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Employment Strategy Corner: You are not ready to hire until you have answered these five questions

Day in and day out, I consult with all kinds of employers: entrepreneurs, large and small corporations and associations. I’m now certain of one thing: Most hiring managers are just not ready to hire a top performer. Sure they all want one, but most are not ready to hire one.


If you set out to fill a vacant position by looking for someone like the last person who had the job, you are not ready.

If you used an old job description to drive the recruiting process, you are not ready.

If your performance management and compensation system cannot accurately measure and reward high-performance, you are not ready.

In this month’s article, I discuss five important questions. The answers will put you on track to hire top performers.

1. One year from now, what would be different if this person was hired? What would “success” look like?
What metrics do you have for them to manage their own results? Can you communicate your expectations clearly in the interview and on the employee’s first day on the job? These are the crucial experiences and skills that every candidate must demonstrate. They are not credentials like a degree, or number of years of experience, or generic attributes like “self starter” or “team player.” These are past experiences driving results in a similar situation. Why is your opportunity significantly better than their current company? What experiences and opportunities can you offer that would be attractive to them? Why are you in a unique position to help them achieve their goals? Can you bullet point at least 5 reasons?

2. What are the three or four things any candidate must know how to do in order to drive results in this job?
These are the crucial experiences and skills that every candidate must demonstrate. They are not credentials like a degree, or number of years of experience, or generic attributes like “self starter” or “team player.” These are past experiences driving results in a similar situation.

3. Why should a top performer consider taking this job?
Why is your opportunity significantly better than their current company? What experiences and opportunities can you offer that would be attractive to them? Why are you in a unique position to help them achieve their goals? Who are you attractive to and why? Can you bullet point at least 5 reasons?

4. What kind of job do they probably have now?
Where can they be found? What associations do they belong to? What publications do they read? What acquaintances might you have in common? Vendors talk to a lot of people.

5. Is your company’s performance management system designed to reward and retain a top performer?
You will not retain top performers if you can’t clearly identify the performance you want and reward them for achieving it.

Now that you have answered these five questions, you are ready to venture out into the marketplace with an attractive offering for a top performer. You are also ready to write a more compelling job description and advertisement. Now is the time to contact a good search firm and begin the process of finding your top performer.

See you here next month for our article, “It’s not about the age, it’s about the energy.”

Philip Kemper is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 34 year old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more .His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/ . You may view Kemper Associates’ web site at: www.Kemperassociates.net , and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.

Posted in Employment Corner
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