Would You Hire Trump?
Four years ago I wrote a quite controversial article, “Would you hire Obama?”
At the time I though that no US president had been the center of as much controversial media attention as the then president; none had either been as much loved or hated. Well, here we are, 4 years later – and I have to review my statement! When it comes to select a president in the USA, we have definitely jumped up a couple of floors on this “Love or Hate” dilemma.
But as far as my original article was concerned, I did not have to review anything – it applies more than ever. The interesting question to ask yourself remains: What would happen to your business if you made hiring decisions the same way as Americans elect their presidents?
Let’s make things clear: this article is NOT about politics. It is about defining the proper evaluation & selection criteria in order to guarantee that next time you are looking to fill an important position, you separate the real achievers from the talkers. Here are a few rules that, you will notice, might have been violated in “hiring” a few of our past presidents. Follow them and avoid bad surprises, disappointments or painful & costly frustrations…
Rule #1: Do not fall in the personality trap!
If you reacted very emotionally while reading the above paragraph, you committed one major mistake most recruiters make: they get emotionally affected by the applicants’ appearance, attitude and personality. They hire an applicant because he/she presented amazingly attractive personality characteristics. Putting too much emphasis on personality can make you blind – a vast majority of business owners and untrained recruiters unconsciously make a hiring decision within the first two minutes of an interview. They listen to the promises and the words – and by doing so forget or neglect to verify the obvious (see below). They just “like” the person – or don’t.
Detecting important, job-related personality traits or specific soft skills is of course vital. But it should be the LAST thing you want to put attention on. Why? Because there are more important attributes to verify first. A great personality does not necessarily make a great performer. Hiring “nice” people does not guarantee success. And hiring a liar is definitely suicidal – no matter how good his or her promises might be.
Rule # 2: Popularity has nothing to do with efficiency.
We live in a PR world and many applicants have learned to sell themselves very professionally. Most of them know what questions you will ask and they have trained themselves not just to talk right but also to show the “right” credentials. I well remember double-checking an applicant’s credentials, to find out that he had paid 3 friends to appear on his resume as his previous employers. This candidate was also all over the social media, as a very popular and appreciated community member. He obviously had done his work to impress recruiters.
A recent ADP (American Data Processing) survey conducted on 2.3 million background checks revealed that over 44% of resumes contain lies about work history; considering these numbers, one is entitled to wonder if resumes should be considered at all. Our recommendation: require that every applicant fill a standard job application form. Then compare data between the two documents; check for contradictory statements, gaps in time and inconsistency of information. It can be very revealing.
Rule # 3: Past performance always dictates future results.
Want to know if a candidate will perform in the future? Check her past performances. People who are naturally result-oriented will easily provide you with evidence of good “performance record”, backed by numbers or any other measurable indicators. Applicants who convincingly pretend they are the best for that job but cannot demonstrate any measurable evidence of actual past performance on previous jobs will most of the time deceive you.
Therefore, no matter how charming or promising a candidate appears, always request them to provide measurable evidence of past performances. Furthermore, investigate their pretentions by systematically performing reference checks. Never compromise with lack of evidence; never allow yourself to be “impressed” by an applicant’s convincing speech about his/her achievements in the past if it cannot be backed by evidence.
Rule # 4: Honesty is the most important selection criterion!
You sure want to hire top performers. BUT you would rather hire honest top performers. Per the American Data Bank, 95% of companies in the U.S. are victims of theft from within, yet 10% of them only find out about it. Estimates of fraud committed by employees approximately cost U.S. companies $20 billion annually. 30% of business failures are caused by employee theft. In other words, dishonesty is the most devastating and hidden source of misery and financial difficulties for every single small business in America.
Our suggestion: systematically perform background checks on every selected applicant to whom you are willing to offer a job. Never fully rely on the information provided in the resumes and job applications. This is, after reference checks, your most reliable insurance against liars and unethical applicants.
Additionally, structure your interview procedure so that contradictions can be picked and used to challenge applicants. Challenge is THE key word in testing honesty. If you are not happy with an answer to your investigative question, simply challenge the candidate – ask the question again and again. Soon you will find out, through the applicant’s reaction, whether his/her assertions have value… or not.
Our No-Fail Hiring procedure guarantees to test AND detect each vital criterion as presented above. Check www.nofailhiring.com to see how we can help you attract, find and select real achievers).
Also, if you doubt about a candidate’s honesty, do not hesitate to use our Recru-Tec Test, a unique pre-hire assessment which guarantees to help you detect “invisible” soft skill-related traits which might be a potential danger for your company.
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