Showing posts with label Learner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Learner. Show all posts
How to Hire a Learner?

The best way a human resources team can redeem an organization is by hiring the best learners for your organization. Mind-set is one of the most important aspects of a job candidate. Dr. Dweck describes this in her book Mindset: The new psychology of success, if you (a candidate) believes that the qualities in you (Any Candidate) are carved in stone then you do them over and over again to prove a point. But if you have an incremental theory, if you believe that your definition can be modified and cultivated through efforts then you are the Learner we might be looking for.
Please do not look for a person who excelled in his role before but a person who can learn what your job position might offer him. Amazon’s Bezos asks job candidates a question which has nothing to do with his current job, for example, he will ask how many fax machines are there in the world, Or why the manholes or Pizzas are round not square. This is a way to find out the learning ability of a candidate. The idea is not to know if someone is prescient but to know if someone made a mistake, accepts it, and wants to learn from it.

Always hire people who are smarter and more knowledgeable than you. Or at least they are of a mind-set of an incremental theory.

Four most important things define any interview are:-

Sourcing, Interviewing, Hiring, and Compensation. 
We must expand our view to know how a candidate can be understood by us. One example, I came across a resume of a gentleman who was working in IBM from 2003 (when I was graduating). I wanted to hire him as director operations he had almost everything for the role. He knew his operations plans, he was well versed. His English was above average (The most important thing when we hire in India 😊), Everything was smooth and I asked him a question kind of a mandatory one which I ask any candidate “ Why do you want to work with us” He said that he wanted to work with us because our office was close to his home. That one answer decided that the last half an hour was wasted.

Training and Learning are the 2 most important pillars of any leader. So here is my advice on hiring.
  1. Leadership (The office reception staff is the best person to let you know how a candidate really is? Leadership is defined mostly as the way we treat others, the candidate appeared for the job, how is he behaving with the office employees? like office support staff, or the receptionist herself, can determine a few basic leadership qualities)
  2. Last role and understanding of the current role (Operational questions usually the operations Executive who is taking the interview knows about these questions)
  3. General abilities (Common sense) (This is where we ask the Why questions? E.g. why manholes are round? Or why pizzas are round?)
  4. Is he suitable for what you do? (Above 3 conditions will tell you the answer to this question)
Dig deeper find out if the candidate is into sports or he is into any extracurricular activity. 

Ok, an experiment ‘Stuck in a deserted place experiment’ let's say you and the candidate are stuck at a place for a few hours with no-one around will you both be able to tolerate each other? If the answer to this question is yes and you found his process knowledge good maybe you should hire this guy.


The old way of hiring was simple
  • Select a good performer 
  • Educate him as to who you and your company are? 
  • See if both you and him match and 
  • Sell him on the Job. 
If this works for you, you should do this. The candidate should do 80% of the talking, not you. However, If the candidate repeats himself/herself then you apologize out of courtesy and change the topic. Every job interview must have following questions:-
  1. What are your weaknesses, how are you trying to overcome them?
  2. Why do you think you are ready for this new job
  3. Why we should hire you?
  4. What was your most significant failure
  5. Why do you think that (X degree from X side) should be given a job in Sales or any other department?
  6. What was the most important thing you have done in your last job?
  7. Why did you decide to get X or Y Degree and how is that helping you?
Conducting a good interview needs a different approach: Preparation. This is true regardless of who you are hiring a senior manager or an entry-level employee. Being a good interviewer requires understanding the role, reading the resume, and most important preparing your questions. Another important aspect is what kind of questions the person appearing for the interview is asking you. If you end up having an interesting intellectual conversation with the candidate try and hire him. 

How many rounds of Interview should we have before considering the offer?

The answer is at least 4, the goal of an interview is to form an opinion a Strong Opinion.

1. Basic interview by written test (Basic analytical abilities)
2. Someone observing the candidate (Like receptions staff giving points on a sheet)
3. HR round (at least 2 HR’s Determine who is the candidate, why should we hire him)
4. Operations Round (A small group of senior most executive must take this round)

Remember urgency of the role is never sufficiently important to compromise the quality of hiring. In a showdown between speed and quality, quality must prevail.

Never hold your hands back on compensation, When we like a candidate who goes through our tough process of interviewing we should never hold our hands back on compensation. When I say this I don’t want you to write him a blank check. I am only saying that compensate him handsomely. Always give him the pay which he is looking for however 10% of that yearly pay should be paid as a bonus depending on his performance. Once at the job if he is really worth it pay him outrageously. People who can make you an outrageous worth, deserve to be paid outrageous. The bigger the impact the bigger the compensation.

Note for the HR team: Bottom 10% of any organization if you trade them with new hires would we as an organization improve? If so then we need to look at that hiring process which yielded these bottom 10%. Another question, if anyone from your team says they are leaving will you fight for them? If answer is NO then it was a bad hire.
Note: There are a few managers who enjoy firing, this instils fear. Do not give an excuse for this person. 


Hiring Do’s, just don’t do the opposite. I am saving my time from writing the Don’ts
  1. Hire people who are smarter than you
  2. Hire people who can add value to your org.
  3. Hire problem solvers
  4. Hire people who are self-motivated and passionate
  5. Hire people who can inspire others and work well in a team
  6. Hire people who can have another life apart from work
  7. Hire open communicators and Ethical
  8. Most important Hire only when you found what you were looking for “A great Candidate”
Be Stupid but be wise. Make mistake and never repeat them.