Everyone who follows or participates in the stock market knows that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. There are too many variables that impact the volatility of the market. The best way to choose stocks is to evaluate past performance and project the economic climate that will impact future growth.
The same process applies to hiring quality employees. Past performance indicates what they are capable of doing. The question that remains is “What will they do if hired into a key position?”
There are several factors that must be considered:
What is the similarity between previous positions and the current one? The positions should have similar characteristics to expect successful integration. For example, it is reasonable to expect a manager to transition from sales to service. It is unreasonable to expect a clerk to transition to senior management without additional education.
How much education and training will be provided? Some positions have extensive training provided before there is an expectation of service. If this is the case, then the ability to learn is more critical than the ability to perform.
What level of autonomy will be allowed? Autonomy is often sincerely discussed during interviews and then rescinded after the hire. This is usually due to entrepreneurs unwilling to relinquish control. They recognize the need for additional expertise, but are unable to capitalize on the position. Do not create powerless positions. It reduces morale and undermines the entire organization.
What are the candidates plans for fulfilling their obligations? Most job searches consist of reviewing resumes, calling references, and asking questions like “where do you want to be in five years?” There are issues with this approach. Resumes are listings of previous positive performance. References always give glowing reports. And, the five-year question will be answered as generically as possible.
The next time there is a position to fill, look for the candidates that are solution oriented. The process is simple:
Ask them to attach a listing of three professional failures and the lessons learned to their resume. It will provide insight into their honesty, humility, and adaptability.
Explain the current challenges of the position and request an outline of the process they would utilize to resolve the issues. This will demonstrate their ability to strategize solutions.
Create a scenario that includes a challenging co-worker, employee, or boss. Ask how they would manage the environment. Hint: Fisticuffs are not an option!
Ask “Where do you see the company in five years?” Every employee is critical to the successful growth of the company. They should start thinking about the process before they are hired.
There are no guarantees in the stock or job markets. The best we can do is question, research, and trust our instincts.