What do you do when Reference Checks throw up two diametrically opposed assessments?

Project ManagementThis happened to a global resource company client of mine a couple of years ago. They had advertised for a senior engineer to fulfil the role of Project Manager for all of their major feasibility studies that were in the pipeline. The person they had shortlisted had all of the right experience and qualifications, and had recently been employed in a role at another company that involved major project oversight. Prior to that, this candidate had a succession of business development type roles which relied on his engineering experience and training. According to my client he seemed like the right person for the job. Certainly he seemed to ‘tick all the right boxes,’ but there was something that didn’t quite seem to gel in their due diligence and so they asked me for my assessment. It concerned the fact that the two reference checks they had undertaken were throwing up anomalies that they could not reconcile and they wanted to know why. Here is what I discovered…
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Career Transition – A Sign of the Times

Brian TrainingIt seems like every day we read of more and more people being let go from their current employment or losing their contract, when only a week earlier their immediate future seemed secure.

Regardless of what our political leaders say about the current situation, I think no one can deny that our general confidence about the economic climate today and years to come has taken a battering. In my experience of working on behalf of companies to assist their people who have been confronted with the reality of moving on, here’s some of what I share with them. [Read more...]

If it Looks like a Duck, Swims like a Duck and Quacks like a Duck…it’s probably a Duck. And if it doesn’t, then don’t duck the issue. Get it out of the Duck Pond.

Let me tell you a story. It’s about a person who was hired to do a job. I’ll call her ‘Peg.’

If it looks like a Duck...

She looked good. She sounded good. She had all the right connections. It seemed she knew everyone, such was the quality of her network. And if she didn’t know them, and wanted to, then she was quick to rock up and start a conversation. CEOs, General Managers, key decision makers – no one was out of bounds for her. She had a way of getting in touch and keeping the connection. The dream B2B sales exec you might think. Or was she? [Read more...]

How to Avoid the Pitfall of Poor Selection for Customer Contact Roles

You may have heard the story about how one major airline assesses its job applicants prior to offering them any position which involves direct customer contact. The story and its message is a valuable reminder to us all. Listening with Intent [Read more...]

In your Headlong Rush to Create the People-Focused Culture of the new Millennium don’t throw out the Baby with the Bathwater

Naturally you want to create a culture of happy, motivated and productive staff who are totally committed to your company’s cause and its financial wellbeing. Who doesn’t in this new millennium where every employee under twenty five is just a click away from leaving your workplace and chasing the next big career move or the next exciting project to work on?

But in your rush to accommodate the whims and fancies of the ping pong playing, bean bag sitting, Twitter scrolling workforce, let’s not forget that the culture you are creating filled with fun and frolic also has to make some money to justify its existence and support its development and it has a duty of care to serve the most important stakeholder of all, your customers. You know, the people who pay your bills, cover the wages and hopefully leave you with some profit at the end of each month to continue the journey.  [Read more...]

How to Avoid Front Line PR Disasters

If your business involves public contact at the pointy end of the transaction then the front line staff you select and train should be the key to your success. The problem is that often the front line staff are the youngest and least experienced due to their role being seen as an ‘entry level’ one and therefore not treated with the right focus and training they deserve. As an employer, this approach to hiring can potentially lead to disastrous consequences for your business. Here’s what could happen if you don’t actively select and develop the right front line staff. It happened just last week so it’s still fresh in the minds of all of those public who witnessed it, including myself. [Read more...]

What to Look for when Hiring a Global Leader

So you want to hire that ‘stand out’ candidate who will achieve miraculous results for you and leave a lasting legacy which people young and old will be talking about for years to come.

Someone who is not only instantly recognisable but almost iconic in what they stand for and what they represent. Someone so inspirational that they  can gather an amazing team of selfless workers around them, totally committed to the cause, who will put in twelve months of selfless work involving meticulous planning and preparation so that their leader can deliver that knock-out performance in the one huge global event of the year. An event which just has to succeed because there will be no second chances to get it ‘right on the night.’ [Read more...]