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The Down2theHire Podcast
6 minutes | Apr 29, 2013
Hiring for Social Media Positions: Technical Fit First, then Culture Fit – Part II
Last week on the Down2theHire Podcast, Nick Eubanks, VP of Digital Strategy for W.L. Snook & Associates – a digital holdings company, joined the show to discuss what he looks for when hiring for social media positions. Listen to Hiring Social Media Managers and Community Managers - Part I. This week, Nick talks about the mistakes he's seen companies make when hiring for social media positions, and how he first wants to make sure candidates have the technical chops to do the job before worrying about culture fit. Mistakes companies make when hiring for social media The most common mistake Nick's seen companies make when hiring for social media positions is that they put a premium on culture fit at the expense of making sure their top candidate(s) is a technical fit. Nick says, "I think technical has to come first in my opinion. The person can be a fantastic cultural fit, everyone likes them and they get along, and they believe in what the business believes in, but if they don't have the technical chops to do their job at the end of the day, they're not going to be effective." Nick gets the technical requirements out of the way up front, and then worries about culture fit later on in the hiring process. Small businesses need people who have the technical capabilities to complete the tasks and requirements for their job, which is far more important when it comes to getting new money in the door and growing a brand. How to make sure social media candidates are technical fits Nick gives social media candidates questions that forces them to think critically about business problems that they're going to have to solve for in their jobs. One sample question that Nick uses is: A customer leaves a very upset comment on our Facebook page about a recent campaign we ran. How are you going to respond to this comment? For Nick, an immediate disqualifier is if the candidate says that they'd delete the comment from the Facebook page. Nick believes that anytime a customer engages you on a social platform, it is an opportunity to create a positive experience and show that you care about your customers. These types of exercises provide key insights into how candidates think and react in social
8 minutes | Apr 22, 2013
Hiring Social Media Managers and Community Managers – Separating the Wheat from the Chaff – Part I
In this week's episode of the Down2theHire Podcast, Nick Eubanks, VP of Digital Strategy for W.L. Snook & Associates - a digital holdings company, joins the show to discuss how he efficiently hires social media managers and community managers. Social Media Managers versus Community Managers Nick defines the social media manager as someone who makes sure the brand is consistent across all social media channels - being sure the fonts, colors, logo, campaigns all have a consistent look and feel, and are error free. In short, social media managers are content managers for social media. Community managers are focused on engaging with the people who are using and contributing content to the company's site and social media profiles. The community manager responds to emails, comments, and questions, and drives the conversations that people are having through the relevant social media channels. Therefore, when hiring for community managers, Nick is looking for outgoing people, who have developed a clear voice and personality online that jives with the business. What is "doing social media"? Nick often wonders what people mean when they say that they can "do social media?" If that means simply posting updates on Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter then they probably don't know how to leverage these tools to expand a brand or grow a business. Nick points out that the key is finding social media managers and community managers that have actually managed and created profitable campaigns for businesses, organizations, or causes. The most successful campaigns, Nick says, are when people have creatively solved a problem through either gathering information that is spread out across the web in many different places, or providing a more comprehensive view on something that has been only covered in bits and pieces up to that point. Also, tune in next week for Part II of our interview with Nick.
