Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Hiring’

7 Must-Ask Questions When Hiring

In Eric Jacobson Leadership, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Hiring on November 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Hiring

Awhile back, the Harvard Business Review published some great questions that Gilt Groupe CEO Kevin Ryan asks when he is checking references.

Ryan serves on the board of Yale Corporation, Human Rights Watch, and INSEAD, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a M.B.A from INSEAD.

His main seven honest-feedback-extracting-questions (and follow-ups) are:

  1. Would you hire this person again?  If so, why and in what capacity?  If not, why not?
  2. How would you describe the candidate’s ability to innovate, manage, lead, deal with ambiguity, get things done and influence others?
  3. What were some of the best things this person accomplished?  What could he or she have done better?
  4. In what type of culture, environment, and role can you see this person excelling?  In what type of role is he or she unlikely to be successful?
  5. Would you describe the candidate as a leader, a strategist, an executor, a collaborator, a thinker, or something else?  Can you give me some examples to support your description?
  6. Do people enjoy working with the candidate, and would former coworkers want to work with him or her again?
  7. In what areas does the candidate need to improve?

Hire To Complement Your Skills

In Hiring, Interviewing on July 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Despite the temptation to hire someone like yourself, hire someone to complement your skills –not to duplicate your skills.

Managers often find it easier, more comfortable, or less threatening to hire someone with similar skills and work habits. But, to build a well-balanced team and to achieve maximum success, you need to have employees who can fill in your weaker areas.

So, if you are a great idea person, but a poor communicator, hire someone with strong communications skills. Similarly, if your team excels in sales but lacks organization, add an employee who leads in organization.

This may all seem like common sense. And you obviously need to hire someone to meet certain/minimum skill sets and who will be a good overall fit. But, do what you can to avoid the trap or temptation to hire someone just like you.

The 7 Questions To Ask When Checking References

In Checking Referecnes, Hiring, Interviewing on June 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Eric Jacobson Kansas

Awhile back, the Harvard Business Review published some great questions that Gilt Groupe CEO Kevin Ryan asks when he is checking references.

Ryan serves on the board of Yale Corporation, Human Rights Watch, and INSEAD, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a M.B.A from INSEAD.

His main seven honest-feedback-extracting-questions (and follow-ups) are:

  1. Would you hire this person again?  If so, why and in what capacity?  If not, why not?
  2. How would you describe the candidate’s ability to innovate, manage, lead, deal with ambiguity, get things done and influence others?
  3. What were some of the best things this person accomplished?  What could he or she have done better?
  4. In what type of culture, environment, and role can you see this person excelling?  In what type of role is he or she unlikely to be successful?
  5. Would you describe the candidate as a leader, a strategist, an executor, a collaborator, a thinker, or something else?  Can you give me some examples to support your description?
  6. Do people enjoy working with the candidate, and would former coworkers want to work with him or her again?
  7. In what areas does the candidate need to improve?

How To Get Good At Hiring

In Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Hiring on May 10, 2014 at 3:52 am

Here are some great tips for how to get good at hiring from the May issue of Inc. magazine:

  • Identify your star employees and use their characteristics as a guideline for your next hires.
  • Hire people for their potential. Don’t focus so much on resumes.  Otherwise, you may get someone who fulfills your current requirements but isn’t able to meet your company’s future needs.
  • Go for quality.  Hire fewer employees but of a higher caliber.
  • Carefully define the role.  Be specific about what you need.

Don’t Hire Jerks, No Matter How Talented

In Company Culture, General Leadership Skills, Hiring, Hiring Great People, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on February 8, 2011 at 7:35 am

“Don’t Hire Jerks, No Matter How Talented,” said Michael Lebowitz in a recent interview for The New York Times

Lebowitz is the CEO of Big Spaceship, a marketing and communications agency.  He claims, and I agree, that no matter how talented the person may be, if he/she can’t fit into the company culture and work effectively with co-workers, it doesn’t matter how talented he/she is.

The other advice Lebowitz gives is:

  • If you are the CEO, be the FIRST person to interview a candidate.  Don’t be last, as is typically the case.

“I completely step back from trying to assess their skills. I leave that to the people they’re going to be working with really closely,” said Lebowitz.  “And, so I spend as much time as an hour, sometimes 90 minutes, just trying to figure out who they are and if they’re going to be a good fit for the culture.”

In his interviews, Lebowitz asks these open-ended questions:

  • So, what do you do?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What should you do on your first day, first week, and first month?

“If one of the answers isn’t “listen,” then it’s not going to work out at all. 

Thanks to marketing guru, Debbie Laskey, for sending me the interview.

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