Scroll Top

Listen On

Key Aspects To Selecting Top Talent | S1:E6

  • Episode 6
  • 'Inside Executive Search' Podcast

    Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.

    Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search

    As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.

    Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search

    Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.

    Podcast Transcription

    Speaker_1: 00:03 Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You are listening to Versique’s Inside Executive Search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
    Speaker_3: 00:31 Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh and this show is for business owners, board members and executives exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain the very best for their organization. If you’re not feeling 100% confident that you have the right plan to recruit the very best, keep listening this podcast will help you get there. That said, I’d like to bring in Scott Peterson from Versique Search. Hi Scott. Good afternoon. It’s good to be here again with you. Did you see your smiling face? It’s good to hear it too. For our first-time listeners, Scott is a 20-year veteran in the Executive Search industry and leads Versique’s Executive Leadership Practice. So last week we wrapped up the fifth podcast of five all surrounding topics around attracting the very best talent and today we are going to move on and give a preview for the second component, which is how to select the right candidates once you’ve attracted them.
    Speaker_4: 01:34 That is right Steve. We spent an awful lot of time in the attraction part and this was really the key part of how do you go about selecting after you have attracted all these candidates, how do you find the right one? How do you make sure that your success in that higher will be a good one? Yep, and selection is not only the right skills and experience, but also the right culture fit and also the right career move as well. So there’s not just, do they have the right skill? There’s a lot more that goes into it. Yeah, it’s very similar to the topics we talked about in the earlier podcasts, right. So how do we know we have alignment on that career motivational fit for the candidate those themes or those processes still bake themselves into the selection process. So you want to make sure that that was done well up front so this becomes more efficient on the back end.
    Speaker_3: 02:32 Perfect. Well, we have five areas that we’re going to focus on throughout the selection. Why don’t you give us a preview of what those five are?
    Speaker_4: 02:41 Yeah, certainly. In the selection process, it’s a very complicated processes as most people in the selection, talent selection or talent management as there’s always the, the who and what does that mean? Well, that means who’s involved in your company? Identifying those individuals that are going to be part of the process, making sure everyone’s aligned with the right questions, those sorts of things. So you’ve got the who, who’s asking what questions.
    Speaker_3: 03:09 And are you going to do it individually or as a team?
    Speaker_4: 03:12 Right, my bias is not to do team based interviews. I think it’s very cumbersome for the candidate to deal with it. But from an efficiency standpoint, some companies do it, maybe it’s two or three people from the same group, from the same area, but certainly getting all those individuals lined up obviously before the interview started to happen and then that consistency too. So if you have let’s say four candidates for a Chief Operating Officer position, you want the same interview team to do each one of those because then it allows you to have the alignment of I saw all the candidates, I asked him the questions. If you have different interviewers, you get inconsistency in the evaluation.
    Speaker_3: 04:00 Yeah. You think that would be common sense, but you and I have all seen it numerous times where that’s not the case and or if the interview team is the same, it’s at different stages and that can complicate the feedback as to how do you evaluate it.
    Speaker_4: 04:16 You want to make sure that you have a consistent team and a consistent process. Yup. Okay. So what’s number two? Well, two is the what. What is the role? What’s the culture of the company? All those things again we’ll say this many times going back to our earlier podcasts, what’s important from a position specification to the alignment of culture and what we’re looking for in an individual.
    Speaker_3: 04:43 Yeah, make sure everybody that’s interviewing understands what the role is and they’ve actually read the positions spec if they’ve listened to us earlier, right? Yup, put one together because that’s the easiest way to deter candidates if they’re hearing multiple stories of what the role is, right?
    Speaker_4: 04:59 Yeah, so you definitely want, whoever’s in the interview process has to have the same position spec that your candidate received in the first place. That way everybody’s really going from the same data point and has the same level of understanding of what the position on the specifications for that position. So, then we’re going to talk about the how. This is the the fun part. When we go through that process, how do we decide the right candidate? Right? What’s our evaluation criteria? So everybody evaluates every candidate the same way. So you and I may be part of an interview process, Steve, but if you have a different set of criteria than I do, it’s going to be hard to align on who’s the right candidate from an overall perspective.
