Identify Your Skill-Will Bull’s-Eye- How to Hire the Right People

The Next Generation of Government Training Summit is a two-day training summit aimed at inspiring and educating rising government leaders. The sessions and workshops presented are jam packed with information to further enhance their day-to-day career and the betterment of government overall.

In Day 2’s luncheon keynote we heard from Geoff Smart, Chairman & CEO, ghSMART and Co-Author of Who: The A
Method for Hiring.
Smart focused on what he called the most important thing you will ever learn to do- how to pick the right people/talent for your team. As we all know, the hiring process can be daunting. During the session, several people shared their “horror stories” of poor hiring decisions. The consensus? Hiring the wrong people wastes resources and time, and leads to immense frustration for all involved.

So how do people end up hiring the “wrong people?” There are 3 common ways: the clone effect (hiring people like yourself), the art critic (I know what I like..) and the hypothetical questions approach (hypothetical questions leads to hypothetical answers, which isn’t very helpful).

So what do you do? Smart outlined 4 “must do’s” for hiring (which, by the way, leads to a 90% hiring success rate)

  1. The Scorecard: Define what has to happen in the role- All too often hiring managers confuse inputs and outcomes. It’s best to identify what outcomes you want for a given role and then use that in your job description (avoid the trap of the inputs).
  2. Source: How you generate a flow of candidates- A lot of people are told they don’t have influence over the people that are hired, but that isn’t true! Look out for who you know, use the network and try to avoid the resume dump.
  3. Select: How you finally choose the right candidate- Inevitably you will narrow down your choice to a handful of really qualified (and potentially similar) candidates. So how do you choose? For every chapter of a candidate’s career, employers should ask these 5 questions- what were you hired to do, what did you accomplish that you were proud of, what did not go so well, what their last boss’ name was/what would they say about you (threaten a reference check), and why did you leave your last job.
  4. Sell: How to get the best person to say yes- use the right tone, intense curiosity, and use the “what,”how” and “tell me more.”

These four tips are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hiring right people for your team. You can learn more in Smart’s book- Who: The A Method of Hiring. Be sure to check out all of the Next Generation of Government Training Summit’s recaps here.

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