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Hell Yeah or No (#55)

I’ve heard “You have to listen to the Derek Sivers/Tim Ferriss Podcast” from so many friends and colleagues that I’ve lost count. And they were right. I finally found the time to do so and I was not disappointed.

Derek Sivers founded CD Baby in 1998 to solve the problem of distributing his own CD’s to independent musicians. After friends asked if he could sell theirs, too, CD Baby grew into an established online CD store without any investors. By 2008, CD Baby was making about $250K a month net profit.

Derek is incredibly well-spoken, insightful and thoughtful and is a treasure trove of life and business wisdom. One of my main takeaways from listening to Tim’s podcast interview of Derek is his “Hell Yeah or No” approach to life.

This ideology was solidified some years ago when he said “no” to a trip to Asia that he didn’t want to go on.  He realized that, by saying “yes” to things in his life that he really didn’t want to do, it took away from what he truly enjoyed doing and distracted him from his goals and objectives. So, he decided then and there that if something wasn’t a “Hell Yeah” from his perspective, then it was a “no.” Today, he says no to most requests and thus has time for the things that he loves and really wants to do.

I can really relate to this struggle and have tried to become more aware that every time I says yes to something that I’m not genuinely excited about, it’s a drain on my energy and a distraction from my long-term goals and happiness.

The “hell yeah” principal is also something that has improved our recruiting process at AP. We realized that, while we eventually hired the right person, we’d often let the wrong people get too far along in the interview process. Although interviewers saw red flags along the way, they’d wait for others to validate them. After taking a close look at our recruiting process, we decided that if a candidate is not a potential “hell yeah” from the beginning, then they are a “no” and it’s made a significant improvement in our hiring efficiency.

For the next few weeks, when you are asked to do something, ask yourself, is it a “hell yeah” or a “no”? I think you will find this filter to be liberating, I know I have.

For more of Derek’s wisdom, I too recommend that you listen to his podcast interview with Tim Ferriss or watch his Ted Talk on “How to Start a Movement.”

Quotes of the Week

“Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it.”

Derek Sivers

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5 Keys to Behaviorally Smart Hiring: Don’t rely solely on resumes, concentrate on who the person is

Great resumes can be bought. Behaviors can’t be.

The only way to effectively hire and retain candidates is to ensure you not only fit the right skills to the right job but that you also find the right cultural and behavioral style fit for the role and team.

Validating behavioral intelligence will deepen engagement in each human interaction the candidate will have in the business as part of their performance. A person’s skills will be a moot point if he or she can’t effectively interact with the team and/or customers or if the person is a social butterfly when a task-oriented person is needed.? The process of exploring and validating behavioral intelligence should also uncover life and business decision-making patterns as this could determine whether or not a candidate will be a long-term, loyal, and successful hire.

Happy Candidate in the Right Role

Key 1: Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent

Ask questions to discover if the vision and direction the candidate has for his or her life aligns with the vision and direction of the organization. Another important question to investigate is whether the organization can deliver its part to bring a successful outworking of the candidate’s vision and life direction? If the answer is yes, then not only will it be a great hire, but likely a long-term relationship. An individual is less likely to consider leaving when he or she is a part of working towards a shared key goal or milestone.

Key 2: Uncover life and decision making patterns

Understanding how to communicate effectively is the most valuable route to uncovering behaviors, decision making patterns and strengthening engagement. Knowing the communication style of each candidate prior to the hiring interview will enable the interviewing panel to customize their questions to the individual’s communication style.

To be able to effectively uncover life and decision making patterns, it’s important to understand how to communicate and the right questions to ask.Gaining insight into the communication and behavioral style of a candidate will reveal how well the individual/ he or she will fit with colleagues and respond to managers and supervisors.

Key 3: Match behaviors as well as talents to the role–having the skills to do the job isn’t enough

It is best to keep in mind, however, that having the skills to do the job isn’t enough. People want to work with meaning. Jobseekers will apply for positions they feel match their skills, but often the hiring process fails to match both talents and behaviors to the job. Whilst organizations need to secure the talent necessary for the success of the business, matching behaviors, as well as talents to roles, builds foundational blocks for long-term success.

Key 4: Don’t hire yourself

The trap many hiring panels fall into is assuming that a great exchange between candidate and hiring panel translates to best role fit. To avoid this pitfall, the interview panel needs to understand their own individual and collective behavior, communication and decision-making style in advance. This awareness will enable the panel to adapt their communication and interviewing style to the candidates. It is natural to feel more comfortable with communication that mirrors one’s own style. Conversely, it’s also the case that there could be an adverse response to communication styles that do not align.

Key 5: Be known as a champion organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to work for a winner.

