It starts with the job description.
- Add the toughest aspects of the job
- Use emotional words that connect with those tough things
- Include a request for something unusual
Hey I’m Larry Sharpe and I’m going to talk to you today about a big problem that people have. How do you get a good hire? Now, we know a bad hire can cost you so much in time and money, energy, customers—all types of things. So what are the first three steps you need to take to get a good hire?
It’s not the interview. It’s not the resume. It’s in the job description. Here’s what I want you to do first. Think about the toughest aspects of this job. Whatever those tough things are going to be—and don’t sugarcoat them at all—what’s tough. In this example we’re going to hire a customer service rep. In this case we know that, man you’ve got some tough customers. They are mean. They can be nasty. That’s one thing: mean and nasty customers. That’s one, don’t sugarcoat it. Second, your system isn’t set up as good as it could be yet. You’re aware of this. That’s why you’re hiring this person—to kind of help work kinks out—and you’re aware of that. Now you don’t want to hide that fact. You want to be very open. That’s the first step. I got tough customers and I don’t have a good system.
Part two, you want to now put in that job description emotional words, not qualifications—emotional words that connect with those tough things. I don’t want you to put “needs to be able to do, has to have experience in.” That’s nice but not critical. “Must love dealing with challenging customers. Must enjoy breaking in a new system to make it stronger faster better.” That’s the kind of thing I want you to do. Literally put it there. You’re going to say, “But Larry, some people are going to go ‘I don’t want this job’.” Good! They’re not a good hire for you. I don’t want you to get 200 resumes to go through. No, go through 20 that actually think this is interesting that this is going to be a tough job with tough customers and I got to break in a new system. They’re not going to be surprised, are they? They’re going to get it when it happens and that’s what I want.
Those are your first two steps: what are the toughest parts of this job and then how do I connect them with positive emotional pieces. Ask them, “well do you love that? Will you enjoy that?” If I have people self-select, absolutely a-okay.
Number three, I want to have in my job description a request for something that is interesting, or odd or different, not normal that you would always think. But something interesting. Not like references, but something like: ask them, “what’s your favorite color?” I’m not joking put in there “please also include your favorite color.” Or, “tell me about a time when something happened.” Or, “if you know this or that position requires a lot of research.” If that’s what you’re hiring for, “please research something and give me one sentence or one idea about this thing.” A lot of people aren’t going to do that. Then they don’t want your job, do they? That’s a good thing. That’s a way to have a good hire and to avoid a bad hire. But what if they didn’t read and get the details? They don’t really want your job, do they? That’s the point.
The first three steps to getting a good hire are to openly and honestly recognize the hardest things, not the best things. The hardest things about this job. Connect them with positive emotional words like ‘love’ and ‘enjoy.’ You need to put that stuff in there and then ask for something special. Do that and see who comes in, what resumes come in, and which ones actually have given you this special thing. Now sort through those. Easier, faster, better chance for a good hire.
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