11 minutes | Mar 28, 2013
Wired for Sales? What to Look for In Your Next Sales Hire
Last week, in Hiring Salespeople - Part I, we discussed how Pareto's Principle applies to most sales organizations where 80 percent of the revenue is produced by 20 percent of the salespeople. This week, Jim Allen, Founder and Principal of Value Based, Inc - a company that helps businesses build and develop their own sales organizations - joins the show to discuss how you can break through the 80/20 rule by more effectively recruiting, assessing, and hiring salespeople who are already "wired" for sales. What attributes do the most successful salespeople possess? Jim rattled off the following characteristics that we should be looking for when looking to hire a salesperson: Self-starter: When top salespeople get up in the morning, go to work, and are setting up their calendar; they're thinking "what can I initiate" or "what can I be intentional about today that would help open up, advance, or close a sales opportunity?" Competitive: This goes along with the desire to win that we discussed last week. Strategic and long-term thinker and planner: someone who sees past the immediate transaction and is looking to build valuable relationships with prospects, clients, and partners. Creative problem solvers: This is especially important for people selling complex products and services that take a while to sell and implement. It is also important that they believe in and standby their creative solutions, even when facing objections from prospects or clients. Perseverance: Important for a salesperson to quickly get back up when they face rejection, or are even offended by prospects or clients. Confidence (arrogant-free, please!) Humility: Jim describes this as not thinking less of yourself in relation to others; but simply directing more of your thoughts towards serving your clients, prospects, or co-workers, instead of being wrapped up in thoughts about yourself and your own comfort. Empathy: Being able to walk a mile in the prospects shoes, or getting inside their heads, feeling their pain or discomfort that they're trying to solve for. Are successful salespeople born or developed? Jim believes that salespeople who are successful over the long-haul - 10 or more years - are bo
5 minutes | Mar 20, 2013
Two Things You Have to Know Before You Hire Your Next Salesperson
Are salespeople born, or are they developed? This is the million dollar question, and on this week's podcast, Hiring Salespeople - Part I, we find out that they're born! How should this affect how managers and executives approach hiring salespeople?Pareto's Principle is entirely applicable to most sales organizations where 80 percent of the revenue is produced by 20 percent of the salespeople. A lot of time, money, and effort goes into training salespeople, usually about a year, so it is depressing to think that these finite resources get used up on sales recruits who produce mediocre to poor results. How do you get your sales organization to breakthrough Pareto's Principle or the 80/20 rule? Accept the fact that not everyone can sell; and recruit, screen, and hire for the core-characteristics that make up successful salesperson. Harvard Business Review showed us that the most successful salespeople had to have at least these two characteristics when they answered the question, What Makes a Good Salesman?: Strong ego drive, meaning a deep desire to win, or competitive spirit. High on empathy, meaning that they are tuned into people's feelings, concerns, and fears. Next week, Jim Allen, Founder and Principal of Value Based, Inc, a company that helps organizations build and develop their own sales organizations, will be joining the show to further discuss how to build an effective sales team made up of salespeople who possess these types of characteristics. Want to sponsor the Down2theHire Podcast, submit your request here? Have a great idea or topic that you’d like us to cover, submit your ideas and questions here?
10 minutes | Mar 11, 2013
Pre-Employment Testing for Small Business
Dr. Jesse Llobet, Industrial Psychologist and President of Psymetrics - a leading test development and consulting firm, joined the show to give us the lowdown on pre-employment testing. Larger businesses and staffing firms have been using pre-employment tests for years to screen job applicants, and predict which ones have the best chance of success at a particular job. However, most small businesses recruit and hire without employing any form of pre-employment testing. Why should small businesses start using pre-employment testing? Research proves that pre-employment assessments tend to be three to four times more predictive (of how well a candidate will perform on the job) than your standard job interview. Jesse explained that a lot goes into the creation of professionally developed tests: first the characteristics are identified that need to be tested, then employees are tested and performance data is collected, and an IO (industrial/organizational psychologist) statistically determines and shows how well a test predicts people's performance on the job. Jesse further explains that professionally developed pre-employment tests offer an objective and consistent way to compare and assess applicants. He says that when you use tests to hire for a particular job, you are asking every applicant the same job-related questions, so that at the end of the process you are able to compare apples to apples. What are the main types of pre-employment assessments small businesses should be considering? Jesse breaks it down as follows: Behavioral and personality assessments: These are assessments that measure the personality dimensions that transform into behaviors on the job, such as: service-orientation; an individual's ability to sell; if applicant's are trustworthy, driven, confident, or self-motivated. Skill and cognitive-based assessments: These tests measure an applicant's ability to perform a particular task or their level of intelligence. Jesse advocates that both small and large employers utilize both types of assessments. For instance, you can have an individual applying for a sales position that is especially motivated, driven, and achievement-oriented, but lacks the cognitive skills to thoroughly understand the product so that he can sell it properly. While you need to make sure that applicants have the personality and motivation to do
