The Golden Rule of Interviewing

You probably know the old saying – he who has the gold makes the rules! But, with interviewing, there is another golden rule, one that can affect your ability to get the job you want.  Managers will hire anyone when they believe the person will create more value than they cost.  No matter what other questions you get asked during an interview, you must make sure to answer the most important questions – HOW WILL YOU ADD VALUE TO OUR COMPANY? This question may seem obvious, but I think you may be surprised at how rarely it appears in interviews.  Nowadays, companies use a wide range of selection methods including […]

Rethinking “Experience” at Work

One of my favorite stories is about the young man who wanted a construction job.  At the first employer, he fiddled with a backhoe for 10 minutes before they kicked him out.  At the second employer, he made it almost half an hour.  By the third, it was up to half a day.  The fourth place he went gave him a job because he had…so much experience! I hear people use this word in many different settings.  I hear them use the word to support judgments they’ve made about another person’s capability.  I hear them use the word whether discussing skills or tasks or assignments.  In short, I hear this […]

Banish the cult of the A-B-C player!

Many managers are enamored of the ABC player model first made popular by Jack Welch at GE and since then adopted by many organizations wishing to raise the bar on employee performance and to confront festering performance problems. Some versions of this approach involve forced ranking, in which the top 20% of employees must be classified as A players, the middle 70% as B’s, and the bottom 10% as C’s – and then the C’s exited from the organization like so much deadwood.   The forced ranking component of this approach is controversial and has been abandoned by many organizations because of the toxic consequences, which were engraved into the […]

So good in the interview, so bad on the job

“He was so good during the interview, so where’s the person we hired?” According to statistics released by PR News, 46% of new hires fail within 18 months, with another third rated as only fair to marginal performers – which means 81% of new hires eventually prove disappointing.  And these results continue to occur despite advanced methods we see companies use to search the globe for top talent. Poor hiring is incredibly costly for organizations, both in terms of direct expense and the opportunity cost and disruption created as people cycle through jobs.  Because of these significant costs, there is a constant stream of articles with suggestions about how to […]

Selecting 21st Century Skills

The Institute for the Future’s (IFTF) developed their vision for skills needed in 2020, which include… • Sense-making – determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed • Novel & Adaptive Thinking – identify solutions and responses beyond the rote or rule-based • Computational Thinking – translate data into abstract concepts, use data-based reasoning • Transdisciplinarity – understand concepts across multiple disciplines • Cognitive Load Management – discriminate and filter information for importance and maximize functioning using a variety of tools and techniques, and • Virtual Collaboration – work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team. I recognize the value of […]

I’m 30, have an MBA, been here 5 years, why am I not a VP?

If you work in HR, you’ve almost certainly heard a question like this one, and maybe even struggled to come up with a solid response. One of my senior HR clients recently asked me to help him respond to a similar question from his leadership team colleagues – “We have several directors with 5-10 years’ experience who want to know when they will be VPs – so what do we tell them?” Historically, titles and compensation were tied to specific roles, and promotion was available only when that role was vacated, or when similar new roles were created – the classic hierarchical model. Recently, this model has begun to change, […]