recruit rockstars

HR Books Review: “Recruit Rockstars”

It’s hard to imagine a world where people wake up and think, “You know what I want to do, today? I want to hire a loser.”

Unfortunately, hiring is a coin toss unless you invest your time and money in systems and algorithms to remove bias and test for competencies and aptitude.

Want to hire rock stars instead of slackers? Well, slow your roll. Sometimes rock stars are slackers. And while hiring a ‘rock star’ is a little aggressive for most of us, recruiting top talent is within your reach.

Jeff Hyman Pulls No Punches

I spoke with Jeff Hyman, author of “Recruit Rockstars,” on the future of recruiting, trends in talent acquisition, and other inspirational leaders in the HR space.

They say the future of work is automated. Before the robots take your job, how do rock star recruiters beat assessments and hiring algorithms? 

The robots have a huge advantage. They remain unemotional and unbiased. We like people who are like us, and we hire them. We form snap judgments in the first 30 seconds then confirmation bias causes us to spend the rest of the interview seeking data that reinforces our initial hypothesis about the candidate.

Fortunately, human recruiters have an even more significant advantage. Recruiting isn’t about keywords or resume matching. It’s about predicting a candidate’s success in the role. And that means understanding their DNA — the unique characteristics that will form their behavior and performance once on the job. Recruiters drill into candidates’ career successes and failures. They peel back the onion layers to get to the truth and see if there is a match for the company and this role.

Recruiting is also about persuading rock star candidates to make a move. In the days of just 4.1% (and soon to be 3.5%) unemployment, humans have the advantage over robots in selling, too.

Do you have a quick test for determining who’s a rock star and who’s a primadonna?

There’s no quick test. I work hard to set aside my assumptions and initial hunch. Even after 20,000 interviews, it can lead me to make a mistake. But after interviews, something I call a “test drive,” and reference checks, I can tell the difference. Rock stars are about results. Primadonnas are about themselves.

Well, dang it, I’m a primadonna. Noted. What’s so important about cognitive ability? Why do you look for that in rock star candidates?

In the ever-changing business world, the ability to iterate and adapt is vital. It means understanding how a candidate thinks, asks questions, seeks data, decides, watches the results, adjusts their approach. Cognitive ability is predictive of success in any role.

What do rock stars crave in a job? Why?

That’s easy: Challenge. Even more than compensation (which must be reasonable), rock stars want to push themselves, expand their limits, and just see what they can do. Set a stretch target and they’ll surprise you more often than not. They also want latitude of decision-making. Micromanage a rock star, and you’ll soon be asking yourself why they resigned.

Who are some rock star authors and thinkers that inspire you?

In the business world, Ram Charan, Pat Lencioni, and Seth Godin. In the “real” world, Walter Isaacson, Neil deGrasse Tyson and John Grisham.

Want to Learn More?

Jeff Hyman thinks ninety percent of business problems are recruiting problems in disguise. Agree with him? I do. Want to learn more? I loved his book “Recruit Rockstars.” I think you will, too. Leave a comment in the Facebook version of this post, and I will give away his book to three people.

Check out the Recruit Rockstars website and attract more winners to your life. Also, listen to Jeff’s podcast. I’m a guest in an upcoming episode. And let’s work hard to elevate our hiring game and recruit people who will aid your company’s success in 2018 and beyond.

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