Street Smarts: The Vodoo Magic Of Hiring "A" Players

Street Smarts: The Vodoo Magic Of Hiring "A" Players

$treet $mart$ (vol. 31)

Operations Insight

I have hired a lot of people in my career. North of 500 as of writing this week's newsletter.

At one point in my career, I was tasked with hiring 150 people in one year. And let's just say that I made all the mistakes.  

But the biggest mistake I ever made in my hiring career was not having a system to sift the chaff from the wheat, in order to get to the "A" Players.

That's when I discovered, Geoff Smart and Randy Street, “Who — The A Method for Hiring After reading the book, I quickly realized that I was a "Suitor Interviewer". Rather than rigorously interviewing a candidate, I spent my time selling the applicant on the opportunity.

Thankfully I had a good nose for talent.  But I missed more often than I would like to admit because I was blinded by my own B.S. It was until I moved to a systematic approach and included a "Screening Interview" that I began to source the best candidates. And I strongly suggest that you follow suit because each hiring mistake cost you anywhere from $30,000-$100,000.

Are you a Vodoo Magic Interviewer?

Top ten voodoo hiring methods

Voodoo Hiring — Taken from: Geoff Smart and Randy Street, “Who — The A method for hiring”:

  1. The Art Critic — Hiring people based on gut instinct.
  2. The Sponge — A common approach among busy managers is to let everybody interview a candidate, with the risk of interviewers asking candidates exactly the same questions.
  3. The Prosecutor — Many managers act like the prosecutors they see on TV and aggressively question candidates, attempting to trip them up with trick questions and logic problems.
  4. The Suitor — Rather than rigorously interviewing a candidate, some managers spend all of their energy selling the applicant on the opportunity. Suitors are more concerned with impressing than assessing their capabilities.
  5. The Trickster — Then there are the interviewers who use gimmicks to test for certain behaviors. They might throw a wad of paper on the floor, for example, to see if a candidate is willing to clean it up.
  6. The Animal Lover — Many managers hold on stubbornly to their favorite pet questions — questions they think will reveal something uniquely important about a candidate.
  7. The Chatterbox — This technique has a lot in common with the “la-di-da” interview. The conversation usually goes something like this: “How about them Yankees! Man, the weather is rough this time of year. Did you grow up in California? So did I!”
  8. The Psychological and Personality Tester — Asking a candidate a series of bubble-test questions like “Do you tease small animals?” or “Would you rather be at a cocktail party or the library on a Friday night?” is not useful (although both are actual questions on popular psychology tests), and it’s certainly not predictive of success on the job.
  9. The Aptitude Tester — Tests can help managers determine whether has the right aptitude for a specific role, such as persistence for a business development position, but they should never become the sole determinant in a hiring decision.
  10. The Fortune-Teller — Just like a fortune-teller looking in a crystal ball to predict the future, some interviewers like into the future regarding the job at hand by asking hypothetical questions: “What would you do? How would you do it? Could you do it?”

Just like building a business, hiring "A" Players is a skill, one that you most likely don't have.  Without hesitation, every entrepreneur needs to read Geoff Smart and Randy Street, “Who — The A Method for Hiring



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