    Speaker_4: 05:51 There’s going to be differences in people that you interview, right? And that’s okay, but if you have a set of standard evaluation criteria, that bias goes away, and we’ll talk a little bit more about bias a little bit further in the podcast here. Yeah. but it’s has to be more than just I liked him or I liked her. The gut check is always a good component, but it can’t be the only one, right? Yeah. There’s gut check or there is, hey I felt good about this candidate. It goes beyond that. There’s much more objective criteria that we need to use along the process, and then we’ll get into it when it comes to that particular podcast, but there’s hundreds of different assessments that can be incorporated into your one on one evaluation interview. Absolutely, and there’s companies that have built scientific based assessment tools that really help you with the assessment of the candidates.
    Speaker_4: 06:48 I would say that you don’t want to use them as a selection criteria, meaning if there’s no pass or fail. It’s really about evaluating each candidate on their merits and saying, okay, where are the opportunities for improvement for this candidate are one and two for a candidate. The next candidates, it’s three and four on basically assessment, so it gives the company an opportunity to say, oh, we like to strengths in these areas and these are the places where he needs to work in development, we’re comfortable with that, we’ll work on those with that person. Yeah, and I subscribe to the belief if you’ve interviewed and set up a good selection process, an assessment should validate what you have learned throughout. That’s a great one. That should be exactly. And if there is a surprise than you need to look back at your selection process and find out why that didn’t marry up with the assessment.
    Speaker_4: 07:43 So the fourth topic is we have it up there is when, but this is in my opinion, one of the more important pieces that a lot of clients or companies need some work on because there’s large periods of time in between step one and two or two and three. Yeah, so you need to shrink the calendar of when you’re interviewing the candidates as much as possible, because if it’s a month between two candidate interviews, if I’m a part of the interview process, I might not remember much about the first candidate and now I’m interviewing this new person, I’m much more apt to probably like them more, and that gets to the next step on back on the bias in the interview process. So, if you can squeeze that interview timeline together, it makes it for a more efficient process and allow for evaluation candidates better. And not to mention a better experience for the candidates themselves. Yeah, that is one thing because in this industry, the amount of time you take between up interviews can lead to you los
    Speaker_3: 09:04 Yeah, and before we get into the last one, which is that selection bias, I think it’s extremely important whether you’re using a firm or doing it on your own, you have to have a champion inside of your organization to be getting and gaining all of that feedback from the interviewers and being able to pass information onto the candidates again, so it’s a good candidate experience so you don’t lose anybody.
    Speaker_4: 09:29 Correct, because this could become the marketing for your company, right? Even if a candidate doesn’t get selected, how they were treated and communicated with during the process says a lot about your organization and they’ll still speak highly of you in the marketplace getting back to company brand. Yeah, company brand. Podcast number five.
    Speaker_4: 09:49 So it’s a very important to close that loop with all your candidates that were in the process. Let them know that they weren’t either one) moving on to this round two) not selected and provide some feedback to why maybe they weren’t.
    Speaker_3: 10:02 Absolutely. All right. The last one that we will cover will be around selection bias. What do you mean? Give us a definition.
    Speaker_4: 10:10 So this is the whole psychological piece to the candidate selection process. It’s things like we just talked about, so picking the person that was fresh in your mind so the last candidate interviewed wins a lot of the time because everyone remembers that person. It also depends on when they interviewed what order they were in. Interviewing people that look like yourself or talk like yourself, that’s another bias that happens quite a bit. Then there’s this mythical thing called the halo effect and that’s really people that are in the news a lot, so executives usually that people already know them before they get there or they perceive that they know them based on newspaper articles or TV interviews, so there’s just a lot on this topic of making sure that it happens and how to reduce the amount of bias is to use a really solid process and to use some assessment tools and that takes out this effect of being biased. Again, whether its position or order or I read people that sound like me o
    Speaker_3: 11:25 So we’ll cover that in our last selection podcasts. So we’ll leave that as a little teaser. So the next five weeks we’re going to be diving into all of these different elements in selecting the right candidate and give you a lot more details on each one and how to effectively manage the selection process. So that’ll wrap up this preview for the next handful of podcast and as always, you can subscribe to our channel on Itunes, Spotify, and coming soon to iHeart Media and Google play. So we will talk to you next week and we will be exploring the who, what should the team look like, individual or team interviews, etc, and who’s asking what. That sounds great. All right. See you next week.

    Subscribe for Insights

    Get notified when a podcast episode airs, and get industry insights with our quarterly HR newsletter.

    Notify me when...
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.