Remember the Basics

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My partners and I are in a fascinating line of work. Every day we get to talk to interesting people from across the country about what's going on in our industry. Here're some things we've run across lately that may help you on the HR side.

October 01, 2006

My partners and I are in a fascinating line of work. Every day we get to talk to interesting people from across the country about what's going on in our industry.

 
The candidate who got the nod had one attribute we don't see often enough: he made it his business to know and adknowledge every member of his organization.

Here're some things we've run across lately that may help you on the HR side:

No Surprises

Hiring people should be a fairly fluid process. Learn and understand the following about each candidate early in the interview process:

  • Why are they interested in pursuing an opportunity with your company? Is it growth? Money? Environment? If a candidate's motivation is lack of promotion with their current company, it's critical you understand what his or her expectations look like going forward.
  • What are they making now (base, bonus, bonus criteria, when paid, etc.)? What do they expect to make? Will it cost them money via forfeited bonuses to make a change? This is especially true of anyone leaving a company late in their current bonus cycle.
  • Now that they've had the opportunity to get to know you and your company, what's their temperature? How interested are they? Ask them how they feel about being a member of the team.
  • If a candidate's requirements and expectations are out of alignment with yours, there is no need to move forward. Don't get surprised and find yourself in a negotiation at the last furlong. Selection takes time, and the last thing you need is a lot of time invested and no results.

No Need for Mystery

Too many people in our industry think that if they don't hear any feedback from their supervisor, they must be doing a good job. When associates know where they stand formally and informally they naturally become more focused; they have no need to guess or fill in the blanks.

What's In a Name?

We recently completed a COO search for a regional builder. During the search we interviewed talented and successful candidates. All had great technical prowess with histories of delivering high volume, revenue and profits. The candidate who got the nod had one attribute we don't see often enough: he made it his business to know and acknowledge every member of his organization.

I know what you're thinking: how hard can that be? In a normal company of 100 associates, it's tough, but certainly not impossible. The astonishing thing about this individual is he had more than 350 associates on his team.

Everyone's favorite word is their name. When they hear it, they feel celebrated, special and important. It costs nothing and the dividends this type of care and interest yield are huge.


Author Information
Bob Piper is the founding partner of The Talon Group, a leading retained executive search firm specializing in the real-estate development and home-building industries.


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