Want To Improve Your Hiring? Practice This 1 Thing To Find Top Candidates

Mindfulness is a hot topic. And, in my estimation, it will continue dominating headlines for years to come–not just because mindfulness sells, but because it actually works.

As a life coach and licensed therapist, one skill that I personally practice and professionally teach is meditation. Many of my clients see incredible benefits from engaging in regular meditation.

My clients report noticing everything from better focus and improved memory to better sleep and decreased emotional reactivity. In short, it helps them show up better in the world.

However, the state of mindfulness cultivated through meditative practice doesn’t just improve the lives of individuals. It can also have a substantial impact on companies.

In particular, hiring is one area that benefits from mindfulness.

Regardless of your company’s internal hiring process, at some point you meet with candidates for an interview. And that’s when mindfulness becomes incredibly important.

If you’re engaging with people and you’re not 100% grounded in the present moment, you’re going to miss the details. You’re going to miss opportunities to ask key questions that reveal whether or not someone is a good candidate. And you’re not going to have the emotional self-awareness you need to determine if they’re a good fit.

To avoid making crucial errors that can make or break your hiring–one of the most important aspects of building a successful company–then you need to practice meditation.

Read the list below to discover 5 reasons mindfulness helps you hire better candidates.

1. You listen much, much more effectively to what the other person is saying.

When you’re fully present in a state of mindfulness, you are able to listen with clarity and surgeon-like precision. You’re able to notice what people say and what they don’t. You’re aware of how they convey their messages and how they think.

To practice mindfulness during an interview, allow your awareness to rest upon your breath. Engage in conscious breathing to feel more present during the interview.

2. You become more sensitive to the emotional tone of the candidate.

As your state of mindfulness deepens, you’ll become more aware of your internal states. You’ll also notice the ways in which other people impact your internal wellbeing and have above average emotional self-awareness. In interviews, then, you’ll get a better read on the emotional maturity and tone of candidates.

Another way to practice mindfulness during an interview is to feel the weight of your body in the chair. To notice the pressure of your feet on the ground. To bring your awareness to the sights, smells, and noises in your immediate, surrounding environment.

3. You discover how they may interact with others much, much faster.

Your ability to observe yourself and others matures with improved mindfulness. As your mindfulness muscle increases, you’ll be faster at noticing the details of how people communicate while most of your peers are focused on what the person is saying. This how is a vital component to teamwork and communication.

Build your mindfulness muscle in interviews (and elsewhere) by doing mindfulness repetitions. Each time your mind wanders from your breath, return it to that object of focus. Each time you notice yourself coming back from thoughts and distractions to your object of focus is one mindfulness repetition.

4. You become more aware of what’s not being said (and why that’s important).

Becoming more mindful makes you more comfortable with silence. And it helps you keep track of what other people aren’t saying. This is very important in interviews, since candidates want to put their best foot forward.

When reviewing experience on a previous project, for example, asking questions about what you’ve noticed the candidates have failed to mention might provide important information. The type of questions that come from noticing what people haven’t said is a great way to shift a candidate from their automated responses back to authentic self-reflection.

5. You can connect in a deeper, more personal way without being unprofessional.

Deepening your meditative practice helps you be more attuned to yourself and others. When you bring this quality of mindfulness into the interview, you’re able to show up as your grounded, genuine self.

Speaking from your heart rather than your mind allows you to connect with others in a more personal way. Sometimes that’s the difference between a good candidate and a bad one. Much like relationships, establishing a meaningful connection is beneficial for both parties.

As you can see meditation practice and the resulting state of mindfulness is transformative not just for people, but also for companies looking to hire quality individuals. It improves your company’s information gathering, decision-making, and engagement with candidates during interviews.  

So yes, mindfulness is a hot topic. But it also works. 

Want To Improve Your Hiring? Practice This 1 Thing To Find Top Candidates

Mindfulness is a hot topic. And, in my estimation, it will continue dominating headlines for years to come–not just because mindfulness sells, but because it actually works.

