How To Fall In Love With Hiring On Valentines Day

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By Jas Singh

It’s 4 am London time on Valentines day 2015. I’m an early riser but this is early even for me. The thing is I have a day packed full of wonderful stuff with beautiful wife so there is no way I’ll get to blog later in the day!

Love is the most powerful of all emotions. It transcends everything and overcomes even the biggest of all obstacles. To succeed in anything – a relationship, a hobby or a job you have to learn to love what you do. Even faced with the biggest fear, the love for a partner, child or friend often causes us to pull through.

So for leaders, to hire great people you have to learn to love hiring. My experience is that 99% of the time, usually the opposite is true – most hiring managers find the hiring process a chore.

So how can we all learn to love the hiring process? Here are a few simple suggestions:

1) Be yourself

Meeting someone for the first time in any setting can often be awkward. In interviews sometimes the approach can be too formal and there is often a period of cat-and-mouse as we try to “suss” the other person out.

It’s understandable. When the stakes are high we are keen to make the best impression possible and not make a mistake. We want to make sure we act, say and behave in a way that will impress the other person.

However the one person we cannot kid is ourselves. Behaving in a way to impress others is not fun. Often we can even feel we are being “fake” to ourselves.

The best hiring managers enjoy the hiring process by being themselves. By accentuating their differences and being proud of who they are. Whether it is a sense of humour, management style or current business problem, they let the candidates know exactly who they are.

2) Chose a fun scene

When I’m working on an intense search I can easily meet up to 40 candidates a week, sometimes even more. That’s a lot of meetings. Even in our lovely offices or a swanky coffee bar, after a while it can become repetitive.

Nowadays to make it more fun I mix things up. I try and have at least one breakfast or lunch with a candidate I might be interviewing. I’ll try a new coffee bar that I heard is good. Last week I even met a candidate in Regent’s Park and we just decided to take a walk together!

A great hiring manager who I used to work with (now retired) preferred meeting candidates for the first time for breakfast. Not only did he feel he was fresher at the start of the day, he’d leave me to recommend somewhere. He loved his food – so it never surprised me he loved his hiring!

3) Be genuinely interested in other people

With our ever increasing workload and increased times spent on computers it’s easy to be engrossed with ourselves. I firmly believe that you can only be a great hiring manager if you are genuinely interested first and foremost in other people.

Most hiring managers are focussed on what they want. Comparing the candidate with the job spec. If they weren’t hiring there would be no interest in meeting this person.

The best leaders are genuinely interested in other people – whether it is the tea lady or the CEO of a major competitor. Leaders such as Richard Branson have even accredited a major part of their success to the fact that they just love meeting and finding out about others.

4) Ask about their life outside work

People who love their lives understand the importance of balance. Work is extremely important but there are many other areas of life that we all need to address before feeling completely fulfilled.

Just asking about someone’s qualifications, experience and achievements becomes boring. To enjoy the process more it’s great to take the opportunity to also explore and become interested in what else makes up the candidates life.

Does she have any hobbies? Does he have children? What is their ambition outside of work? How did they find life whilst studying at University.

To love hiring we all need to be interested in the person and not just the candidate.

5) Keep learning and practising

Professional trainers understand that in order to keep coming back to the gym regularly, people need to learn to enjoy the workout process. If you are just working to lose weight, you will either eventually give up if the going gets too tough, or even worse, stop when you have reached your weight loss goal and put the weight back on again.

It’s human nature – if you work just for results your success will be limited. If you learn to also enjoy the work you do it is an unbeatable formula.

This is also true of hiring. Most of us hire just to get a great candidate. We have little interest in the process. With this approach hiring will always be a chore – a means to an end.

The best hiring managers realise that hiring is a power. A skill set they invest in and where they are continuously looking to improve. Each interview they take as an opportunity to learn something new, apply their hiring power and monitor their progress. It’s something personal to them – their own professional ability and an invaluable leadership tool. The best leaders obtain the best resources and advice to ensure they are using accurate knowledge and not moving by guesswork.

In order to fall in love with hiring, leaders need to view hiring as a valuable opportunity to learn and grow.

Conclusion

Hiring is one of the most important parts of leadership.

In order to become great hiring managers, leaders need to learn to enjoy the hiring process more.

Key to this is understanding the factors that make meeting people interesting and viewing hiring as a personal power – not just a means to an end.

How much do you love your hiring process?

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