How To Hire Result Producers

by Richard Massimilian, Senior Associate
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The signs of the impending economic upturn are clear. Soon leaders will need to hire for the upswing. In an environment in which finding the right candidate is essential and the costs of a hiring mistake escalate, how can you increase your odds of selecting the best people?
Learn the difference between “Produce Something” people and “Show Up” people
Ask interview questions that identify which type of person a candidate is
Hire only “Produce Something” people
Every employee at heart is one of two types of individual: a “Produce Something” Individual or a “Show Up” Person. “Produce Something” people believe they are hired for output – they take accountability to deliver results. They view activity as a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. They like being compensated based on what they deliver. Certain occupations attract this type of person and weed out non-producers. But “Produce Something” people can be found in all fields of endeavor.

A “Show Up” person’s orientation is activity first and foremost. To these individuals, results are nice, but activity is an end unto itself. “Show Up” people sincerely believe that they have fulfilled their job responsibilities by arriving on time and staying until closing. “Show Up” people are not measured based on their output. They resist being heldaccountable.

For the leader interested in finding a producer, there are questions you can ask to determine a candidate’s orientation.

  • In your current (or most recent) job, how do (did) you measure your success?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment at work over the last year?
  • What aspect(s) of your job give(s) you the greatest satisfaction?
  • Describe a recent problem or challenge at work? What was it? How did you go about addressing it?

Listen carefully to the answers. A “Produce Something” person will phrase her answers in the language of results and output, use action verbs and be specific. A “Show Up” person will rely heavily on adjectives and adverbs and speak in generalities.

Be especially careful if interviewing for a staff role or a role for which job performance metrics are unclear or not yet established. Find out whether the candidate is comfortable with defining his or her results as well as delivering them by asking questions such as:

  • What motivates you? Why?
  • Describe a situation in which you found your results were not up to either you or your boss’s expectations. What happened and what action did you take?
  • What has been your greatest challenge at work? How did you respond?

Whittling a candidate pool down to a group of “Produce Something” people won’t address the hiring challenge completely. How, for instance, does a manager select from among a pool of talented “Produce Something” people? But ensuring a pool of results-oriented candidates greatly improves the odds of a winning hire. Youraccountability as a leader depends on it.

Dynamic Results is a strategy and organizational development firm serving clients globally. As part of our strategic alliance with TAYLOR WINFIELD, Dynamic Results helps find, develop and retain top executive talent for our clients.

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