Great People Decisions

9780470037263_p0_v1_s260x420This week we read Great People Decisions: Why They Matter So Much, Why They are So Hard, and How You Can Master Themby Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, one of the top executives at one of the best worldwide executive search firms, an in demand lecturer, and an accomplished writer with articles in Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review.

The premise of the book is that making great people decisions is a craft, one that can be taught and learned. The book starts: “Great People Decisions will help you improve your personal competence at hiring and promoting great people. Literally, nothing is more important.” We talk a lot about how to find and keep great talent, but this seems to be a discussion that is missing in many companies. But if you don’t surround yourself with great people, how will you company be great?

Think about your own last interview. Did you sell yourself well? Did you think it represented what you could do for the company? One of the tools Fernández-Aráoz recommends hiring managers use better and more frequently is references. Find out from someone how has known this person longer than you have how they did at their last position. Be focused with your questions and describe the role you are looking to fill. Ask the reference if this candidate would be a good match for this position. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions!

With chapters like: Why Great People Decisions Are So Hard, Knowing When a Change Is Needed, What to Look For, How to Appraise People, and How to Attract and Motivate the Best People, you are sure to find more than just a nugget of wisdom or useful advice.

Fernández-Aráoz refers to the recruiting tactics as “Monkeys with machine guns,” believing that hiring managers have power, but not much knowledge or actual training when it comes to picking talent. Answer this question honestly:

How many of you have been trained on how to hire?

What I find is that the number of people who know how to hire talent is very low. Very low indeed. Often I help clients in just this area of business. We work together on developing a strong job description, a good job ad, and then we work through the hiring process, which includes a DISC assessment to ensure that this candidate is the right fit for the job. Following these steps saves our clients a lot of wasted time in training and unnecessary expenses.

These are some great interview questions from the Build Network:


Do you have a plan for finding good talent?

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