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Great Podcast, I just wish it had come out sooner. Since I have been listening to Manager Tools (1/2007), I have hired 4 staff to my group and participated in a significant number of other interviews for my peers. Finally, I have a better framework for getting the input of others who interview my candidates and also for giving feedback to my peers on theirs. Thanks again M&M for a great podcast. I can't wait to use it on the two open positions I am currently trying to fill.

arc1's picture

Agree - good cast. Two unanswered questions though:

1. Can this be usefully applied in large corporates where there is a forced and rigid hiring process via HR? I went through a process at one employer (both as interviewee and interviewer) where they insisted all interviewers scribble furious notes as to every single thing that was said, and insisted that this record was the only source of info on the hiring decision. Stupid, yes. Unusual? Doubt it!!

2. Unless I was distracted, there wasn't a great deal of info about the discussion element. If you can get everyone to provide feedback in the recommended format, do you necessarily *need* the catch-up meeting? Or could you just seek further details if you want, 1-to-1? Seems to me that approach also has the advantage that nobody is being influenced by what anyone else said. Maybe some elaboration on why it should be a face-to-face / how the roundtable discussion works would help. Again apologies if I tuned out and missed something at end of cast - lot of stuff on my mind today!!

Chris

jhack's picture

Chris,

If the consensus is clear, then folks could "mail it in." Consider the situation where you have two candidates who are both potential hires. You need an active conversation to understand which candidate is most likely to succeed.

John

arc1's picture

2 candidates...

*Sound of me smacking forehead*

Thanks John.

wendii's picture

Arc,

*Soapbox alert!*

[quote]1. Can this be usefully applied in large corporates where there is a forced and rigid hiring process via HR? I went through a process at one employer (both as interviewee and interviewer) where they insisted all interviewers scribble furious notes as to every single thing that was said, and insisted that this record was the only source of info on the hiring decision. Stupid, yes. Unusual? Doubt it!!
[/quote]

You can apply this in large corporates. The problem in my experience is rarely a hiring manager making a decision, but more often that they are afraid to make one. In forcing them to commit one way or another up front, you stop them talking themselves round in circles, whilst the candidate goes off and finds another job.

I do make lots of notes, and only about what the candidate says for three reasons

1) I'm easily distracted and it makes me concentrate on what they are actually saying,
2) By not drawing conclusions within the interview, I help myself avoid the horns/halo effect,
3) It's the notes that you make 'to yourself' which get you into trouble, not recording what the candidate says.

Looking back over my notes about what the candidate says reminds me of my thinking process, and I don't need to write down how I drew a conclusion.

[quote] Unless I was distracted, there wasn't a great deal of info about the discussion element. If you can get everyone to provide feedback in the recommended format, do you necessarily *need* the catch-up meeting? Or could you just seek further details if you want, 1-to-1? Seems to me that approach also has the advantage that nobody is being influenced by what anyone else said. Maybe some elaboration on why it should be a face-to-face / how the roundtable discussion works would help. [/quote]

The other big problem in corporates is people being 'too busy' to make a hiring decision. By forcing them into a room, and telling them they are not going to leave till a decision is made (my words, not Mark's!), you stop the hiring process dragging out for months.

A discussion is useful. When I first work with a hiring manager, they invariably make me go first on my conclusions. They are afraid of making the wrong decision, and find it easier to attack my position than defend theirs. They soon find that

a) I have more practice at this than they do, and will bring up stuff that they havn't thought of, and I can support it, because I know what I'm looking for
b) I am very willing to disagree with them, but I will not make the final decision.

Quite soon, they start going first!

There are many reasons why you should have more than 1 person interviewing, and the value of the discussion is one of them. After all invariably, two heads are better than one. Rarely is it the case that a perfect candidate presents himself. More often, hiring decisions are about weighing up fit and deficiencies, 'mailing it in' in that case is unrealistic. And, if you don't talk about it, how do you know you have consensus?

*Putting the soapbox away quietly now*

Wendii

AManagerTool's picture

wendii,

I wish you worked at my company. You are fabulous!

kddonath's picture

When collecting the results, the recommendation was to ask each person participating in the interview: hire or don't hire. Suppose there's one position that's being filled - does hire/don't hire mean: which of the candidates should be hired, or who are the top candidates?

I'm assuming the first, but just want to make sure.

HMac's picture

M/M are clear that in the end, the decision is up to the hiring manager. So asking the others to choose BETWEEN several candidates -if I understand your example - would effectively cause the hiring manager to "share" the decision power.

Unless someone tells me otherwise, you should be asking the interviewers to provide a recommendation -Hire/Don't Hire- for each candidate, [b][i]judged solely on that candidate's own merits.[/i][/b]

I'd be telling the interviewers: don't worry if you think more than one should be hired, and don't worry if you think none of them should be hired. Just give me your determination for each candidate.

-Hugh

BJ_Marshall's picture

Thank you so much for this podcast. This discussion will help me meet my "stretch goal" of revamping how we making hiring decisions!! If I can do anything to help it, we will never again make a poor hiring decision.

This stretch goal is the result of a recent snafu by the other supervisor in our office. Despite vehement protest from yours truly, she went ahead and hired someone who was by FAR the worst interview I had ever seen in my life. Words honestly fail. She hired him anyway because she didn't want to continue interviewing. Why? Because the guy she wanted to hire was caught by HR as lying on his transcript (stupid!), and she just wanted to be done with it all.

Within a week of him coming into the office, complaints from coworkers confirmed what I knew - he really didn't fit in. He's got solid analytical skills (a plus), but horrible social skills.

My boss thinks we can teach him social skills. *groan* This might be why the hire hasn't been let go despite being in his probationary year.

Very much looking forward to the future of our hiring, thanks to you!
BJ