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Fundamental steps in making a new hire

February 25, 2011

Steve Fawthrop

Recently, as part of a discussion with partners in a sales consulting firm, I was asked how I would go about recruiting. Let me share two key elements in hiring that I cited in my response.

I was asked how I would recruit in Los Angeles. My mind first took me to the logistics of recruiting. Where would I network? Where would I place an ad online? I then responded, as an example from a position I had in Seattle, how I recruited one person from a company–who initially came to me on recommendation through a network–and eventually hired two other sales people from the same company.

My explanation was an example of effective networking to add to the staff, but did not address the more critical points about the purpose of recruiting. I stepped back from the initial response  and clarified the core aspects I see involved in recruiting to fill a position.

If recruiting, two key considerations need to be addressed:

  • What are we offering as an opportunity to a candidate and, related to it, are we providing them the tools and support to succeed?

If so, the candidate and eventual employee should be able to answer positively to the statement, “At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”  These are foundation elements of the Gallup Q12 questions that look at workplace satisfaction and performance.

  • Are we clear on the success characteristics in the position so we are recruiting, interviewing and hiring a person we believe can meet and exceed goals   or the performance criteria of the position?

Often the role of the position, skill set needed and personal characteristics needed for success, personally and within the corporate culture, is not clearly defined at the start of a hiring process. A flawed interviewing process means you are more likely to make an inappropriate hire, less than successful hire or rely on random chance to make a good hire.

As the director of advertising and marketing for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle, I used services from Gallup through our parent company. Our Gallup consultant, Mark Brown, was a tremendous help to me, especially when I was a newer manager.  I  learned a lot through involvement in the Gallup management training and  improved my interviewing skills as I matured in the position and in later roles. Post Business Journal I came upon an author, Lou Adler, who wrote a great book called “Hire with Your Head.” I bought his audio series–a blend of the book, in studio commentary and a live seminar discussion–and have used his interview tools.

If you are in a hiring role for any kind of position, I recommend looking at Gallup resources, including their many books. The first book I recommend is “First, Break All the Rules” which is on managing, not specifically on interviewing and hiring.

More specific to hiring, if you feel you can improve in this area, check out Lou Adler (The Adler Group, on his website or through a general web search to learn more about him. The original audio series I cite above, which was a cassette format, is no longer available but his book is along with a variety of new offerings on CD and through e-newsletters and consulting services.


714-876-7062, cell

Additional information:

The Gallup Q12 questions:

A review of the questions and their appropriateness:


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