Talent Management

You’re Not the Person I Hired: Barry Deutsch Webinar Summary

Barry Deutsch HeadshotWhy do 56% of all executive hires fail in their first year to eighteen months? Because most companies don’t hire according to a documented process. They use outdated techniques and depend too much on luck when trying to find and hire successful candidates. In a recent Fridays with Vistage webinar titled, “You’re Not the Person I Hired: The CEO and Key Executive’s Guide to Hiring Top Talent,” performance management expert Barry Deutsch shared his system for dramatically increasing hiring success. Deutsch has more than 20 years of experience in the executive search field and hiring process improvement, and his approach is based on exhaustive research, including interviews and consultations with thousands of companies.

Deutsch introduced his Success Factor Methodology as the key to creating a process that’s scalable and replicable. The steps are:

  1. Define success by SOARing. The SOAR method is an alternative to the traditional method of writing up a “job description.” A job description doesn’t predict or manage performance. Most job descriptions are designed to define minimum education requirements, minimum skills and knowledge, vague behaviors and attitudes, (ex. “Gets along well with others.”) The SOAR method, however, is designed to define success. SOAR is an acronym which means:
    • S—Situation. Describe the situation or problem. What aren’t you getting that you need?
    • O—Obstacles. Describe the main obstacles your new employee will encounter as they try to deliver the results you want.
    • A—Action. What action needs to be taken to solve the problem? Each action step should map back to each obstacle.
    • R—Results. What are the measurable/quantifiable results required? Tell the candidate specifically the result you’re looking for and show how each action step contributes to that result.
  2. Find the best candidates through the Success Sourcing Methods. Deutsch strongly encourages leaders to ask current employees for referrals. Posting job ads online is a good method too, because it’s inexpensive, but he also suggested a few tweaks to your job posting to improve the likelihood that you’ll attract top candidates:
    • Write more compelling headlines and marketing statements to make your ad stand out. Instead of writing, “Receptionist,” use, “Front Office Ambassador” or “Director of First Impressions.”
    • Challenge the candidate by asking a question, such as “Are you tired of being relegated to nothing more than back office functions?” Get an emotional, gut-level reaction from the candidate to engage them fully in your position.
    • Paint an exciting vision of your company. Where will your organization be in two or three years? Show the candidate how they will contribute to that vision. “You’ll drive us to…” and “We’ll reach…because you…”
    • Share the key success factors by stating specifically how you want the candidate to contribute. “You’ll help us launch two new products this year,” or “You’ll help us reduce costs by 50%.”
  3. Conduct a five question success-based interview by employing the Five Key Predictive Elements:
    • High Initiative—The best candidates are self-motivated, so ask for an example of when and where they demonstrated initiative.
    • Flawless Execution—The best candidates get the job done, so ask for an example of when they executed a job flawlessly.
    • Leadership—The best candidates execute by leveraging others, so ask if they can share their most significant success in leading a cross-functional team on a major project.
    • Past success—The best candidates have had success in their past environment, so ask them to describe a comparable success to the specific success factor you’re looking for.
    • Adaptability—The best candidates can adapt to your environment, so ask how the implementation of this success factor in your environment differ from their previous environment.

    The second key to successful interviewing, involves the Magnifying Glass Approach, or getting to the truth:

    • Paint a visual picture of what the candidate actually did.
    • Ask for examples. Invite them to be specific.
    • Probe deeply for the why, when, how and what.
    • Get all the details—size, scope, complexity, effort, team issues and dates.
  4. Evaluate the candidate using the 8 Level Success Matrix, which is a scoring tool developed by Deutsch’s company to determine whether a candidate can in fact deliver the results you want. He made this core template available to all webinar participants who emailed him to ask for it. (barry@impacthiringsolutions.com)
  5. Use reference checking and additional methods for validation of Success Factors. One way to remain objective when you measure your candidate is to take the information given during the interview and wrap it in other points of light. You perform deep and intrusive reference checks and background checks, give homework assignments, skill tests and personality assessments, ask for copies of W-2’s, performance evaluations and portfolios of their work. Examine all these pieces and then ask yourself whether the person you just met is reflected in this evidence.

If you want success in hiring you must make hiring a real process instead of an arbitrary and random set of events. Crossing your fingers simply doesn’t work. To learn more about Barry Deutsch and his hiring methods, please visit: www.impacthiringsolutions.com

Category: Talent Management

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About the Author: Rebecca McCarthy

Rebecca L. McCarthy is the owner of the The Written Coach in San Diego, California where she gives business professionals the tools they need to write and publish their books. She has published more than 40 books—some se

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