As a life coach and licensed therapist, one skill that I personally practice and professionally teach is meditation. Many of my clients see incredible benefits from engaging in regular meditation.

My clients report noticing everything from better focus and improved memory to better sleep and decreased emotional reactivity. In short, it helps them show up better in the world.

However, the state of mindfulness cultivated through meditative practice doesn’t just improve the lives of individuals. It can also have a substantial impact on companies.

In particular, hiring is one area that benefits from mindfulness.

Regardless of your company’s internal hiring process, at some point you meet with candidates for an interview. And that’s when mindfulness becomes incredibly important.

If you’re engaging with people and you’re not 100% grounded in the present moment, you’re going to miss the details. You’re going to miss opportunities to ask key questions that reveal whether or not someone is a good candidate. And you’re not going to have the emotional self-awareness you need to determine if they’re a good fit.

To avoid making crucial errors that can make or break your hiring–one of the most important aspects of building a successful company–then you need to practice meditation.

Read the list below to discover 5 reasons mindfulness helps you hire better candidates.

1. You listen much, much more effectively to what the other person is saying.

When you’re fully present in a state of mindfulness, you are able to listen with clarity and surgeon-like precision. You’re able to notice what people say and what they don’t. You’re aware of how they convey their messages and how they think.

To practice mindfulness during an interview, allow your awareness to rest upon your breath. Engage in conscious breathing to feel more present during the interview.

2. You become more sensitive to the emotional tone of the candidate.

As your state of mindfulness deepens, you’ll become more aware of your internal states. You’ll also notice the ways in which other people impact your internal wellbeing and have above average emotional self-awareness. In interviews, then, you’ll get a better read on the emotional maturity and tone of candidates.

Another way to practice mindfulness during an interview is to feel the weight of your body in the chair. To notice the pressure of your feet on the ground. To bring your awareness to the sights, smells, and noises in your immediate, surrounding environment.

3. You discover how they may interact with others much, much faster.

Your ability to observe yourself and others matures with improved mindfulness. As your mindfulness muscle increases, you’ll be faster at noticing the details of how people communicate while most of your peers are focused on what the person is saying. This how is a vital component to teamwork and communication.

Build your mindfulness muscle in interviews (and elsewhere) by doing mindfulness repetitions. Each time your mind wanders from your breath, return it to that object of focus. Each time you notice yourself coming back from thoughts and distractions to your object of focus is one mindfulness repetition.

4. You become more aware of what’s not being said (and why that’s important).

Becoming more mindful makes you more comfortable with silence. And it helps you keep track of what other people aren’t saying. This is very important in interviews, since candidates want to put their best foot forward.

When reviewing experience on a previous project, for example, asking questions about what you’ve noticed the candidates have failed to mention might provide important information. The type of questions that come from noticing what people haven’t said is a great way to shift a candidate from their automated responses back to authentic self-reflection.

5. You can connect in a deeper, more personal way without being unprofessional.

Deepening your meditative practice helps you be more attuned to yourself and others. When you bring this quality of mindfulness into the interview, you’re able to show up as your grounded, genuine self.

Speaking from your heart rather than your mind allows you to connect with others in a more personal way. Sometimes that’s the difference between a good candidate and a bad one. Much like relationships, establishing a meaningful connection is beneficial for both parties.

As you can see meditation practice and the resulting state of mindfulness is transformative not just for people, but also for companies looking to hire quality individuals. It improves your company’s information gathering, decision-making, and engagement with candidates during interviews.  

So yes, mindfulness is a hot topic. But it also works. 

1 Interview Question That Reveals the Right Job Candidate, Regardless of Intelligence or Experience

You should always aim the bar high for hiring your knowledge workers. This question will tell you who they really are.

Every Hiring Manager Should Do These 5 Things When Holding an Interview

I have been interviewing candidates and observing others interview for my businesses for over 40 years. 

