When Katy was a little girl, she loved to play with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Some of her creations were hilarious; an arm being in the ear hole, lips in the eye hole, or Mrs. Potato Head walking around on a hat instead of shoes. Part of the brilliance of that game is taking all of the parts and making a whole, no matter how it looks to someone else. Once, Katy dressed up Mrs. Potato Head with shoes, lips, 2 arms, 2 eyes, and… a mustache on her head. She looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said “Mommy, doesn’t Mrs. Potato Head look beautiful???”
Last week, I had a client who was getting really frustrated with the search we were conducting. He looked at me and said “If I could just take attributes from one candidate and put it with the skill set from the other candidate, I would be hiring someone today!” Although a frustrating feeling, this is good news. When you start to see what you want from an employee, even though it is in 2 people, your ideal candidate is right around the corner. All you need to do is piece together what is important to you, and that person will show up. It is indeed a beautiful thing.
After an interview with a really great candidate, my clients usually want to hire that person on the spot. They do not want to wait. They feel very strongly that they have waited long enough, and they want to get this person on board ASAP. While I completely understand their desires, I ask them to think about the interview for at least 24-48 hours. The reason for the waiting period is that your thoughts are really different outside of the interview, especially if you give your thoughts a chance to simmer. Think about it like you think about soup in a crock pot.
Similar to making a soup where you initially collect and prep all of your ingredients, a company preps by putting together an ideal list for the best candidate, writing a job description, writing a job ad, and posting the job. The job then simmers on the job boards as applicants begin to submit resumes, compared to the soup simmering in the crockpot. Then, the employers get the resumes and begin interviewing, like adding spices to the soup, continuing to let it simmer.
Throw in some vision and dreaming, your crock pot will make some pretty great soup. Eat the soup too early and the spices may have not soaked in yet. If you wait too long, the vegetables turn to mush, and the soup is not as good.
For the past 3 weeks, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how being compared to a slobbery, atomic mutant reptile can possibly be a compliment… maybe I am bigger than life? Loud? Dry skin?
The more important concept to consider here is how an outburst like this might affect your customers. If she said this to an important client or a big donor, those potential clients might be unwilling to sign that contract that you are wanting them to sign. They might not want to do business with you. People have pulled their business away for a lot less than being called Godzilla.
Meanwhile, we will be looking for another candidate and I will be moisturizing heavily.
Last week, as I was interviewing, I kept smelling bacon. It smelled SO GOOD! I felt like that dog in the Beggin’ Strips commercial whose sole focus was to get some bacon! Anyway, I turned to my client and said “I must be going crazy because I think I smell bacon!” She laughed and said “You aren’t crazy. Our staff makes lunch together, and they usually cook breakfast foods.” As I rounded the hallway to see for myself what was taking place, there were 5 people with plates piled high with bacon, eggs, pancakes and French toast crammed into one little office around an even smaller desk sharing a meal together.
Company culture can be created in so many different ways, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot or take up much time. These staff members not only enjoyed their bacon, but they were able to talk about work in a casual way. They created friendships and deeper relationships over those amazing pancakes, all while they were passing the syrup. Ask any of the employees and they will tell you that those brunches are not only fun, but they are also productive.
If your company is lagging behind, or employee morale is low, it might be time to introduce some fun into the game.
Making bacon together really can help you bring home the bacon!
I would love to hear from you if you or your employees introduced a morale boosting activity that has become part of your company culture?
I hear this comment more often than I care to. As an employer, why would I want give you a job that you won’t hate? My clients and I want candidates that come to the table with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. If a criterion for the next position includes a “job that I won’t hate” pass immediately. A positive outlook is a choice by the candidate and a must have job requirement for any employer.
I called a woman recently to schedule her for an interview. She thanked me for calling her, but notified me she will not be available. She would be getting a face lift next week. Slightly stunned because I wasn’t expecting that unusual response, I thanked her for letting me know and wished her great success. I really appreciate people who let me know their plans, because no one’s time was wasted.
I was interviewing a couple of years ago for a great position at the local non-profit. An application for Andre came across my desk with decent qualification. As I glanced over the cover letter, I noticed the candidate signed as “Andrea”. I was confused about what to call this person, so I didn’t.
As employers, we can be swayed by a person’s technical skills, where they went to school, who they have worked for, but if they can’t get their own name right? No thank you.
When I interview 14 people in a day and write 2-3 pages worth of notes on each, my fingers can get really stiff. I will bend them a few times and shake them out, causing the knuckles to pop occasionally. Last week in an interview with a hiring manager, I was in the middle of asking my questions and my fingers popped. The candidate sitting across from me reached over to hold my hand and shouted “DON’T POP YOUR KNUCKLES! Ewwwwww!”
Now, I get that some people are offended by knuckle popping and I do my best to keep it to a minimum. This candidate however didn’t even say please or thank you with her request, which was presented to me at the top of her lungs. If she is willing to yell at me in front of her potential boss, imagine what she might do to your customers. EWWWW!
I placed a call to a candidate to invite her in for an interview. The message said “Please enjoy the music while your party is reached!” Then, I heard the song “Take this job and shove it.” Need I say more? Listen to the clues that people give you before, during and after the interview. You will be amazed at what you will learn.
We can really appreciate that he came to the interview to let us know his thoughts on the job. He didn’t just blow off the interview, which shockingly happens a lot. While he at least made an appearance, I doubt it was the appearance he intended. When examining candidates for your open job position, watch for clues in their behavior to tell you the type of employee you will be hiring. This gentleman was a good example of someone who may struggle with organization, time keeping and professional appearance.