For 2 decades, I have made a living deploying mathematical models to find hidden value in the securities markets. This is a difficult problem because these markets are very efficient, meaning that it’s very hard to do better than just showing up and stating your needs. Consider the stock market: If you want to buy a share of Microsoft stock, you can have your order filled within seconds, knowing that you are within a penny or two of the best price on the planet and that every share is identical to every other one.
On the other hand, you can spend months looking for the best house, because the real-estate market is inefficient. Each house is different, and you won’t fully understand your needs until you begin looking. Your reward for investing time in the search is the pleasure of living in a much better house than one you could find in an afternoon.
As employers, we are also in the market for human capital, which is even less efficient than the real-estate market. Many of the best people are almost impossible to find.
Continue reading “Hiring in a Dysfunctional Job Market”
Deborah Branscum just wrote an article in Medium Backchannel: Our Hiring Process is Broken. Can a Hackathon Fix It? It talks about her experience of a new approach to hiring that my partner, Noah Goldman, and I are pioneering that we’re calling Staffup Weekend. You can see a photo of the attendees, a report on the event, and a video of Deborah here.
This story appears to be a hit because my inbox is flooded.
People writing appear to fall into a few categories that we list below (along with the response you should expect as soon as we can get to it):
- I have an opinion. (Noted.)
- I have a complaint. (Noted.)
- I want you to help me get a job. (Give us time to work on a story offering advice for the masses and then if that doesn’t do the trick then please write again. In the meantime, please: Read my advice for job seekers on my website, follow me on twitter, check out our company (BetterWorkWorld.com), and go to Staffup Weekend where you can sign up for our newsletter and learn about future events.)
- I want you to help us hire better. (Let’s schedule a call ASAP.)
- I want to make money doing what you do. Can you help me be a competitor? (Absolutely. If enough people do what we do then we don’t have to do it. Tell us more about yourself.)
- I want you to look at our software that makes everything easier so people don’t have to get involved. (Maybe later. Please read our response to one such a software developer below.)
Hope this helps. More later.
Here is my response to a reader who wrote: “I invite you to visit our website and get a general feel for what we are about. Essentially, we offer a software solution backed by solid Industrial Organizational Psychology and vast experiences working with high performance clients.”
Thank you for writing.
I have copied Noah, my partner in Staffup Weekend. He might have time to evaluate your software. Right now, because I am the only one of us mentioned in the article, I’m busy fielding requests from people who want us to help them hire rather than help them develop product in competition with us. Continue reading “Give us your tired, your poor, your overly-automated.”
Usually, employers rapidly scan the resume of each job applicant looking for relevant education, skills, and work experience. They select 10 candidates for telephone calls, invite three in for interviews, and hire the one they like the best.
This is a bad way to hire because at best it gets you nice people.
You don’t need nice people.
You need good people.
Good and nice are not the same thing. The opposite of good is bad. The opposite of nice is unlikeable.
Nice people care if you like them; good people care about you. Nice people stretch the truth; good people don’t. If you tell a nice person to do something evil, they might do it because they do not want to upset you; a good person will refuse to do it.
You might think you are a good person, but you are fallible, so if you want to avoid inadvertently doing something evil you must surround yourself with good people, not nice people.
How do you separate the good from the nice? If you do what I do, it will be a piece of cake. Continue reading “How to hire good people instead of nice people”