Even in a difficult economy, organizations must hire. And though “recruiting, interviewing, and selecting” is always important, it’s even more so when times are lean, mostly because the available margin of selection error is slimmer.
Said differently: We just can’t afford any hiring mistakes!
So here’s a recommendation from us on improving the odds of finding a “good hire”:
After the first or second interview, if a candidate is worth pursuing, hand them a QBQ! book. Ask them to explore its message of personal accountability and come back for the next interview ready to share.
Here are some potential questions to ask the candidate after they’ve read QBQ!:
- In one sentence, how would you sum up QBQ!?
- What part of QBQ! challenged your thinking the most?
- When there are things happening beyond your control, how do you respond?
- What does “taking ownership” mean to you?
- Describe a situation where mistakes were made and the tension was high. How did you react? After reading QBQ!, how will you respond now?
- If you hear colleagues complaining about others, what will you do?
- What do you believe are the consequences of blame?
Of course, it takes judgment to analyze responses to these questions, but hiring is entirely a judgment thing anyway. This process gives you something more to grab hold of when deciding to hire someone or not.
If a job candidate cannot articulate a clear philosophy of on-the-job accountability and ownership—do not hire them!
And, if after reading QBQ!, they still blame their “family of origin” or their last employer, avoid them like the plague! Otherwise, in a couple years, they’ll be interviewing somewhere else blaming … you!
Here’s another way to help new hires and the organization, sent to us by a client in the ever-changing healthcare world:
“John, immediately upon hire, we begin a 90 day plan for each individual and they are given two books to read. Yep, you guessed it: QBQ! and Flipping the Switch. We then require “book reports” during their first two months. We discuss the content in one-on-one coaching sessions, talking about how and when to apply the material. Each person keeps their books because we ask them to make notes in them for later reference. Doing this has helped make the principle of personal accountability a part of our culture.”
~Mike Oppedahl, Executive Vice President and COO, TBABHCS.com
Every organization has a “culture.” Here’s a fancy definition:
The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization, including expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together. Culture is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid.
In the end, personal accountability—or the lack thereof—is cultural. And whether it begins during the selection process or on a person’s first day on the job, helping people know that blame, finger-pointing, victim thinking, entitlement, whining, complaining, inertia, lethargy, and procrastination are “not what we do here” is an outstanding way to run any organization.
In what way is personal accountability a core value in your organization?
If it isn’t, what needs to change?
How would using QBQ! in the hiring process add value?
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