In a previous Inc article, I talked about how to effectively prepare for an interview. In this article, however, I’d like to break down the interview itself–specifically as the person looking to make a great hire, and what goes into finding that unique individual.

So, setting the stage here, let’s assume your company is looking to hire for a specific role and you’ve selected a few candidates.

Interviewing is both an art and a science. It’s also one of the most crucial parts to building an effective business–I talk about the topic at length in my book, All In. And just like anything else in life, you need to practice and refine your skills as an interviewer in order to make the most of your time. Too often, I see managers walk into interviews unprepared, “winging it” and asking vague questions that don’t reveal anything noteworthy about the candidate. What good is an in-person interview if you hear them say the same information already written on their resume?

Here are the five things every hiring manager should do when holding an interview. I’ve found the following to reveal the most about candidates:

1. Ask all of the candidates the same questions.

You’d be surprised how many managers or even other CEOs I see hold back-to-back interviews, asking completely different questions to both candidates. If you’re basing the questions on the specific candidates experience, it’s unlikely you’ll learn whether they can perform the job you’ve outlined.

Like I said, interviewing is a science–which means, in order to compare your findings, you have to keep at least one variable constant. By asking different candidates different questions, you’re removing your ability to weigh them side by side.

2. Keep the questions related to the job they’re applying for.

This is a big mistake I notice a lot of hiring managers make. 

If the question doesn’t relate to the position, or the candidates ability to do the job, then it shouldn’t be asked. Period. 

An interview is not the time to attempt to make a personal connection. Reason being, that tends to allow the candidate to control the interview, instead of the interviewing extracting the information they need to make an educated and objective decision. 

3. The questions you’ve prepared must include open-ended, closed-ended, and leading questions.

Every interview should involve these three types of questions. An open-ended question requires more than a “Yes” or “No” to answer, and is intended to give the candidate time to think and share a personal experience.

A closed-ended question can be a simple “Yes” or “No.” 

And a leading question is where, as the interview, you’re looking to catch a glimpse into how they think. For example, “I see you’ve managed a lot of projects in the past. Tell me why that’s important to you and why you enjoy it.” That’s a leading question. Another example would be questions that involve “what if” answers. Again, you want to see how they go about thinking through and verbalizing their own internal thoughts.

4. Don’t ask opinion-based questions.

This should be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many hiring managers make this mistake.

Opinion-based questions get you nowhere in interviews. What you’re looking to understand is their experience, but more importantly, their behavior. Opinion questions do not do a good job at predicting future behavior (which is essentially what you’re banking on when you’re hiring someone). Instead, keep your questions objective and aim to understand how they operate, problem solve, and approach their work.

5. Just because they have the education and training, doesn’t mean they can do the job.

One of my favorite opening questions to ask a candidate is, “What do you know about our company?”

Reason being, if someone was interviewing to work at my company, LendingOne, it wouldn’t take much effort for them to know what we’re up to in our industry. This simple question tells me out the gate whether they took the time to prepare, or if they are on just another interview. 

But let’s say they did their due diligence, and had studied up to the point where they could speak confidently about our company. Let’s even say they have a personal interest in our industry, and are already fairly educated on our offerings.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee they can do the job.

One of the hardest things you have to do, as an interviewer, is ask yourself whether the candidate in front of you is right for the role you’re looking to fill. I find hiring managers are quick to hire someone they like, or someone they feel is knowledgable about the space, without really asking themselves whether this individual is right for the role itself.

There’s a big difference. And part of making great hires is knowing when a great candidate isn’t the right fit. 

Looking To Hire? 9 Solid Ways to Find Great Talent

This time of the year – just after the new year and bonus season – is the most popular time for changing jobs. For many companies, this transition brings with it expansion plans, a whole pile of newly-vacated positions – and quite a bit of head-scratching.

With jobless rates at multi-year lows in the U.S. and many other countries, finding talent is becoming a bigger task. Overall employment is expected to grow year on year at 0.7% from 2016-2026, faster than the prior decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employers will need to step up and become more creative at finding great talent now. As the founder of a startup, I recommend casting your net as wide as you can, using as many avenues available to you when searching for those superstar employees (especially when you are battling against big businesses with even bigger bucks).

