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Solving Puzzles for Organisations

I have always enjoyed solving puzzles. Perhaps more the mental ones, for example, the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) analytical section was spot on for me, than physical, although when my best friend visits and the weather is bad, we will often end up working on a physical puzzle (one of which is the picture. Side note: If you like physical puzzles, I highly recommend Liberty puzzles, which are very unique, quite beautiful, and rather challenging for the size).

When I was part of building Delphi’s Active Safety organisation, I stopped seeing recruiting as finding a specific role or a personality, but rather a complex puzzle, considering the unique needs of the job at hand (interfaces, responsibilities, daily work) as well as the team around the person. An organization, in a sense, was an external frame with constraints, but within the frame, I had considerable freedom to define (and re-arrange) the shapes of each piece that fit in it.

With time, I became much better at identifying gaps, and filling gaps by recruitment. The better the definition of the gap, the better the match with the candidate (and the better the likelihood they would thrive, perform, and stay). I definitely made mistakes, but I always tried to learn from them. I asked myself, What could I do better next time?

I am immensely proud that a majority of the wonderful people I recruited are still there today, growing and thriving, even though I am not their leader (although hopefully still a friend and at times, mentor). It meant that they were the right fit for the role, and the company. It had much less to do with me as a boss, than that they were doing the work that had meaning and purpose to them, gave them enjoyment and fulfilment, and solved the equation of a company’s need equalling their desire to meet the need.

Then, I had the chance to recruit again at CEVT where I was part of building several teams: Infotainment, CCUX, and Feature Development. During this time, I also added a whole lot of research and certifications backing up my theory that I developed about individuals and teams. With that, keeping the thought that a recruitment and an organisation is a puzzle (with complex, very unique pieces), I began to see a team as a racing sailboat. Unlike the models used in past years, showing a good team as a rowing skull, with a whole bunch of people doing the same thing, the sailboat has the thought that everyone has a unique skill and contribution that is essential to winning (and not crashing), but communication must work well and everyone needs to help each other out when needed.

I use both of these models and metaphors in developing my Recruitment 101: Basics of Recruiting class. It is intended for managers, like I was 20 years ago, thrown into recruiting without much training or background. It is the class I wish I had had then. After taking this class, you will have a good method to prepare your announcement, process CV’s (or resumes), conduct an interview, and come to your own decision on the candidate that is right for the open role at that time in your company.

You will also receive a printable handout that you can use in your own interview. I prefer to have a standard format as it helps me to keep good order in the interview, and as well, provide a consistent way to evaluate the candidates that I meet. Too often, we can tend to treat an interview as a more casual social interaction, with the hazard that we will tend to hire a lot of people we like, we easily converse with, and are like us. Research shows that this won’t bring us the best results, as it is through diversity that we have more ideas, achieve higher revenue, and solve more challenging problems.

This class will also be helpful for managers who are not new to interviewing, but are not entirely satisfied with the results of their recruiting activities. Perhaps attrition is high, or motivation from the new hires is low. The questions that I have will help you to identify these potential issues in an interview, and discuss it there, either leading to a mutual decision not to proceed further, or a fully invested decision to proceed.

If I can help you solve your recruiting puzzle, I hope to see you after the class launches October 15th. In addition to a three part video series covering the entire recruitment process (from a hiring manager, not HR perspective), you will receive the interview questions printout, and access to an alumni group where you can share your experiences and ask questions. You will also be eligible for discounts on coaching, and my other training products. And as always, I am available on email for follow-up questions.

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