Five Things Hiring Managers Can Do to See and Hire Stronger People



While using the Performance-based Interview and Talent Scorecard will dramatically increase assessment accuracy, it really won’t matter if hiring managers aren’t not seeing enough good people to begin with. In this case, they’ll just be more confident they’re not hiring the right person.

For most people, the interview is just an assessment tool, not a recruiting tool. In order for it to be both there are a number of things a hiring manager can do to improve the quality of people seen, interviewed and hired. Here are my top five:

  1. Clarify job expectations before you ever see anyone. A list of skills, duties and experience requirements is not a job description, it’s a person description. Few top people are excited when companies use these for advertising purposes. Instead, define what the person in the role needs to do to be successful, tie this to the company strategy or important project, and describe why people already doing this role find most appealing. Here’s a sample posting for a Controller that covers it all. I call documents defining the top 4-5 performance objectives required for on the job success performance-based job descriptions. (FYI, this step is number one of Gallup’s Q12 of factors that drive employee performance and job satisfaction.)
  2. Treat your recruiter as a trusted partner. When a recruiter doesn’t understand real job needs he or she converts to a transactional sales approach focusing on box-checking skills. This is an instant turn-off to anyone competent. Recruiting top people involves a consultative sales process that starts with a full understanding of real job needs. On top of this add a strategic approach to sourcing and networking that enables the recruiter to uncover the best people in short order. Recruiters can make or break a hiring manage. This is why they should be treated as core members of the department and invited to every staff meeting.
  3. Conduct an exploratory phone screen before ever conducting a face-to-face interview. I just read a small segment of a rather scholarly report by Dan Cable that investigated the impact of first impressions on the predictability of the interview. The key finding: there is a negative correlation! If you like someone you go into sales mode, and if you dislike someone you seek out their flaws. You can virtually eliminate this problem by conducting a performance-based exploratory screen before inviting a person in for an onsite interview. You’ll need to give the person an overview of the job and then ask what he or she accomplished that’s most comparable. Invite the person for an onsite interview if the accomplishment is comparable to what you need done and the person sees your job as a career move. (See Step 4.)
  4. Convert your job into a career move. Aside from assessing competency and motivation to do the work, the other big purpose of the interview is to convince the person your job represents a career move. Too many hiring managers think aggressive selling and hyperbole are the keys for convincing hot candidates their jobs are worthy. If it works, rest assured the person being wooed is not someone you want to hire. Instead use the interview to find voids in the candidate’s background that your job fills. These include things like a bigger team, bigger budget, more impact, greater visibility, and more long term growth. When a passive candidate who is not looking starts getting excited about what you have to offer, you know you’re on the right path. Start positioning your job this way during the phone screen. Dangle these factors as possibilities and reasons why the person should come in for an onsite interview to learn more. (Here’s a recent post describing how to set the stage for these types of career discussions.)
  5. Treat all candidates as consultants. One way to ensure candidates feel respected is to assume they’re competent, rather than incompetent. This is critically important when dealing with a passive candidate whom you’d like to hire, since they’ll judge the hiring manager on how well he or she listens. The quality of the hiring manager’s interviewing skills is also one factor top people use when deciding which offer to take, so don’t take the need to be a strong interviewer lightly. This “treat all candidates as consultants” perspective is also a great way to get everyone to converse more openly about their past performance.

Being a great manager starts by hiring great people, and hiring great people starts by understanding how they make career decisions. Foremost is a great job clarifying performance expectations, not a job description listing skills and experiences. So dump these immediately if you even want to be in the hunt for hiring great people. Next follow all of the other tactics described here with special emphasis on finding a great recruiter. Don’t be surprised when in a few weeks you’re being asked to have a few exploratory calls with a few top people who are not looking. That will be the first of many great days.


Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting and search firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He’s also a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine and BusinessInsider. His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), provides hands-on advice for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters on how to find the best job and hire the best people.

