End of Year Thoughts | Update on MagiCare Wipes & Nitrile Gloves | Stop Staring Out the Back of the Bus | News to Start Your Day
(October 28th is National Chocolate Day! Woohoo! Now that’s a holiday!)
I’m not sure about you all, but this week is flying by for me. I can’t believe it is Wednesday already!
For years now I have observed and commented that this time of year seems to go by quicker. I think it is perhaps the extra family activities combined with the time change and less daylight hours that make it feel that way. The planner in me tries to prepare for the upcoming rush of activity by making lists and knocking out as many pre-holiday tasks as I can while the realist in me prepares to hang on for the ride. I “plan” to expect the unexpected.
PSA: If you live in a state that observes the time change, it is this weekend!
At CK we have several big projects open that we hope to see good progress on by year end. The “great PPE exit” is well underway, thanks in no small part to you all. Rebecca noted this week that we’re almost out of wipes and sprays, our glove stock is dwindling, and masks are selling well. We still have a good stock of smaller (3oz and 8oz) hand sanitizer bottles. Stocking stuffers? 🙂 We are currently ahead of our targets on this project and are grateful for it!
Besides PPE we’ve also been working on some behind the scenes technology upgrades. Several smaller projects are moving right along and one big project may give Jason (you know him by now right?) and Cris, our Technology Product Manager, a few gray hairs by the end of the year. Even with the delays and unexpected setbacks in this project, these guys have kept pushing forward and making progress, have been rock stars in pushing and supporting our
pivot swerve into safety supplies, and they’ve maintained positive attitudes. I am thankful to have both of them on our team.
On this hump day, as we’re all staring at the end of another month and the end of the year right in the face, I encourage you to take a minute to find something or someone you are thankful for. If it is a someone, take another minute and tell them. May it make your day and theirs a little brighter.
Today’s Product Updates from Rebecca:
Happy Wednesday! You all sure have been buying up the PPE deals! We just dropped the sale price for MagiCare 75% Alcohol Cleaning Wipes! We have plenty in stock, ready to ship!
We are continuing to run great sales on all of our Hand Sanitizers! Don’t miss out!
Reminder: Get free shipping on your PPE orders by using coupon code PPESHIP at checkout!
Main Safety Supplies Landing Page: https://www.cablesandkits.com/c/safety-supplies
Today’s spotlight is all about the AIR-CAP3702I-A-K9 Cisco Aironet 3700 Series Access Point! This ready-to-install, easy-to-manage access point offers high capacity, high security, enterprise-class features to deliver wireless LAN access with a low total cost of ownership. Designed for coverage in offices and similar RF environments, this unobtrusive access point features integrated antennas and dual IEEE 802.11a/g/n/ac radios for comprehensive and predictable coverage, providing a combined capacity of 450 Mbps!
Stop Staring Out the Back of the Bus – by Gary our Chief Administrative Officer
Why don’t they position the driver’s seat facing out the back of the bus? You can see the road. You can even tell whether the bus is between the lane markers. Of course, we all know that’s silly. Seeing the past does not allow us to anticipate or respond to what is coming down the road at us. Yet, that is what most managers do when they base a hiring decision on someone’s resume and inappropriate interview questions.
This post is the last in a three-part series on Hiring for Talent. The first post (“Too Many Corners on the Box“) exposed the fallacy of over constraining a hiring search by relying on long lists of experiences and skills. The second post (“I Hired Your Resume, But Unfortunately I Got You”) revealed the pitfalls of focusing on the past and made a case for concentrating more attention on forward-looking talents. This post discusses some methods for hiring talents.
You will never find what you have not first defined. As a first step we must identify the talents we are seeking to hire. Consider first company-specific talents. Since individuals frequently change jobs or roles within the same company the vision for the organization’s culture should overwhelmingly determine the talents you seek to hire. Yes, that means you must have first reduced your vision for the culture or company values to writing and, second, take that plaque, picture, or poster off the wall and really use it. Second, consider job-specific talents with your view out the front of the bus. Think in terms of the talents needed to tackle the challenges facing the person you hire.
But, that still leaves a question of how do we uncover a candidate’s talents? Resumes may provide clues, but almost never reveal answers. Poorly written resumes compound the problem by making isolated and unsupported claims of talent (usually in an overview section); such as Creative, Highly disciplined, Responsible, High integrity, Quick learner, High achiever, etc.
