NOT have to document/certify that a foreign citizen working on a F1 or H1B Visa prevented a qualified US citizen from obtaining the position. This is only needed during employer-sponsored applications for permanent residency (green card).
Immigrants with entrepreneurial aspirations start their business an average of 13 years from arriving in the U.S., so you may be hiring a future job creator.Myth VII: I'm displacing a U.S. worker by hiring a international student.
Fact: Hiring foreign nationals with advanced degrees promotes job growth. For every 100 H-1B work visas approved, 183 new jobs are created each year. If you control for just the jobs in the STEM fields, 262 new jobs are created.
More than 50% of PhDs and in some cases, nearly 50% of the master’s degrees in the STEM fields are awarded each year in the U.S. to international students.Myth VIII: There are only a small number of H1B visas available each year and the odds of winning the lottery are small anyway.
Fact: There are 65,000 H1B visas available each year, plus an additional 20,000 for international students that complete their graduate studies in the U.S.
Studies show that Immigrants disproportionately contribute to economic growth, employment, and wage gains.Myth IX: No H1B for small company or start-ups.
Fact: As long as the process is carefully planned out and the documentation is available, the startup should have no issue obtaining an H1B approval. Cost-wise, International students on F1 or J1 visas cannot benefit from social security, therefore they don’t have to pay into it which means neither does the employer. Also, since domestic applicants tend to change jobs more often than foreign applicants, there may be turnover costs as well as more training costs.
Thanks to @Desa Philadelphia and @Tien-Li Loke Walsh for their sharing and inspiration!
As a former Nielsen and A16Z, now studying Entrepreneurship at Marshall Business School, I write about product, marketing, technology, and innovation. Read my previous post:8 Lessons Amazon Could Learn From Alibaba
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Haiqun(Léo) Wang
I have a hypothesis about executive compensation in higher education. I believe that our effort to make matters better has made them worse, insofar as “better” means controlling the escalation in salaries for chief executive officers and “worse” means allowing them to rise.
Here is how it has happened. Congress decided that unreasonable levels of income for college presidents, among others, could trigger financial penalties, including for the board members who approved lavish deals. It was deemed abuse of non-profit status. The legislation which was passed may have achieved the opposite effect from what was intended, because of how parties could protect themselves from potential liability by relying on an expert report.
The threat of such “intermediate sanctions” created an industry of compensation consultants. They compile data, referencing appropriate comparators, to opine that contract terms fall acceptably within the norms. They are objective and independent, even if they are service providers always pitching for business. The look at everything, extending from base pay and retirement benefits to subsidized housing and health clubs. That’s commendable.
The mania for metrics, however, has led as elsewhere to the assumption that decisions are good if they were based on information. Judgments typically are not good if they are not based on accurate picture of the world, but it is a logical fallacy to suppose that they thus are automatically wise if they have some plausible premise.
The problem is that everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses. That’s human nature. We compete as institutions and individuals. The institution is reflected in the individual and vice versa.
The president, no less her board, has decided that such and such group of schools are “aspirational” benchmarks. They would like to make progress toward their model. They are sure they will achieve their goals if they simply behave in a similar manner. What higher-ranked schools do must be smart.
At a minimum the board would like the leader they have chosen to be treated as an equal to their rival’s designee. If they are circumspect, they will look to averages. Among a dozen schools in their athletic conference, with budgets and enrollments within a range of their own, if the going rate for a president appears to be $350,000, so it is that they will set their president’s wages at the same amount, more or less.
It ratchets upward from there. Nobody wants to be embarrassed by making less than a peer or predecessor. Transparency ensures the figures can be obtained easily enough. “More or less” means likely more, not less.
The next school that was below the mathematical mean, perhaps for the good reason that it lacked enough of an endowment to cover anything greater, wants at least to match in turn. All it takes is a single school to say, not extravagantly, well, our gal (or guy) is worth slightly more than the mean, why don’t we take it up to the 75% mark — and it does not take any skill with numbers to see that the mean moves. If the school said, modestly, we want our person to make one single dollar more than the mean, even that generates an effect.
Ironically, the more like other business colleges try to be, the more they exacerbate matters. Critics suppose that it is academic culture, out of touch with marketplace reality, that explains everything wrong on campus.
To the contrary, as non-traditional candidates from the private sector are recruited into higher education administration, they claim to have a skill set that is more valuable than a former professor’s, which earns them if not what they previously made then more along those lines. Those who hold roles such as college president argue that their responsibilities are complex, comparable to any other head of a multi-million dollar enterprise, and they no doubt are right that the portfolio has expanded well beyond what self-governing faculties imagined when they ceased to be itinerant lecturers. They insist that a college should function like a corporation. They have introduced concepts such as performance bonuses. It all seems like a good idea at the time.
Deans, provosts, presidents, and the many other specialists are professionals, no longer amateurs who have some some knack for paperwork, drafted for a sabbatical from research and teaching. The more a track is created for them, with national searches, the more they establish a set of standards for themselves. The prevailing “free agent” ethos of our era discourages old-fashioned virtues; only chumps “leave money on the table” nowadays.
I have seen how this works from both sides of the table. I have been a member of governing boards of two colleges for a total of sixteen years. I also have been employed as a dean and then chancellor-dean of a standalone law school for cumulatively just shy of ten years. The time as a trustee prompted me to bargain against myself as chancellor and dean, especially on perquisites. A leased car for an executive is not abnormal, but the “optics” issues it causes are not worth the trouble for anyone.
The point is that passing rules, using data, and being business like, following what are in the jargon “best practices,” does not necessarily produce the outcomes that might be expected. It merely starts in motion phenomenon that continue of their own accord.
For any specific school, executive compensation will settle down only if the executive, and her board, make a personal commitment. All the rules, data, and business like “best practices” won’t make as much of a difference as the collective conscience of the folks in charge.
This article originally appeared at Huffington Post.
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