Photo: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Immigration Job 5,000 – 240 = 4760 for the Government and the rest for the common man

Immigration Jobs, All but 240 slots Allocated To Politicians

Most of the Immigration jobs that hundreds of thousands turned up trying to get on Saturday have already been allocated to well-connected politicians, including state governors and federal lawmakers, sources told Daily Trust in Abuja yesterday.

Only 240 of the 4,556 slots at the Nigerian Immigration Service remained for the 522,6752 “ordinary” applicants who trooped to the test centres and caused a stampede in which at least 16 of them died.

The Immigration Service had said a total of 522,652 applicants turned up at the venues spread around the country, battling for 4,556 jobs.

A source briefed about the recruitment process, which is being handled by the Board of Immigration, Customs and Prisons, told Daily Trust that among those who were already allocated job slots are governors, senators, House of Representatives members and ministers.

“They shared all the positions among governors, senators and others. What remains for those ordinary job seekers was 240,” the source said.

Another source from one of the top anti-corruption agencies said the money collected from all the applicants amounted to about N7 billion.

“Look, each applicant paid N1,000. From the record 7 million applied, so they generated about N7 billion,” he said.
When contacted, spokesman for the Immigration Service Mr. Chukwuemeka Obuah said he was not aware of sharing of the job slots, as the recruitment process was not even handled by the service itself.

“I don’t know about that, I don’t know about the issue of slots. The issue of this recruitment exercise was undertaken by the board, the Nigerian Immigration Service did not operate the board,” Obuah said.

“What I know is that Nigerians lost their lives and it is tragic and unfortunate.”
Efforts to get Senate’s position were not successful as chairman of the Senate Interior Committee Atiku Bagudu did not answer telephone calls.

But the House of Representatives Interior Committee said if National Assembly members were given any allocation of job slots, they were entitled to them.

Committee chairman Rep Umar Bature (PDP, Sokoto) told Daily Trust by telephone yesterday: “People can say whatever they want to say. The National Assembly members are members of the public. So if they are given slots, I think they are entitled to it. But that is the issue that we would look at when we meet with the Senate committee. But I think we should not be looking at the scapegoat,” he said.
He said the committee would investigate to find out causes of the incident.

On the criticism over monies collected from applicants, Bature defended the Immigration Service, saying all agencies routinely collect application form fees from job seekers.

Daily Trust


Some Big Ideas Job-seekers Must Follow if They Want to Get a Meaningful Job

Tips from Lou Adler I want to Share… Read on, like and share…

  1. Applying directly to job postings should represent no more than 20% of what you do. Getting referred to a job is 5-10X more effective than applying directly. If you’re going to apply, only apply to jobs when you’re a perfect fit for the skills and experience listed on the job description.

2.   Leverage your understanding of the recruiter’s role. Many recruiters are gatekeepers who don’t know the job and will just box-check your skills and experiences. Others are extremely talented, who want to work with the best people to craft great career moves. You must avoid the former and seek out the latter.

3.   Implement a 20/20/60 job-hunting plan. A job hunting plan requires a performance-based resume, an understanding of how recruiters find candidates, and applying through the backdoor. Networking is the key to the backdoor. It must represent 60% of what you need to do.

4.   Focus on the job, not the money. It’s better to be underpaid than overpaid. Getting promoted or obtaining a big compensation increase will only occur after you’ve demonstrated great performance. You need to put yourself into these situations. Ignore anyone who says otherwise.

5.   Present your strengths and weaknesses via short stories. No one believes general statements. You must validate each of your strengths with a specific example of how it was used in a real job situation. In addition, you need to demonstrate how you’ve turned your weaknesses into strengths. Never say you don’t have any weaknesses! It means you’ve stopped growing.

6.   Divide and conquer by asking the universal question. Very early in the interview, or phone screen, you must ask the interviewer to describe the focus of the job, some of the big challenges, and how the new person’s performance will be measured. Pick at least two from this list. Then prove each is a core strength using the SAFW response below.

7.   Practice the universal answer to any question. You need to be able to prove every strength with a specific example. Form your answer using the SAFW two-minute response: Say A Few Words – Statement – Amplify – few Examples – Wrap-up.

