Hiring, in and of itself, is tiresome. It’s hard to find time in your already busy schedule to review tons of resumes. Then comes the ultimate torture…the interview! Not only do one-third of your candidates not show up and wreck your calendar, but the next one-third are absolute “No’s”. Despite an impressive resume, a majority of the applicants you interview will immediately be a “no-go”. And the kicker is even in this “bad job market” a surprising amount of applicants are horribly unprofessional and unenthusiastic in their efforts to show their best side during the interviewing process. Understandably, they may be discouraged by their current market conditions, but that doesn’t make the hiring process any less painful for you.
The “no-go” is the worst waste of time, in our opinion. While the no-show wrecks your calendar, most of you can find something useful to do with this found time. You can return a phone call, respond to some email or read the list serve. The “no-go” interview is 30 minutes wasted of your life you will never get back! And it strips you of your faith that you will ever come across the true “rock star”. Because of our humanity and compassion, most of us still put effort into interviewing the candidate we know isn’t the right fit for our firm. We try to use the opportunity to not discourage the person or make them feel disrespected, and to possibly provide some tips or suggestions to them. But again, this isn’t getting the right person in your door and it’s a waste of your time.
Here is one technique to reduce the torture of useless interviews…conduct an initial Five Minute phone interview FIRST! As simple as that sounds, it weeds out a majority of the non-qualified. The inevitable “no-shows” weed themselves out before they even get the opportunity to “no show”. Those who call in for the interview with Metallica blaring in the background show their unprofessionalism. It allows you to restate the job duties, describe your firm and get right down to the dreaded “salary” conversation by minute three, if done right. People are applying for so many jobs today they forget the details and often apply for jobs they wouldn’t accept anyways due to compensation or location. Better to find this out quickly on the phone than waste your time in a face to face interview. The candidates who are talented, kind people but just not a fit for the role you are hiring for will let you discover this by the questions you ask in a phone interview. Not to mention this saves you the time of interviewing someone who just doesn’t have the skill set (or integrity) you need. For example, a candidate we phone interviewed today had very strong document preparation skills but no real experience in client service. He initially was one of our top five contenders based on his extensive estate planning background. But two minutes into our interview we could tell he was a great candidate if he was in a production role of drafting or filing VA apps all day. But since we were interviewing for a Client Services Coordinator position (um…having to talk to clients), it was critical to know and rule him out as an unqualified candidate.
This technique also has a hidden gem. It lets you hear what the candidate sounds like on the phone, which is the same thing your clients will hear! Too often, waaaaayyyyy too often, we talk with firms who say “she cranks out work but is horrible on the phone with my clients”. This is critical and better to know before you vest time into training them and letting them talk to your clients.
If you are just too burned out by team turn over to go through the hiring process again, or want to add a fresh perspective to your hiring process, let us support you with The Ultimate Smart Hire Solution™. With this service we create an ad for you, post it, receive and review ALL resumes, conduct the phone interviews and schedule the pre- qualified candidates for face to face interviews with you. After your interviews, we debrief and support with how to integrate them into your firm with conducting a teleconference with you and your new team member to explain how your unique Kolbes will interact together to avoid potential conflicts, firing or walking out the door. And if it doesn’t work out, because sometimes that happens, we start over and do it again, at no additional charge.
A great benefit to having us support you in your hiring and weed through the candidates for you is avoiding the common mistake of letting the resume alone impress the attorneys with all the technical experience the candidate has.
Traditionally we see attorneys comprise the initial role you were hiring for just because this is one you “don’t want to get away” because of their resume. So next thing you know, you have a killer drafter who is answering your phones and making follow-up calls after your workshops. Because communication and connection are not their strong suit you don’t get hired but you have a killer drafter that has no trusts to draft because they horrified your potential client!
If you would like a free copy of the 5 Minute Phone Interview, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Your Corner,
Molly and Laney