Below are 9 ways that could help your company source some great talent:

  1. Referrals. Try looking at the people who are already around you. Employees often have extensive networks to tap into. Remember the old adage: “I get by with a little help from my friends.” With a whopping 48% of businesses saying that their quality hires come from employee referrals (according to a 2017 LinkedIn report) this tactic makes a lot of sense!
  2. Career sites and job boards. Love them or loathe them, online career sites and job boards are a surefire way of getting as many eyes on your job posting as possible. Make sure you choose the right sites for your business as some search sites have a reputation for focusing on certain industries like tech. An index by Jobvite shows that an enormous 43% of job seekers search for positions using a job board, while 32% search use career sites.
  3. Social networks. Hiring managers are increasingly sourcing talent from social media networks. In fact, 95% of companies surveyed said that they successfully hired from LinkedIn, while 24% pointed to Facebook and 16% credited Twitter. Social networks are also a great way to forge meaningful relationships with passive candidates. One of our most recent hires came from my own social media network.
  4. Attend events and constantly network. Your talent pool can be dramatically expanded when you spend time in the right places. I have met some extremely talented people at meet-ups. These non-pressurized surroundings are a great way to meet people in the right industry and to promote your business. Co-founder of Naturebox Gautam Gupta agrees with the importance of networking: “You’ve got to cultivate your network so whenever you have a hire to be made, you can reach out to people that have worked with those types of folks before and fill that role very quickly.”
  5. Become an employer of choice. Candidates are drawn to a positive company culture and mission. Cultivating a progressive and lively company culture can help employees approach you. By focusing on core values, Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra maintains that a company will “find people that are symbiotic and synergistic with your mission, who really connect to your mission.”
  6. Consistent communication. While some companies issue an automatic reply to every job applicant, over 40% of recruiters don’t respond at all. This will leave a negative taste in a job candidate’s mouth. If a candidate proved to be unsuitable for a particular role but showed some promise, keep the channel of communication open with them as there might be a more fitting job down the line. Fifty-five percent of candidates reported that they already had a relationship with the company before applying.
  7. Leverage your current employees. Letting potential employees know the calibre of talent that work in your company can be highly beneficial. After all, talent attracts talent. Social media posts, video interviews and employee testimonials can raise the exposure of your company and help the wider audience get to know your brand. Employees make great brand ambassadors. Glassdoor says 76% of candidates want details on what makes the company an attractive place to work.
  8. Expand your candidate pool. If you are struggling to find talent in your local area, try expanding your job search area. Hiring remotely opens up a whole host of talent outside of your competitive job market. With recent advances in technology, it’s never been easier to work remotely. Don’t lose out on outstanding employees just because they aren’t located in the same city as you are. Randi Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Zuckerberg Media, has a very positive experience with a remote workforce. “I have on my team a mother who has to work from home because she has a child with special needs, and she has to be home with him. Normally someone like that wouldn’t have the opportunity to get back into the workforce, but thanks to the incredible tools we have…she is as my right-hand woman.”
  9. Headhunters and recruiters. For really hard-to-fill positions, headhunters, recruiters and employee placement firms are the way forward. Many of these firms have done a lot of the hard work for you and have gathered an extensive pool of talent to choose from. Expect to pay 20-35% of the cost of the new recruit’s annual salary. Leave this option for only highly-skilled workers.

How to Tell If an Employee Is an A, B, or C Player

As a CEO, how do you know that your employee is an A, B, or C player? originally appeared on Quorathe place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Jason M. Lemkin, CEO of EchoSign, on Quora:

You’ll get better at this.

As a first-time manager, you really won’t have the experience to know really who is an A, B or C player for any position you haven’t held yourself. It’s hard to judge if you haven’t done it before and/or if you are a first-time hiring manager. How do you really know who is a decent director of product management when you’ve never even worked with one, for example?

