Who You Gonna Hire This Year, and Why?

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Who You Gonna Hire This Year, and Why?

Money magazine says 2017 is going to be the best job market in years.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers says things are going to be a bit flat.

And ManpowerGroup says to look for a 16% net increase in employment this year, which is a little less than last year.

Since they can’t all be right, it’s probably wiser to focus less on what the whole economy is going to do, and more on what – and specifically whom – you need to fuel the growth of your enterprise. Just realize that, regardless of whose predictions are most accurate, you’ll probably be up against some pretty aggressive competition for talent.

There is no more important function for a manager to perform than that of deciding who does, and who does not, get to play on the team. So getting it right matters. A lot. And yet one of the greatest frustrations we feel in our practice, whether it’s while coaching leaderstraining them, or conducting employee surveys, is how often managers are getting it wrong, and living to regret the choices they make. Or don’t make.

Why is this happening? Because they’re using irrelevant filters.

No one in his or her right mind would admit to making hiring decisions based on things like gender, race, or any classification specifically protected by law. But forget for a moment that a hiring decision may be legally defensible, and ask the question, “Is it intellectually defensible?” Does it make sense for the business? Is it going to result in the best person for the job?

If you ask that question, you’re probably going to give a lot more consideration to things like:

  • Organizational fit, by virtue of values and attitude
  • Behavioral aptitude, as determined by some scientifically valid assessment
  • Demonstrated and documented performance
  • A history of learning new skills and taking on new challenges

And a lot less to things like (come on, you know you do some of these):

  • Age (or apparent age)
  • Appearance
  • How they talk
  • Where they went to school
  • Who they know
  • What they do in their off hours
  • And, whether or not:
    • they are currently doing this exact job in this exact industry
    • you think they’ll be able to get to work with all those kids they have to take care of (ouch – got a few of you there, didn’t I?)
    • their resume has the right keywords in it, since you didn’t read it, and left it up to a machine

If I stepped on some toes, it’s because this stuff matters. As this new year gets underway, give some serious thought to not only whom you’re hiring, but why. You’ll be glad you did.

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