July 24, 2017

The Right Hires Can Be a Make-or-Break Factor in Your Career as a Leader


As a leader, you’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates during your career. You know what you’re doing, right? You’re running from meeting to meeting, and you’ve got that interview at two 0’clock sharp with what’s-his-name. Who cares, right? All the pertinent information is in the Outlook invite.

This is the common thought process of many leaders when it comes to hiring, and yet hiring can be a make-or-break factor in your success as a leader!

In today’s hot job market, candidates are fickle. According to LinkedIn, the No. 1 reason why people look for new jobs is career opportunity. Other common motivations include more money and better work/life balance.

As a leader, you need a strategy for convincing top-tier candidates why they should want to join your company over any others. Leaving interviews to chance is risky – for your team, for your company, and for your own career and reputation as a leader.

Here are a few ways you can build a better hiring process that results in better hires:

1. Make Interviews More Consistent

Think about the difference between baking a cake with a recipe and baking one without a recipe. Not sure how much sugar to use? Just throw a fistful in! It will be okay! Maybe.

Interviewing is a lot like baking a cake. If you’re prepared to ask the same questions in each interview, you’ll quickly determine who is your top choice at the end of the process. If you go to each interview unprepared and just wing it, you won’t get comparable views of each candidate.

If you yourself don’t have time to conduct proper interviews, craft a list of questions and hand it over to your in-house recruiter or hiring manager. That way, they’ll gather the valuable information you can’t gather yourself.

2. Compare Notes

Once all the interviews have been completed, spread out the notes and resumes on your desk. This way, it will be easier to see patterns, identify the pros and cons of each candidate, and compare them. The quality candidates in terms of skill set and cultural fit should rise to the top; your best hire should practically jump off the desk.

3. Get Some Outside Influence

Consider having one or two team members the new hire would work with weigh in on the matter. Be sure to take these future colleagues’ feedback seriously, but don’t base your entire decision on it. In the end, this is not a democracy; it’s your hire.

If you invite team members into the hiring process, be sure to prepare them. Talk about what they can and can’t, should and shouldn’t ask candidates. Also, beware of puffed up team members who now feel empowered because you asked them to be part of the interview process. Think about your team panel interviews carefully before putting and job seekers through them.

Hiring from your gut is rarely the best choice consistently over time. People lie in interviews, and one bad hire can ruin the entire team. Taking less than 30 minutes to prep interview questions, review team feedback, and look at the information you’ve gathered will ensure better hires.

Elizabeth Lions is an executive career coach. You can learn more at ElizabethLions.com.

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Elizabeth Lions is the author of two books, "Recession Proof Yourself" and “I Quit! Working for You Isn't Working For Me.” Her third book on leadership will arrive in 2016. Elizabeth is also a well-know radio personality on Plaid For Women, where she hosts a show called “Leadership Lessons From the Lioness.” Elizabeth has a private practice as an executive career coach where she helps executives in transition and with leadership development. A wise adviser, Elizabeth has been quoted in U.S. World News Report, AOL Jobs, Australian Finance, Silicon India, CBS Money Watch, Yahoo, The Ladders, and Dice. Before becoming an accomplished author, professional speaker, and coach, Elizabeth started her career as a headhunter on the West Coast. Elizabeth had the pleasure of working with the leaders of Microsoft, Wells Fargo, eBay, and Intel, to name a few. Today, Elizabeth can be found writing, coaching, and collaborating with the who’s who of corporate America. When she isn't working, Elizabeth can be found traveling across state lines with her husband on their Harley-Davidson motorcycle or in the yoga studio twisting for hours on end. For more information about her philosophies, please visit www.elizbethlions.com