Here are three methods for uncovering and confirming a candidate’s talents:
- Trials. This method discovers talents from first-hand experiences during previous interactions. The most effective use of this method is when a manager hires someone they already know well from working together in a professional setting. However, this try-before-you-hire method is rarely suitable for hiring to fill most professional positions when the hiring manager and candidate do not know each other. Most candidates with exceptional talent will not assume the risk of a probationary hire.
- Testing. There exists a wide assortment of assessment tools; including instruments such as Myers-Briggs, DiSC, and Wonderlic to name a few. I have mixed opinions on assessment tools. These tools often reveal interesting and potentially helpful insights. However, they can get pricey and present logistic challenges to administer them. More importantly, the broad nature of many assessment tools can make it difficult to zero in on specific targeted talents. In my opinion, too many assessment tools attempt to provide a be all to end all solution and end up providing so much information that properly interpreting them requires a level of training and expertise that makes them impractical or unaffordable. Nonetheless, I know there are fans of various assessment methods…please feel free to share your views in the comments on assessments you’ve found effective.
- Talking. Not casual chatting about the candidate’s favorite food, team or vacation spot. Not surface-level conversation about where the candidate has worked and what they’ve done. Not a flag-waving recitation of the candidate’s amazing results. But rather, a structured and deep-level dialogue about what drives the candidate and fueled their accomplishments. It’s free; although it takes some work.
Using Interviews to Uncover Talents
A word of caution…Contrived or hypothetical scenarios shed less light on an individual’s talents and traits and may actually mislead the interviewer (in a hypothetical scenario I will always leave that last chocolate cookie on the plate). Google developed a reputation for off-beat interview questions, but has recently abandoned it (read more here). As a hiring manager I care little about what the candidate might do. I learn most from what they have done.
Since talents are innate or hardwired into our character as a toddler, the exercise of them rarely requires conscious thought or action. Consequently, our actions (human doing) indirectly reveal our talents (human being). In other words, a person’s behavior in real-life situations provides us a window to identify their talents. Consequently, we must use inference and pursue lines of indirect inquiry to uncover a person’s talents. Hopefully, you are now getting an appreciation for clearing understanding what you’re looking for in a new hire.
For illustration purposes, here are some behaviors for which you would listen if initiative were one of your target talents:
- Identified a problem, trend or unexploited opportunity
- Researched and presented potential solutions
- Recruited an ad hoc team to pursue an opportunity
- Got involved in a project outside their immediate work area
- Volunteered time in nonprofit organization(s)
- Founded a group or organization to address an unmet need in their local church, school or community
Finally, a few additional practical suggestions:
- Use the same question set with each candidate to create a basis for meaningful comparison among the various candidates
- The book “ Who” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street provides the best structured interview process guide I have ever used
- Another great starting place is “The Most Important Interview Question of All Time” by Lou Adler
News to Start Your Day With:
- Right at 44,354,100 cases worldwide, with 32,503,700 people who have recovered, with 1,173,783 deaths AND 9,039,170 cases in the US with over 5,878,900 people have recovered, with 232,101 deaths.
- Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker said restaurants and bars will not be allowed to serve customers inside starting Friday as the state tries to curb its recent uptick in coronavirus cases.
- The CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter are slated to testify today in front of the Senate Commerce Committee and are expected to argue against repealing Section 230, a statute that protects social media networks from liability for their users’ posts.
- Apple has quietly increased its efforts to develop its own search technology for iPhones as authorities question its relationship with Google. Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make its search engine the default option on iPhones. Apple has started rolling out its own search technology to iPhones with its latest software update.
- Panera Bread just added flatbread pizzas to its menu after testing the item last year. The company is responding to customers’ shift to eating more of their food at home, rather than inside a restaurant. Pizza could also lift Panera’s delivery and dinner sales.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series for the first time in 32 years. In the moments after, the world learned that Justin Turner, the team’s third baseman and pulse of the clubhouse, had contracted the coronavirus. Turner was asked to isolate. He did not abide. He strode onto the field, where his teammates were celebrating their 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6, and joined.
- CNet.com has laid out the revised box office calendar to show when (or if) 2020’s big movies are arriving in movie theaters. You can stream a bunch of recent releases early, but the return of watching movies inside theaters will be one signal we’re coming out on the other side of this strange time.