Break the Silos in Talent Selection

“No, we keep those assessment reports in HR. Otherwise our managers will use it as a crutch when they make a hire.” “Oh,” was how I responded. “What the #*@& are you thinking” was what almost came flying from my usually very harsh mouth.

This was just a part of the conversation that I recently had with a recruiting manager for a fairly large company. The rest of the chat was no more enlightening so I will spare you the details.

This HR person was honest but this same practice (or maybe mindset) is in place throughout too many companies. Each person collects information on a hire from the assessment, interview, reference check, etc. and hoards it. Maybe hoarding is a bit too strong but certainly data isn’t shared and selection turns into a set of silos. Bad hires and missed opportunity are the inevitable results.

Any statistician understands the concept of “incremental predictability”. It basically means layering complementary data to gain an exponential increase in accuracy. (I am not a statistician so, for those of you who are, please stop cringing at my simplistic explanation.) By leveraging the candidate info collected in each step, you gain this incremental advantage in decision making.

I know it all sounds academic, but it’s not that hard. Here is an example …

A large chain of dental offices moved their assessment earlier in the process and made sure that everyone involved in interviewing had a copy to review in advance of the interview. They also taught them how to use the interview questions created by the assessment (this was a feature offered by the vendor) to get to the heart of the competencies being assessed for the specific position. After the interviews were conducted, topics that needed a bit of a deeper dive were given back to HR to use in the reference checks. Again, these questions tended to be (but were not exclusively) around the competencies from the assessment. The result of this process … a fifty percent reduction in turnover and significantly higher same store year over year comps. There were really two main changes that occurred here … (1.) Getting the right tools/processes aligned around the competencies, and (2.) Sharing the information collected at each step to drive the next step. They broke the silos.

Here is your challenge … look at your selection process and answer two questions: (1.) Are we sharing data collected at each step with others involved in the selection process, and (2.) Are we really leveraging that information to drive greater predictability in the next step(s)?


HR Tech Sales Rethunk

Yes, I meant rethunk instead of … you get it.

Riding the train to Manhattan (father/daughter weekend) reading an article in HRB about the secret to smarter sales and the new art of the “Big Idea”. Showing the buyer how it can be done better in a fundamentally new way based on a need that they may not be able to articulate yet. Basically, it says that the days of “Solution Sales” … asking a million questions to identify a “hook” (need), developing an internal champion and presenting a solution specifically focused on that need … is over.

Had this exact conversation with my VP of Sales the other day.  I am the CEO of a software company and buy a ton of stuff from a ton of sales reps, most of whom suck royally at selling but I’m sure are fine people. Who in the hell wants to be on the receiving end of a technology sales rep go through this mundane process of asking questions of no value to the buyer only to have the answers used as hammer once the vulnerability is found???? Or even worse, having them offer to “come visit me” to smack me with said “solution” hammer.

HR technology vendors (present company included) are stuck in an old-fashioned selling pattern. The pace of HR tech demands that vendors step up and show the buyer the light. Show the “Big Idea” on how [NAME THE CATEGORY … RECRUITMENT, PERFORMANCE MGT, ETC.) can be done so much better and stop focusing so much time on how a solution is the perfect fit for some narrowly defined problem articulated by the buyer  (or worse, RFP) who likely understands neither the full scope of the problem or the possibilities that exist today.

Here is the challenge .. HR Tech sales reps (our reps at the top of this list) start delivering the Big Idea more and the “solution” hammer less … challenge the buyer to think bigger.