Be Known as a Champion Organization

Understand and implement each of these 5 keys, and you are more likely to hire effectively and retain top talent. People want to work for an organization that values talent, communicates effectively, and is known not only for its success in business but its inherent ability to know, understand and engage with employees to get the very best out of them/unlock their potential. Having a reputation as an organization that delivers their employees vision, in addition to delivering the vision of the business, will attract top talent.

Key 1: Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent.

Key 2: Uncover life and decision making patterns.

Key 3: Match behaviors as well as talents to the role; having the skills to do the job isn’t enough.

Key 4: Don’t hire yourself

Key 5: Be known as a champion organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to for a winner.

There’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. Look for candidates who can perform at the job with a bit of training and practice but have a communication and behavioral style that’s the best fit for your current team dynamics.

Remember: Great resumes can be bought. Behaviors cannot be.

Behavioral Approach to Hiring Trap: The Dangers of Hiring Yourself

Right Person, Right Job, Right Fit

Hiring is one of the most significant functions of leadership. Hiring people that fit the culture of the organization can be more important than focusing on talent and skills alone. Hiring candidates that are culturally fit with your organization can help companies improve employee retention, engagement, loyalty and organizational stability. Understanding behavioral styles and how candidates would fit into not just the company culture, but the team dynamics and the specific tasks they have to perform, is fundamental to the hiring process.

Results of studies over the years vary on the exact cost of hiring the wrong person. But unquestionably, a bad hire brings exorbitant costs in the efforts of time, training, productivity, disruption, and possibly lost sales. These costs certainly include a lost opportunity to have had the right person accomplishing the tasks.

Overall, hiring is an expensive investment as it takes one of the most valuable resources: time. Therefore, it shouldn’t be rushed. Every hire must add value and fulfill a strategic role that enables the vision of the business to be expressed and implemented.

If the candidate performs well at the interview stage and theres a personal connection, exercise careful consideration as you might be in danger of hiring yourself. Hiring candidates who reflect your characteristics is a costly trap many leaders fall into.

If you are a leader involved in hiring, ensure that there is a very clear idea of the job to be filled and the value getting the right hire brings to the business. Feeling familiar and comfortable with a potential hire might not be good for the business but it takes an evaluation. Understanding how to manage different communication and behavioral styles to best engage hires with the business is a key to the evaluation and solution/ answer.

Wise leaders hire and develop people who are smarter than themselves. To be a proactive leader, understand the gaps in your own skill set and look for candidates who are able to fill those gaps in order to build a team that can deliver continuous excellent outcomes. A well rounded team leverages each team members strengths to match the tasks to be completed.

The key is to understand how to manage individuals behaviors within a team environment. Successful teams will always include, for example, relationship builders as they glue the team together and manage stake-holders expectations. Strategists, who are the planners, steer the team to deliver required outcomes on time. Initiators, who are the take charge type, motivate and author changes in direction and pace if required. Reflective thinkers question and evaluate the details.? Such behavioral factors working together bring strengths to an organization or team but also present some blind spots. As a leader, it is important to understand this dynamic and use the knowledge to draw together a cohesive, balanced, and high performing team.

Hiring the right person for the right job should involve a variety of viewpoints and skill sets. You want your team to challenge each other to achieve at the next level.

Understanding communication and behavioral styles uncovers:

  • Talents ? predictable behaviors that are ingrained
  • Learned Behaviors ? behaviors that are developed or evolved:
  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Experiences
  • Environments
  • Core Foundations:
  • Passion
  • Values
  • Purpose
  • Healthy Money Attitude

Leaders, heres your challenge: Use your understanding of different behavioral styles as a stepping stone guide to the right hire and:

  1. Be clear on the company and team values and company culture; who will fit in and/or what complimentary styles need to be added
  2. Evaluate the process, role, specific tasks and responsibilities that require an additional person
  3. Develop a benchmark for the “desired” behavioral style of the new hire that fits the role, the team and the company
  4. In addition to reviewing resumes, references and interview results, add a behavioral assessment for each candidate to see how close to the desired benchmark profile they are for another data point in the decision making process.
  5. Look at what the team will look like with the new person on the team (should there be a shift in responsibilities to leverage individual strengths?)
  6. Include a discussion on behavioral styles in the hiring process (this offers some really great discussions and insights that regular interview questions don’t provide.)

Invest time into building your team through both resume content and uncovering natural behavior, which provides stability over the long-term. Natural behavior is the unique mix of ingrained traits that shape how a person responds to other factors in their life that constantly change ? upbringing, workplace, learning, passion, relationships. Uncover this and you will have the right person in the right job delivering the right fit and will not have fallen into the trap of hiring yourself.