9 minutes | Mar 4, 2013
Hiring in Startups: What to Avoid and Take Advantage of When Hiring for Your Startup Company
In this week's episode on the Down2theHire Podcast, Mike Krupit - COO and Co-Founder of Real Food Works, a tech-startup located in NYC and Philadelphia - joined the show to discuss hiring in startups. Mike is working on his seventh startup and has filled several thousand positions in startup companies, including when he ran the Philadelphia-area business CDNOW, where they hired 1500+ people over the course of a few years. The challenges startups face when hiring and recruiting Mike explained that getting the candidates aligned to the job is the biggest challenge for startup companies, "A lot of people find working in startups attractive, sexy, intriguing but don't necessarily get what it is or have the ability to do it. So it is up to the hiring manager to make sure that they are communicating, vetting, and doing this alignment. The worst thing a startup can do is hire the wrong person. I often tell people hire slow and fire fast." Advantages startups have when hiring The biggest advantage startups have when hiring lies in comparing the fast-paced startup culture to the bureaucratic big company culture. Startups have to sell candidates on the nontraditional nature of the job and their unique story and work environment. Mike noted that startups need to begin presenting themselves as an attractive company to work at before they start actually recruiting. In today's interconnected world candidates will be checking out your website, your social media connections, and your blog posts, so you need to start building buzz about your company before you go out looking for candidates. Top 3 hiring mistakes startups make Mike identified three big mistakes startup companies make when hiring: They recruit like they're big companies with "endless meetings and questions and lots of process and tons of evaluation tools." Instead Mike recommends that startups adopt a very tight hiring process for getting a candidate interested and on board in the organization. They fail to sell candidates on their "startup" culture. Instead startup companies often present open positions as just another regular job instead of being open about the unique work environment and requirements. They oversell candidates on the future value of the company. A
13 minutes | Feb 25, 2013
The Impact of Obamacare on Small Business Hiring
In this week's episode on the Down2theHire Podcast, Dave and Everett discuss the impact of Obamacare on small business hiring. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, but there's still plenty of confusion surrounding the health care law's requirements on small businesses throughout the country. Dave points out that while one of President Obama's main goals with the Affordable Care Act was to control the costs of healthcare, health insurance companies are already increasing premiums on small businesses in preparation for the remaining requirements of Obamacare to hit in 2014. In many cases, these insurance companies can justify these increases because their costs are going to rise since the Affordable Care Act requires them to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and allows for children to stay on their parents' plans until they are 26. Dave explains that as a small business owner, he's had to adjust to these rising costs by adopting new plans with higher deductibles. Check out Reed Abelson's article, Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits, published on January 5, 2013 in the New York Times.Chris Van Buren - partner at Embrook Benefits Consulting, which helps entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses of up to 500 employees select and manage their benefit plans - joined the show to discuss possible effects of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses. Chris has been conducting a study, in which he's been interviewing small business owners and CEOs on what they're planning on doing in 2014 in terms of the Affordable Care Act. State-run Health Insurance Exchanges Chris noted that there's a lot of uncertainty and misconceptions surrounding the state-run exchanges that Obamacare calls for because it hasn't been until after the election that the regulations are being spelled out as to how these exchanges are supposed to operate beginning October 2013. Chris defines the exchanges as simply a marketplace for individuals to buy primarily private health insurance. What will be the impact of these exchanges on small business? Hard to tell. Chis explains that IF the health insurance carriers price the plans out well in the exchanges AND the exchanges are operating efficiently THEN they may
5 minutes | Feb 18, 2013
The Cost of Hiring the Wrong Employees
