Are you interviewing or selling?

February 15, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Are you interviewing or selling?

One of my clients referred me to another business owner to see if I could help him with his hiring challenges. As is my standard way to begin a new client relationship, I needed to get a broader understanding of what the perceived challenge is and then dig deeper to identify the real underlying challenges which are causing or contributing to the situation I was being asked to help resolve.

I engage the owner in some general conversation and then begin to narrow in on some statements he made regarding the most recent people which were hired into his organization.  The statements tended to be about the candidates.  This or that was not right and he wishes he would have known about these things before he hired them and started to train them.

Does this sound familiar to you?  It is a common thing that businesses today are faced with.  Trying not only to attract the best candidates but to also figure out if they can fit into your business. As most of you already know from past communications, JKL Associates brings a suite of tools to our clients that can help in identifying the demands of the job. The impact the job can have on the person who will be doing the job and how well various resources align with the job demands. This week is not about those tools but we would be more than happy to assist you with those needs.

The more the owner and I discussed the hiring process, approach and results, the more I detected the step of the process which was not being executed correctly. The step was being done (face to face interview) but the results were less than effective. The company did a pretty good job of attracting people to the job. Their initial communication did reduce some of the time wasted on the wrong candidates. They would then stumbled during the interview.

To demonstrate my hypothesis I suggested observing a candidate interview, so we moved forward. Now the candidate was in the building and sitting at the conference table awaiting the interview. The candidate looked very studious, well presented and looking reasonably confident.  It was not the persons’ first interview.  Upon the company interviewer entering and greeting the candidate the conversation then ensued. While the interviewer gazed at the resume and then looking at the candidate, for the next 15-20 minutes the company person talked about the job, the business, the departments, products and just about everything a “hired” employee would like and need to know.  Unfortunately, this was a candidate and they were not yet hired.  The next couple of minutes, some actual pertinent and legal questions were asked and then the interview began to wrap up with the questions – “Do you have any questions for me?” A couple of exchanges happened and the interviewer asked when they could start and made an offer of the job to them.

In a matter of 30+ minutes, the now hired person knew a lot about the company but the company knew very little about the person they just hired. This happens too often and costs companies lots of training and turnover dollars.

The interviewer did a great job selling the candidate on the “Greatness” of working for the company. Unfortunately, they still don’t have a clue if the person even aligns with the company culture, the job demands and other aspects of the company and job.

This week, don’t assume your hiring process is not the problem.

I will not dispute that the challenges of attracting talent and keeping talent are most organizations top priority.  If your turnover is high, it might not be because you are attracting the wrong people.  It might be that your process is hiring people you should pass on because they are not a fit for the job or the business.

Regardless of the business or industry, people are going to be the difference in your long-term success.  The better you are at bringing the right talent into your company and them being happy will be the most significant leap forward you will take this year.

Talent acquisition process not living up to your needs? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 to have that first conversation about helping you reduces your challenges.

Questions or comments – email us at or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
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