8.   Weave the 10 Best Predictors of Job Success into Your SAFW Response. I just wrote a post for interviewers on how to evaluate your answers. Make sure you have an example proving you possess at least three or four of these strengths. Then during the interview ask if these traits are important for on-the-job success. Of course they will be. Then give your example. Note: this is a slam dunk!

9.   Use the phone screen to minimize the impact of a weak first impression. Even if you make a good first impression, it’s important to ask the universal question (see above) early in the phone screen. Answering it correctly will increase the likelihood you’ll be invited to an onsite interview. This will help focus the actual interview on your past performance, instead of box-checking your skills and experience, or judging you on first impressions.

10.  Uncover any concerns before the end of the interview. To determine where you stand, ask the interviewer about next steps. If they’re not specific, you probably won’t be called back. In this case, ask the interviewer what’s the biggest concern he/she has about your background. Then ask how the skill, trait or factor mentioned is used on the job. To overcome the concern, you’ll need to use the SAFW two-minute response to prove you can handle the requirement.

Getting a job is no fun. It’s hard work. But working hard on the wrong things is a waste of time. So rather than complaining, take some advice from Jim Rohn: “Things will get better for you, when you get better.” Learning the ten techniques above is a great way to start.

IS Getting A Police Report for an Incident that Costly?

Please share your experience if you have one!!!

I am currently playing the song of Fela which sings, ” Police station don turn to bank, DPO na Bank Manager, Police station don turn to bank, IG na Managing Director”. As I listened to it, I remember the experience I recently had with the Nigeria Police at the Divisional Police Office in Lagos. It is funny that if you need help from the police, you should be ready to have money to buy the help.

After all, it is said, the Police is your friend. Not to be totally discriminatory, the Police in their better part do a very good job in combatting crime. They have the fire power which sometimes does not meet that of the criminals. But when it comes to combating the innocent, the fire power is not needed. The swift way of turning the coin to make you part with the leftover of what you lost in an incident challenges your trust and confidence in the Police. That is if you trust them before.

I recently had an incident at home and suffered some losses. My insurance company was contacted as I had taken insurance for some of the items and need to make the claims. Fault number 1

  • I did not call the police immediately after the incident.  This was a fire incident, a minor one at this instance.  why? I had to relocate my family so as to have a good night sleep.  The next day I would go and do the needful. 
  • I did not inform the fire service as the fire was put out swiftly with the help of neighbors as I was not present during the incident.

Alternatively, I took pictures of the scene and the items burnt so as to present it to the insurance company and also to any other department that may require it for verification.  It would cost me more, if I don’t put my house in order and move back in.  So I did what everyone would do.  It is not my personal home, – this is rented.

Now the Police was informed, the first comment from the DCO after my explanation was that, it is Arson.  I wonder, what is Arson?

Arson[1] is the crime of intentionally and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas,[2] cars[3][4] or other property with the intent to cause damage. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires. Arson often involves fires deliberately set to the property of another or to one’s own property as to collect insurance compensation.[5]

I did not mention to us at the beginning that the fire started as a result of electrical power surge when PHCN restored power.  So how could this be Arson.  I had to clear the air on this with the DCO. Concluded it was a minor fire incident. whew!!!

I was now transferred to a Woman Inspector to assist with investigation and issuing of a Police Report.  To my amazement, which of cause was not that surprising, I was told it would cost me N20,000.  I said No.  That was where the problem started.

I applied for the report on the 20th January and I got the report after a lot of games, IPO is not around, file is not with me, the application can’t be found. Come back on several days.  Finally, I got the report on the 13th February (25 days after application).  After seeing the DPO who said they must not fail to make me comply with the request.

Guess what.  I paid N10,000 for a Police report which was not type well,  and worst of all,  I did not even need the police report after all.  The Insurance company representative later told me on the phone after I confirmed I have collected it that they won’t need it.  If they need it anything, it would be a fire service report. Yes, I feel what you are exclaiming right now.  I exclaimed the same too.

Summarily, I paid N10,000 for what I am not going to make use of and took me several daily visits to await preparation and collection of a not so useful Police report.