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) on the Cost-Per-Hire Last year, the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), released Cost-Per-Hire: An American National Standard for Human Resource Management, which is a 38 page document that helps you figure out the cost of hiring employees for a specific position within your organization. In this episode, Dave and Everett won't make you go through SHRM's riveting documentation on how to calculate your cost of hiring, but they do urge you to consider the high costs of hiring the wrong employee. The Hidden Costs of Hiring the Wrong Employee Many businesses, especially small to mid-size businesses ignore the costs of a bad hire because these costs are often hidden and hard to measure. But like SHRM's documentation shows, these costs are real and they're high! To help us appreciate and identify the costs of hiring the wrong person, Dave put together a top 5 list: Unemployment: If you have to fire a bad hire and they file for unemployment, your unemployment tax rate takes a hit for up to three years. Wasted time that could've gone into more productive things. Unfortunately, it is often the least productive and most troublesome employees who consume a manager's time. Lost customers and revenue when a customer has a negative experience with a poor hire and decides to drop your company as a vendor/service provider. Hit to employee morale and productivity: Typically new hiring is done during times of growth and increased workload, so if you hire an employee that can't carry their own load then that person becomes a huge drag on the rest of your competent staff. Opportunity costs: Think of all the things that could have been accomplished if the right person was in the position. The higher up you go in the organization, then the higher the opportunity costs associated with a bad hire. Cathy Vaughn, General Manager of Sportsplex - the Hudson Valley, NY's premier fitness, swimming and tennis center - joined the show to discuss the impact she's seen bad hiring decisions have on her organization. Even when hiring for front-line seasonal positions for Sportsplex's summer camps, Cathy's seen that it is never worth sidestepping her hiring process to try and fill a position quickly. Employees that don'
9 minutes | Feb 11, 2013
When Nontechnical People Have to Hire Technical People
In Episode 2 of the Down2theHire Podcast, Brian Glick shares how he hopes to NEVER hire a technical candidate from outside of his networkBrian Glick, Vice President of Global Information Systems for Vandegrift Forwarding Company, joined the show to discuss how he's been able to build high performing technical teams for the last 15 years: Brian divides his operations into the "back of the house" engineering types responsible for maintaining networks, servers, and security; and the more creative product development types who build out customer facing tools and software. When hiring for network infrastructure related jobs, in addition to experience in working with the relevant technology, Brian looks for candidates who have a high degree of internal discipline. He'll ask them about frustrating work experiences or environments they've been in, and is looking for them to cite places with poor change control processes, or that did things half-hazardously. When hiring more "creative types" who will be developing products, Brian is looking for people who are self-starters, can work without specific directions, and come up with their own ideas. Brian gets his staffed involved in the hiring process and relies on them not only to help validate specific skills and technical knowledge, but to also get involved in different forums and groups within their areas of expertise - such as user groups and technical communities - so they can be exposed to potential job candidates. Lastly, Brian recommends that even nontechnical people should get involved with online technical forums (e.g. stackoverflow.com) or local user groups, and identify the technical people who are engaged in the community and really know their stuff. What are some ways that you've found to be successful when hiring technical people? Please comment to share!
7 minutes | Feb 4, 2013
Nepotism: When to Hire OR Not Hire Close Relatives and Friends
In Episode 1 of the Down2theHire Podcast, Dave and Everett discuss nepotism. Nepotism isn't just hiring a close relative or friend, but showing unmerited favor by either hiring them, promoting them, or giving them some other perk(s) that they clearly didn't earn. First Dave talks about his decision to bring Everett (his son) into the family business: Dave made sure Everett didn't report to him, but instead to the general manager of the company who was not related at all to Everett. Dave gave the general manager complete autonomy to manage Everett, and establish his salary, compensation, bonuses, and do all of his reviews. Then John Geffel, managing partner of Value:Driven Group and who has worked with Dave and Everett as a mentor and consultant, joined the show; and had this to say about nepotism: He's seen it work when family members are only brought into the business when it makes sense and are treated like everyone else - based on their own merit. He's seen it fail when the business becomes centered around the family members, and people are brought in because they are family. Then the boundaries between family and business become blurred; and issues in the family creep into the business and vice versa. When asked about advice he has for businessmen and women considering getting family members involved, John recommends avoiding it because it is difficult to do well. But if you are going to bring family members into the business: You must start with, "What are the needs of the business?" and "What are the needs of this position/role?" Go through a normal recruiting and hiring process - recruit and interview people outside the business. Don't only interview the one family member. Get managers who aren't related to the family member involved in the hiring process. You must make it clear to the manager(s) who are responsible for hiring for the open position that they are ABSOLUTELY NOT obligated to hire the family member being considered for the job. What's your take on nepotism or hiring close family members or friends? When have you seen it work, or utterly fail?
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