Hiring must-haves

How do you hire? How do you pick someone to join your team?

Hiring is the most difficult business function—and at the same time the most critical.

The usual “stuff” you’ve got to deal with includes polished résumés, pre-screened references, and scripted answers.

So how do you figure out if this person is one you’d want to hire?

That’s a tough job.

No surprise, then, that hiring success rates are abysmally low, that penalty costs are extremely high, and that precious time goes down the drain.

That was then. Going forward, it will work differently.

When hiring people for any type of job and role, you’d want to focus on two must-have information signals:

  1. Superskills (= thinking skills, learning skills, social skills, collaboration skills, creative skills, ‘getting things done’ skills, ‘taking feedback’ skills, and more)

    Adam Bryant of The New York Times captured this in speaking with over 500 business leaders for his “Corner Office” series:

    “A person’s natural strength is not about their current title or what they studied in college. It is a particular skill or ability that, for them, comes as naturally as breathing but that others may find difficult. Other ways to ask this question: If everybody is in the top 5 percent of the world at some skill, what is yours? Or what is your ninja skill?”

  2. Microskills (= things someone knows how to do well, or things one can learn quickly how to do well — eg, coding, customer service, inside sales, graphic design, financial modeling, and more)

Everything else, including diplomas, school rank, grades, age, or extracurricular activities (regardless of how it's labeled), is either a source of noise or a source of bias. Neither of which are desirable.

In fact, noise and bias have one effect: they make it harder to spot the right people.


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