Give Job Candidates Interview Questions Before the Interview

Before candidates join for the interview round, Peoplism sends a thorough prep guide to sketch out expectations. “We tell the candidate most of the interview questions in advance. While it is a unique approach, I don’t understand why it’s that controversial and why other companies don’t do the same,” says co-founder Liz Kofman-Burns.

There are plenty of behind-the-scenes factors that contribute to someone being a … [ Read more ]

Nail Executive Transitions to Avoid “Hero to Xero”

Whether they’re stepping into an existing pair of shoes or carving out a brand-new role, new leaders often face a dose of skepticism from the org. “Whether we intend it or not, a lot of people have a wait-and-see approach. We’re excited about them, but is this going to work out? Versus having a vested interest in helping make that person successful,” says Anne Raimondi, … [ Read more ]

Shift to a Skills-Based Approach When Hiring

companies are starting to be more intentional about hiring for a candidate’s future potential, not their past history. But it’ll be a long road. Our traditional recruiting processes still place an emphasis on certain types of education, experience, or personal referrals that can lead to a homogenous workforce.

Start by rethinking your job descriptions. Focus on the results you’d like to see, rather than the type … [ Read more ]

Manager Effectiveness Index (MEI)

Performance reviews tend to be more heavily weighted to focus downward. (“I’m your manager, and here is what I think of your performance.”) There may be some mechanism for subordinates to provide feedback upward, but it often doesn’t carry the same importance. And that’s how bad bosses often stay in their roles.

One example of an effective model comes from Aron Ain, the CEO of Ultimate … [ Read more ]

The Overlooked Stay Conversation

There’s some debate over the best way to do exit interviews and how valuable they are. But there’s one kind of interview that most organizations fail to do — stay conversations. The concept is simple: Identify your top performers who you hope will stay with you the longest, and ask them why they stay. They may say things like:

  • “I have the best manager I’ve ever

[ Read more ]

Look Back, Look Forward

Molly Graham does a look back, look forward every month or two, or at the end of a project — whatever milestone that makes the most sense for an employee’s role. She asks them to look back on a project that they just finished and run through these questions:

Look back:

  • What did you like about that? What felt good?
  • What did you hate about it?

[ Read more ]

How to Talk about Employee Departures

But people still leave. Some want to try other things at other companies, or the fit isn’t right, so we have to let them go. It’s the natural cycle of business.

What’s never been natural at companies, though, is how these departures are handled. So at Basecamp we’ve created a ritual for when someone leaves: We tell everyone in the company why. Not just that person’s team, … [ Read more ]

720-Degree Assessments

Most have done a 360 and found that personal feedback may differ among supervisors, peers, or subordinates. We advocate a 720 for employees who have contact with people outside their organization. Customer contact employees may be more or less gifted at managing customer relationships. By asking customers their views, employees learn what they do well and not so well.

Humans vs. Algorithms for Hiring

Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball pits the collective old-time wisdom of baseball players, managers, coaches, scouts, and front offices against rigorous statistical analysis in determining which players to recruit. Analysis wins, changing the game forever. Could the same be true for recruiting top talent?

When the National Bureau of Economic Research looked into this, it pitted humans against computers for more than 300,000 hires in high-turnover jobs … [ Read more ]

Search for Hidden Talent Treasures

Organizations looking for outside talent pay an extraordinary amount of attention to resumes. […] Once people are inside, it’s almost as if some of kind of reset button is pressed: The details of their backgrounds seem to get dumped onto a far-off slag heap, and they become known only for what they do at the new organization. I call this phenomenon resumenesia — a malady … [ Read more ]

Screening Job Applicants for Cultural Fit

San Francisco startup Weebly invites job candidates to work on site during a “trial week,” paid at fair market value. Why? Simple: it’s very hard to suppress values-incongruent behaviors when working closely with others for that long. As their CEO says: “Assholes can hide it in interviews, but for whatever reason, they cannot hide it for a whole week. I don’t know why, but it … [ Read more ]

Create a “How to Use Me” Guide

Jay Desai has FOMU. As a first-time founder and CEO of health technology startup PatientPing, he’s got a healthy fear of messing up. This anxiety especially bubbles to the surface when it has to do with his team — now over 100 employees — and particularly the seven who report directly to him. He’s seen too many immensely talented and productive teams stall because of … [ Read more ]

Gamification of the Enterprise

In the summer of 2011, Facebook announced it would use the social performance platform Rypple (now part of Salesforce.com) for internal reviews and communications.  Rypple allows employees to create and compete in challenges, receive recognition from colleagues, see what others are working on, and find where needed skills may exist within an organization. But Rypple is not a game. It doesn’t even look like a … [ Read more ]

Intermittent Reinforcement is More Effective

Intermittent “extras” are more powerful than constant bonuses that are predictable. Say that a manager wants to reward employees. A good way to do it is with a lottery system. You could set it up so one would have to maintain some level of performance to be eligible for the lottery. The hope of entering the lottery will keep workers going at a higher level … [ Read more ]

Hire Two Salespeople at a Time

Spanning’s Jeff Erramouspe likes to hire salespeople in pairs. “You spend the same energy training one sales rep as two,” he says, “and it promotes healthy competition from the start.” It’s also a hedge against high turnover: “You don’t want to spend all that effort and be back where you started.”

Improve HR with a Rotational Onboarding Program and Peer-to-Peer Hiring

One important initiative at ING has been a new three-week onboarding program, also inspired by Zappos, that involves every employee spending at least one full week at the new Customer Loyalty Team operations call center taking customer calls. As they move around the key areas of the bank, new employees quickly establish their own informal networks and gain a deeper understanding of the business.

We have … [ Read more ]

Give Your Employees Meaning to Improve Turnover

At Zumasys, in addition to the typical corporate benefits, every employee gets three to four weeks of vacation, complementary access to the company’s two-bedroom Vegas loft, and the opportunity to qualify for a tenure-based international travel program that, each year, gives four to six employees a week off with pay and a $4,000 stipend to travel to the destination of their choice. The open-book financials … [ Read more ]

Institutionalize an “Astonishment Report”

At the end of their induction period (generally three months), new hires are required to write (and discuss with their boss) a short report documenting anything and everything that they have found interesting or surprising since joining the company.

Why You Should Interview People Who Turn Down a Job with Your Company

Successfully competing for top talent involves both selling jobs to the best candidates and retaining the highest performing incumbents. In order to be seen as an employer of choice with a compelling value proposition for employees, many companies measure turnover and conduct exit interviews with departing employees to gather feedback about the experiences people had working there and the reasons why they’re leaving. But a … [ Read more ]

Learn and Earn

ipd Company, a small auto parts company in Portland, Oregon, pays its employees to read. And, not just business books, but a wide range of self-improvement books. And, not just books, but also tapes and audio/video seminars.

Richard Gordon, president of ipd, started the “Learn and Earn” program in 1988 when he began to wonder, “what would it be like if our people read the same … [ Read more ]