Thursday, July 01, 2010

Employees are Message-Carriers

All employees are message-carriers about the organizations that employ them. What speaks loudest on first meeting? Appearance. Sophistication. Intellectual depth. Charm. Confidence. Poise. And, perhaps, even a sense of humor. But then, there are second and third meetings, as well. If an organization is to be successful, its “people message,” I believe, is very important.

To get the people that convey the message you want, you first have to decide what that message is … and the human qualities that reflect it. For example, our message centers on our special expertise in health, technology, financial services and energy. Thus, we want people who reflect sector depth. We’re also client-driven, so engagement, responsiveness and energy are important.

To find the right people, you need to recruit the right people and ask them the right questions to find out if they meet the criteria you have established. One of our most effective screening techniques is based on “The Corner Office” columns in the Sunday New York Times Business Section, where CEOs are interviewed weekly.

Here are some of the more thoughtful questions that leading CEOs employ to discover the skills, emotional balance, behaviors, and overall character of prospective employees.

• Just tell me about your life. Start wherever you want to, from the beginning or the end, but talk to me about yourself, what you’ve done personally … and what you’ve done with your career.
• If I were going to hang out with you, what would we do together? What would you show me? What would you want to share?
• What are you best at and what are you worst at?
• How can you make a difference?
• How have you dealt in the past with major issues, like reduction in force, and major changes in the business environment?
• Wherever you worked before, what made it a good day?
• If you have to name something, what would you say is the biggest misconception that people have of you?
• What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
• Tell me about a time when you were in a leadership situation where something simply would not have happened had you not been there — and what did you do to influence the action?

Technorati Tags: New York Times, The Corner Office, business, leadership, communications, public relations, Makovsky


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