But there is an easy fix: get an advisor/mentor who has done it before — and well — to interview your final list candidates. She or he will know. Ignore her advice if you want, but it likely will be accurate. If she or he has hired and managed A’s and B’s in this position … she will almost immediately know in one interview if a candidate is as good or better, time adjusted, for her A’s.

This is how I hired my first CTO and VP of Engineering. I hadn’t made those hires before. But I had the best VP of Engineering I know interview the candidates, too. He was exactly right in every single case.

Same with my first inside sales reps. 

I did the same with my first VP of Sales hire. I ignored the advice. I shouldn’t have. Then, by the time it came to hire my second … I knew. Only then, really.

And second, one thing is clear: you’ll know 90 days in. Even if you aren’t sure if someone was an A, B, or C — you’ll know in the first 90 days. Probably even the first 45.

A’s:

(1) Step up and own more than they are told to own.

and

(2) Get more of these things done that others don’t.

Everyone else is a B or C.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Job Posting: Candidates Must Be African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino

The State of New York is hiring a new intern for its summer internship program. Unfortunately, for a particular internship, they posted the job saying “Internship candidates must be underrepresented minorities (African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino American) college seniors graduating SPRING 2018 OR currently enrolled graduate students.”

Let’s unpack this, shall we? Can you see what is wrong with this job posting? 

Right. You cannot recruit only people of certain races. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, race must be irrelevant. 

Clearly, someone pointed this out to the recruiters who posted this job listing, because shortly after one of my readers sent me a screenshot, the job posting changed to remove the references to race, saying only that the candidates must be graduating seniors or grad students. However, the description still says

The goal of this internship program is to: 
Foster the interest of under-represented minority college students by providing meaningful and relevant experience in preparation for employment in the health care industry, preferably at Upstate, and/or for advanced or doctoral degrees related to occupations in an academic health care setting. 
 

I asked employment attorney Jon Hyman if there was any way this was legal. He responded via text to me:

The OFCCP, the federal agency that administers affirmative action plans for federal contractors, has already told us the language one is to use to encourage under represented groups to apply for positions — “All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.”

Anything else is discriminatory. Just as you can’t say, “Whites only,” you can’t say, “African Americans only,” or “African Americans encouraged to apply.” It’s laudable to want to increase minority representation in employment, but you can’t do it by actively, or tacitly, discriminating against others.

I contacted SUNY, which is running the internship program yesterday and have not heard anything back from them. Specifically, I asked:

  • If a white or Asian candidate applied, would they be considered? Would their race be a strike against them?
  • If not, why the wording about underrepresented minorities?
  • If white and Asian candidates are not eligible, how does this comply with state and federal non-discrimination laws?

If I hear back, I shall update.

Look, almost everyone is concerned about diversity. Almost everyone wants to see more underrepresented minorities succeed in their careers. There are many things that can make it more difficult for certain groups to succeed, but actively discriminating against other groups is not the way to do this.

And on a small side note, the use of the term “American” is also problematic. Federal law prohibits discrimination based on national origin. Foreign students with the proper work permits should be equally eligible to apply for this job. For whatever reason, it seems nice to say “African American” rather than “Black” but that necessarily eliminates Blacks from Africa, Jamaica, or France.

While I would like to say I’m sure this was inadvertent, students at Cornell University demanded that first generation and second generation American Blacks not be counted the same as multi-generation Blacks, when it comes to diversity statistics. Black Students United at Cornell University wrote:

We demand that Cornell admissions come up with a plan to actively increase the presence of underrepresented black students on this campus. We define underrepresented black students as black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.

When there was a public outcry, the group apologized, saying the issue was more complex than they had originally stated, and extending a hand to “Africans, Caribbeans, and Black Americans.”

Indeed, racial inequality is complicated. Goals to level the playing field for all people are laudable. But, regardless of intentions–good or bad–, you can’t discriminate on the basis of race or national origin. It’s illegal.