If you want to know the location of the Police station, leave me a comment.

What can we do to help our Police?

How to Deal With Impossible People

I only read this and felt like sharing.  I feel like I fall in some part of these categories and I need to learn to be better. what about you?

Edited by Jack Herrick, James King, Amit_2506, Krystle C. and 103 others

Most people know someone who seems to make every situation toxic and impossible. Pointing out that these people are difficult and demanding won’t get you anywhere, though — odds are, they don’t even see a problem. Whether the issue is caused by a personality disorder or some other underlying issue, here’s how to navigate interactions with impossible people and preserve your own sanity.

===Handling Conflicts===
#Resist the urge to be defensive. Understand very clearly that ”you cannot beat these kinds of people”; they’re called “impossible” for a reason. In their minds, you are the source of all wrong doing, and nothing you can say is going to make them consider your side of the story. Your opinion is of no consequence, because you are already ”guilty”, no matter what.
#Accept the situation. Impossible people exist; there isn’t a thing you can do about it. The first step is all about facing reality: if you think you might be dealing with an impossible person, you’re probably right. When in doubt, proceed as instructed below. The headaches you save will be your own.

#Do not call out the other person. Bluntly stating the problem will not improve your relationship with someone impossible. Instead of reaching a reconciliation, he or she will likely just become more difficult. Recognize that you can’t handle this like you would any other personal conflict — it’s a special situation.

#*In some ways, they need to be treated like children. Give up all hope of engaging these folks in any kind of reasonable conversation. It will never happen, at least with you. Remember what happened the last fifty times you tried to have a civilized discussion about the status of your relationship with this person. Chances are, every such attempt ended in you being blamed for everything. Decide now to quit banging your head against a brick wall.

#Understand that it’s not you, it’s them. This can be surprisingly difficult, considering that impossible people have complete mastery of shifting the blame. Chances are, the more often they blame you, the more they themselves are actually at fault.

#*Keep in mind that this is ”not” to be used as a way to blame them. Blaming is what impossible people do, and they do it well. Instead, you are only facing the facts, for your own sake.

#*That being said, here’s a simple way to tell: if you accept responsibility for your own faults and resolve to improve yourself, it’s probably not you. Remember, impossible people “can do no wrong.”

#”’Remember to “detach, disassociate and diffuse.””’ When you’re in the middle of a conflict with an impossible person, use this strategy:

#*Detach: Staying calm in the heat of the moment is paramount to your personal preservation. Spitting angry words, reacting with extreme emotions such as crying, will only stimulate them to do more of the difficult behavior.

#*Disassociate: Remove yourself from the situation and treat it with indifference. Do not, under any circumstances bad talk to their face or to anyone else because then you are sinking down to their level. Add something positive by redirection such as by focusing on something, anything, positive in the situation or in the conversation. Whatever you do just stay calm

#*Diffuse: It can help to realize that the side of a conversation that contains the most truth will always win out, and it’s best to “name the game” that an impossible person is playing, usually by asking them or the group a question that starts “Why…,” (rephrasing their “impossible” position to illuminate the consequences). You will move the conversation to a higher level, and the group, or even just the impossible individual, in a one-on-one, will respond to this “higher truth,” although the individual will usually respond by (more) obfuscating.

#Guard against anger. If it helps, consider the fact that your anger is actually a ”precious gift” to the impossible person. Anything you do or say while angry will be used against you over and over again. Impossible people tend to have amazing memories, and they will not hesitate to use a nearly endless laundry list of complaints from the past against you. Five years from now, you could be hearing about the angry remark you made today (which you didn’t even mean in the first place). Impossible people will seize anything that provides them the opportunity to lay blame like it was gold.

#Prepare for projection. Understand that you are going to be accused of much (or all) of this behavior yourself. If your impossible person gets a look at this text, to them it will look like a page about you. Prepare yourself for the fact that the impossible person’s flaws and failings will always be attributed to you.

#*Remember, in their minds, you are at fault for everything! They will have an endless supply of arguments to support this, and if you make the mistake of encouraging them, they will be more than happy to tell you why ”you” are the impossible person, and how ironic it is that you are under the mistaken impression that it is them.

