A Tiger Trap Or How to Hire the Best of the Best
Alexander Vysotsky, Consultant of School of Productivity Consulting Company (Kiev), WISE Consultant
Alexander Vysotsky is the owner of Heraldmaster, Europe’s largest company developing and producing insignia and souvenirs, which has grown out of a small design agency. After achieving brilliant results for his brainchildren Heraldmaster and Badgemaster, he began providing consultancy services using the management technique of Ron Hubbard. Since 2002 he has been holding workshops and providing consultancy to over 370 companies in Ukraine and Russia. With his grounding in business expertise and understanding of management technology, he is eager to bring really effective expertise into the business environment.
Staff is What Matters
It is no secret that in many respects business success depends on what staff you have. Knowing this, we look for employees who would be effective and generate higher profits for our business. However, instead of solving problems and receiving good results, sometimes we only get new problems and disappointments. A natural question arises: what should we do to hire ‘facilitators’, rather than ‘delayed-action mines’?
Every manager is probably familiar with the situation: there is queue of applicants in front of his or her door, but it is clear even after looking through their CVs that in fact there is nobody to choose from. Maybe after yet another interview one starts asking oneself: ‘Maybe I want too much?’ or ‘Maybe these people just don't exist?’. The common sense answer is that the people you need are around somewhere, but for some reason they haven’t come to your door. What can be done to make smart, reliable, responsible, task-oriented individuals—real tigers of productivity—eager to come to your job interviews?
This article focuses on one method of writing vacancy ads that will help to attract the candidates that we need. I would like to mention that the article has no relation whatsoever to any psychological ‘focuses’ or neurolinguistic programming, but is rather based on common sense and understanding of the true human nature, as revealed in the works of Ron Hubbard.
Today there are many ways of determining the professional competence of a potential employee, from different interview schemes and tests to ‘field testing’ a candidate to reveal his or her talents and skills in practice.
However, success or failure in employment is largely defined even before we interview a candidate or even look through his or her CV. The point is: who are we attracting with our vacancy ads: ‘lambs’ or ‘tigers’? You can hold hundreds of interviews, spending enormous resources of time and effort, but if only lambs are drawn by your ad, you won’t be able to find a tiger among them.
I will try to explain why this happens with the following example. When people go fishing, they take worms, not marmalade, as bait. They know the fish won’t bite on marmalade, but they love a worm and are willing to bite on it even if there is a hook inside. A vacancy ad is bait of a sort. Therefore, if we want to entice a tiger, fresh meat should be placed in the trap, not a tuft of fresh grass. If the bait is designed for leeches and clingfish, you won’t catch a tiger with it no matter how hard you try and how much money you spend.
Here is an example from the ‘Managers’ section (only the name of the company was changed in this article): ABC company has a vacancy for Deputy Head of the International Shipping Department. College degree, experience of working in a similar position required. Salary: $300 + bonuses. This ad uses position and salary as bait. Everything is OK at the first glance, but let’s ask ourselves a question: who will be attracted by this ad? Logically thinking, it will be a person who wants a business card with the words ‘Deputy Head of the International Shipping Department’ on it (similar to the one he has held in the past) and capable of surviving on $300 per month.
This ad will probably attract quite a few candidates, but can it catch the attention of a person who enjoys shipping management, who is happy when there are no transport delays and idle waits, who can make everything run smoothly?
What will catch the attention of a tiger in search of a new job? When we have answered this question, it will be easy for us to understand whether this type of ad works, or if we have to use different bait.
How Do You Recognise a Tiger?
A lot has been written about motivation, stimulation and other similar things. Of course, there are sound and useful ideas in these publications about what tigers want most of all. However, there is a simpler and more accurate method: asking the people that we are desperate to have as our employees. This will give you a first-hand account of what is important for them when they choose a company to work with and what is interesting to them.
Often, a manager or a recruiter hasn't got the faintest idea how a real professional—be it an accountant, a plumber or a salesperson—envisions his or her new workplace. If you want to make sure of that, just ask a professional where he or she will be looking for vacancy ads and what is really important. Only those whose professional qualities are known to you should be polled. This might be your own employees or employees of your friends. The secret is polling the best, those who produce real results, not just the nice guys that management likes.
Remember that if you poll the ‘shy and timid’ and use this information to write the ad, the majority sending in their CVs will be shy and timid. If you poll the effective workers, it is most likely that other effective ones will come to your door.
For instance, you may be looking for a good salesperson. After questioning a few, you find out that the following factors matter when they make their employment choice:
· The quality of the goods sold;
· Satisfaction from communicating with customers;
· Professional training for the company’s employees;
· A good desk, a PC and smiling faces all around;
· Looked for job via www.rabota.kz
This is just an example, but if you receive this type of answer, you can safely use it as bait in your vacancy ad. This may read as follows: "If you are a salesperson who likes to sell high quality products and wants to become a part of a team of real professionals, you have the chance to achieve this. Your work will be rewarded with a high salary and the satisfaction of receiving positive feedback from satisfied customers".
This is just bait, which means all the requirements a candidate should meet must be indicated in the ad. However, I do not recommend indicating the exact salary, especially if it is above average and not directly dependent on work results. Otherwise, it will be bait for those who are interested in money above anything else, whilst any real professional knows that if his or her work produces goods results, there will be a corresponding reward. Besides, money-oriented people rarely include those who truly care about the final result.
Fine. You have written the ad, but still have some lingering doubts: is everything about it right? One and the same idea can be expressed very differently in the ‘bait’. Which version is better? How to check the efficiency of an ad before publishing it? The answer is simple: show the versions of the ad that you have prepared to the people you polled previously and ask them the following questions:
1.If you were looking for a new job, would you be interested in this ad?
2. Which of the versions looks most attractive to you?
Use the answers to choose the best copy and go ahead! But please don’t forget common sense: if you didn’t get the result you wanted, it means that you didn't do what was necessary to achieve this result.
Last but not least, if you have taken a poll, written an ad and selected the best version, and you are now faced with too many candidates eager to land the job, you simply need to indicate tougher requirements, or maybe something more attractive to them.
1.What is most important pulling factor when you choose a new place of work? (If it is salary, what is second in terms of importance?)
2. How has your choice of job influenced your life? What has changed?
3. If you had to choose between several options with similar requirements and conditions, which of these would be decisive? (If the answer is salary, please state what is in second place).
4. In your opinion, what is an ‘excellent place to work’?
5. Where did you look for vacancies? (If a candidate has never done this, ask him or her where they would look for vacancies if they needed a new job.)
The Rules for Taking a Poll
1. Only those people that have achieved good results in the field of activity that would be a responsibility of your would-be employee should be polled.
2. A friendly and easy-going person should take the poll.
3. The answers to the questions should be written down exactly as spoken, because the terminology used by professionals is just as important as the general meaning of the answers.
4.During the poll you must make sure that people answer each of your questions. If someone finds it difficult to answer your question, most likely they didn’t understand it. In this case you should formulate it differently.
5. You should never ask leading questions or encourage a certain type of answer in any way.
6. If ‘money’ is the answer to any question, you should get the respondent to state what comes second after money in terms of importance.
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