In this guest post, managing director of Talent Capital, Chris Davy (pictured below), says media companies could be losing top talent all because of their poor job interviewing skills…
You’re a proven leader the media or a related field. Perhaps many people reading this are a Chairman, CEO, managing director or a C-suite lead across a particular discipline.
You’re about to meet a candidate for a leadership position in your business that’s vital to the company’s future. The wrong person in this job could impact your own standing in the eyes of the board and industry, or at worst put your own position in jeopardy.
Do you actually have a strategy for this interview? Are you reading the candidate’s resume just before the interview? Do you know what this interview needs to uncover? It’s a one to one discussion, but who is “selling” to whom?
The point I’m trying to make is that, as important as hiring a new generation of leaders is for your business, too many senior C-suite executives have little strategy, clear objectives or a plan for attracting, interviewing and hiring great talent.
Let’s see which scenario fits your current approach to hiring the best leadership talent possible:
Candidate Andrew was recommended to you by a colleague. He arrives on time at your reception. Your EA has allocated 30 minutes and the slot is in between a budget meeting and a conference call with your board.
Your EA collects Andrew from reception and walks him through your open plan office to a meeting room. Several people on the floor recognise him – so the gossip starts. He waits 10 minutes before you finally appear – looking flustered and distracted. You don’t apologise for being late, but do apologise for not reading his CV. You jump straight into the same questions you always use – what do you know about my business, why are you right for the job, what salary do you want…?
You don’t take any notes. You ask if him if he has any questions and you give short sharp answers, then point out you have a call with the Board and need to run. Shaking hands you say, “we’ll get back to you”. In all honesty, you weren’t blown away by the interview and you never do get back as promised.
After a week Andrew emails you for feedback but you never respond. He’s then at an industry function some time later and tells several high profile people (including some of your clients) about the crappy experience he had. Word travels. Other potential candidates at the same business are later approached by your recruitment manager – and their response is ‘thanks but no thanks’.
Candidate Sarah was recommended to you by a colleague. She arrives at the Sheraton lounge. Your EA has scheduled a one-hour meeting with 20 minutes travel time either side.
You arrive on time having previously read Sarah’s CV and looked at your mutual connections on LinkedIn. You ask Sarah to briefly run through her career background and highlight the achievements she’s most proud to discuss. You take notes. During Sarah’s key points you politely ask her to pause and help you understand more about how she actually went about the tasks to reach some notable achievements. This highlights some significant skills you’re looking for. You ask intelligent questions – such as her view on your company, industry opportunities, her career.
For the final 15 minutes you suggest Sarah might want to ask you questions – to which you listen carefully and answer with detail and clarity.
You ask your HR Director to host a second interview with Sarah and explore further areas, including cultural fit. That meeting goes well. With references checked and relevant calls made, you make an offer.
If you’re reading this you don’t have to guess which one of these scenarios gets you the best people, with the best experience and talent to positively impact your business and industry reputation.
You also don’t have to guess which of the two scenarios is more time consuming. But, really, how important is it? It’s about the quality of your business into the future and shaping new careers. And if you’re in the C-suite, that’s why you’re there.