Hire Superstars for Your Organization with these Best Practices

hire superstarsBy Andrew Jennings, CCOOne of the things we have learned over the 16 years we have helped organizations develop high performing cultures is, actually, quite obvious. High performing cultures consist of (and retain) high performing individuals. The old adage of “A-Players” attracting “A-Players” is as true in business as it is anywhere else. This is the first step in understanding what it takes to hire superstars for your teams.

I am sure, as you are reading this, you most likely agree. At the same time, you realize it is hard to find and recruit these A-Players for your organization. Interestingly, these people do exist for every organization, and are often struggling to find the team they want to be part of. So, if there are high performing people looking for organizations they can contribute to and organizations are looking for these high performing people . . . why is it that they struggle to find one another?

The biggest culprit for not matching people and organizations comes down to a failing of the hiring process. Most organizations are using a process that is at least 20 years old. It has a strong focus on resumes and an individual hiring managers’ opinion following an interview. In a world of big data, social networks, increasing levels of education, and a more competitive job market, maybe it’s time to consider how we might hire differently.

As with most things, there is not a 100% guaranteed way to hire the “perfect” person, but there are some best practices that significantly improve the likelihood that you’ll hire a superstar. First and foremost? Have a robust and repeatable process. Here’s what our process looks like: 


fearless hiring processIn addition to a robust process there are a few other elements that help identify the “most likely to succeed” candidates for any job.

Hire Superstars with a Pre-Hire Assessment

This is where the data part of the decision hiring process comes in and helps augment a well written resume. A good pre-hire assessment will be validated against bias and provide easy customizable and comparable job specific fit criteria. Beyond simply looking at a candidate’s IQ, it will also look at the candidate’s EQ and their level of interest in performing the type of job being applied for. Using a well developed assessment helps provide some data-based decision making. This allows candidates to be viewed more objectively.

*One caveat to using a tool such as this: it should always be considered as less than 30 percent of the decision-making process.

Hire Superstars with Behavioral Interviewing

Interviewing is a complex area of hiring, not the least because candidates today are well practiced at being interviewed! Some of them even have interview coaches. This often gives them an immediate advantage over the interviewer, who has often never been trained in how to perform good job interviews. The interviewer falls back on intuition and whether or not they like the candidate. The result is a hiring manager’s mind is often made up within five minutes of meeting a candidate.

Behavioral interviewing involves carefully considering the top five things a candidate would need to perform for the job and then crafting very specific questions around those. During the interview, the interviewer probes for specific examples of where the candidate displayed those skills. For example, “I’d like to hear about a time you had to give difficult feedback to a co-worker and the more detail, the better.” Or, “How do you ensure positive behaviors in your team are rewarded?” This avoids the “typically,” “usually,” and rehearsed responses we often hear — which are often what the candidate thinks they should do, but have never actually done.

Using this interview technique helps avoid hiring a good interviewer who later disappoints in the job. It’s a technique that you need to ensure that you hire your next superstar and not just someone who interviews well.

Culture Attracts Superstars

In a world where more people are valuing an organization’s culture above traditional incentives, our most fearless of customers spend a lot of time developing a culture that reflects their values and sets them apart from other organizations in their space. They have learned that appealing to everyone, apart from being impossible, dilutes what they stand for and fails to set a high enough bar for entry. Having a strong identifiable culture allows those high performing people who share your values to seek you out — resulting in a much higher quality pool of candidates for every job in your organization. What does your organization stand for? How would anyone know they are a good fit for you?

”Having a strong identifiable culture allows high performing people who share your values to seek you out.“

Obviously, there is a lot more to hiring than this, which is why we spend a lot of time with our customers helping them hone their process to hire more fearlessly. If we can help you hire superstars, please reach out or come visit us!

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