===Long-Term Management===
#Be a manager. Until it is over, your task in the relationship is to manage the impossible person, so that he or she deals less damage to you.

#*As a manager, your best resources are silence (it really is golden in some cases such as this), humoring the other, and abandoning all hope of “fixing” the impossible person. Impossible people do not listen to reason. They can’t (and even if they could, they wouldn’t).

#*Recognize that you can’t convince them that they have any responsibility for the problems between you. They don’t recognize (or if they did, wouldn’t try to improve) their flaws for a very logical reason; ”they don’t have any flaws”. You must understand and manage this mindset without casting blame and without giving in to anger. It’s far easier said than done, and you ”will” slip from time to time, but as time goes on, you’ll become a better manager.

#Consider that it might be a question of compatibility. Sometimes, a person who gets along with everybody else quite well is an impossible person for you personally. Most relationships between people contain many shades of gray, but some people simply mix as well as oil and water.

#*It is common to hear your impossible person proclaim “Everyone else likes me.” This is an attempt to shift the blame to you, so don’t buy it. It doesn’t matter how this person interacts with others. The fact is, the way the two of you interact together is terrible. Remember that blame never changes the facts.
#Don’t get cornered. Avoid one-on-ones with this type of person, ”actively”; in other words, when you see them coming to corner you, suggest, and then demand that at least a third party be brought in. This will often thwart the impossible person’s plans, and a typical response from them will be to unilaterally decide that “we don’t need anyone else.” You are perfectly free to claim your need for a third party to help your understanding, and insist upon it. Bullies never stand up to a crowd.

#Protect your self-esteem. If you have regular dealings with someone who tries to portray you as the source of all evil, you need to take active steps to maintain a positive self-image.

#*Remind yourself that this person’s opinion is not necessarily the truth. Understand that oftentimes, impossible people are particularly “fact-challenged.”

#*If the attacks have little basis in raw fact, dismiss them. You can’t possibly be as bad as this person would like you to believe you are. Do ”’not”’ defend yourself out loud, however. It will only provoke the impossible person into another tirade.

#Prepare to part ways. Understand that eventually, you’ll have to create a separation between yourself and an impossible person. Whether they are a friend, a family member, a parent, even a spouse, the time to leave will eventually manifest. Maintaining a relationship with an impossible person is, literally, impossible.

#*If you can’t (or won’t) make a physical departure immediately, make a mental one. In your mind, you’ve already left the relationship. The only thing left to do is wait for physical reality to reflect that fact.

#Avoid picking up impossible traits. If you aren’t careful, you could [[Find Yourself]] adopting much of the offender’s own behavior, even if you aren’t voluntarily trying. Eschew blame entirely by understanding that this is just the way the other person is. These things define the impossible person’s actions, and nothing you do can change any part of their past.

#Protect your privacy. Impossible people will use any information on your personal life however small as a trump card against you. They can spin stories about you to other people (especially those close to you both) on a simple comment you made over lunch. Since they are specialists in manipulation, they are very good at making you talk.

#*Impossible people are good at seeming normal, and unless you are very convinced of who you are and where you stand in relation to the slight madness of this person, there will be times where you think “Hey, she’s not so bad after all. I guess I could tell her what I am going through these days….” Big mistake! It will come back to you when you least expect it, in the most dirty and manipulative way. Things shared in confidence late night at the office between the two of you can be used in an ice cold analysis in front of the whole company in a moment where the impossible person needs to get on top of you. He/she will spare no information to prove to others how well they know you, and such know what the best way to “handle” you is.

#Be the opposite of them: a possible person. Live as an example of tolerance, patience, humility, and even some kindness (as difficult as that may be).

#*We are all influenced by the people in our environment — they don’t have to be perfect all the time and neither do you. Give respect because ”’you”’ are human. If you don’t receive respect, that’s -sadly- their problem. Give understanding, and you get understanding. Ultimately this sort of behavior is probably the only thing that might get through to them. They may not change in everything, but you can safely expect a change.