One Change that Will Immediately Improve Your Hiring Process

Since accountability is a critically important driver of success, more organizations should consider it at the earliest stage of engaging potential hires.
By Chris McGoff

How often do you hear organizations talk about the importance of accountability? It's listed in their core values, encouraged between employees, and promoted with customers. Since accountability is a critically important driver of success, more organizations should consider accountability at the earliest stage of engaging potential hires.

Think about it -- most org charts are riddled with nouns to describe their employees. The little boxes are filled with labels like Vice President of Sales, Marketing Director, Chief of Operations, Human Resource Manager, and Chief Information Officer. It's a diagram of nouns. These titles describe who people are, but do little to tell us what people actually do and do nothing to make clear people's accountabilities.

Drill down to discover where the action and the accountability can be found. It's in the verbs. Verbs matter because they are powerful, and some verbs are more powerful than others. For example, the title VP of Sales might be followed by the job description, "Lead company sales efforts." "Lead" is a nice sounding verb, but it offers no real accountability. What if the description of the job for VP of Sales was, "Close sufficient deals to make it possible for the VP of Operations to meet or exceed monthly billing targets for staff." The verb "close" is much more powerful than the verb "lead." How the VP of Sales closes these deals is up to him or her, but the verb makes them accountable.

Rethinking Your Verbs

Next time you are writing a job description, consider your verbs. Using powerful verbs in a job description can attract the type of employee who is willing to be accountable. High power verbs = high accountability and weak verbs = weak accountability.

What kinds of verbs are embedded in your organization's job descriptions or in your own resume? Use the following guide to do a "verb audit" and see if your organization can use more powerful verbs to attract accountable employees.

Job seekers -- you should use this tip too. Take a few minutes to do a "verb audit." Using the list provided, how might you improve the verbs in your resume, your online profiles, and your professional bio? Being associated with powerful verbs makes you more significant and accountable, which can establish the case for more compensation. Power up the verbs and power up your wallet.

The Verb Ladder

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Whether you are a hiring manager or a job seeker, don't be surprised if you find weak verbs lurking around. That's because we instinctively know, the weaker the verbs the harder it is to judge. High power verbs create the possibility for judgment and failure. We live our lives desperately trying to avoid shame. Hunt for weak verbs and replace them with powerful verbs to power up your employees and your organization. Or better still, call us and we will revamp your job description and/or your job posting to help find you superior performers rather than just average.




New Analysis Shows the 5 Biggest Gaps Between Top and Bottom Sales Performers

Posted by Dave Kurlan

It didn't take very long for this to happen.  When Objective Management Group (OMG) announced that it was making its findings data available to the public, we knew that it wouldn't take long for someone with a flair for analytics to dig in and come up with something cool.  Last week, John Cousineau, creator of Amicus, got me on a video conference and shared what he came up with.  Hint:  Another way to differentiate top performers.

He analyzed the average scores of OMG's 21 Sales Core Competencies for the top 10% of salespeople and identified 5 that account for 36% of the gap between top and bottom performers.  The first image below shows the 36% gap in the 5 Competencies.  Each point represents a competency, the darker gray shows the average scores for the top 10% and the lighter gray has the scores for the bottom 10%.  The 5 competencies with the largest gaps are shown in blue for the bottom performers and brown represents the gaps between the two groups.


The next graphic below shows the 5 competencies John identified.

Translating just a bit, he says that the biggest gap in average scores between top performers and bottom performers - 36% - occurs in the sales core competencies where salespeople:

  1. are comfortable discussing money
  2. take responsibility for their results and don't make excuses or rationalize
  3. thoroughly qualify their opportunities
  4. are able to sell value instead of price
  5. are effective hunting for new business

We must also consider that there are approximately 10 attributes in each core competency and while the gaps certainly exist in those 5 competencies, are there specific skills where the gaps between top and bottom performers are even larger?

The following table shows the biggest gaps between top and bottom performers but instead of showing them by score, they are presented based on the percentage of salespeople who have the findings as strengths. Can you find anything in common between this table and the 5 competencies above?

Hunting, Qualifying, Comfortable Talking about Money and Taking Responsibility appear on both lists, but instead of value selling, we see consultative selling.  

Did you notice the other gaps on this list?  Desire and Commitment are the two most important Sales Core Competencies of all.  They also represent 2 of the 5 competencies in Will to Sell.  All 6 Sales DNA Core Competencies appear on the list as well.  In addition to Comfortable Talking about Money, the list includes Not Needing to be Liked (Approval), Controlling Emotions, Rejection Proof, Supportive Buying Behaviors and Supportive Sales Beliefs.

OMG's data, based on the assessment of more than 1,100,000 salespeople from more than 11,000 companies definitively shows that there is an elite group of 7% - the best salespeople in the world.  These great salespeople are followed by another 16% that are strong.  And then there is the bottom 77%, who all suck.

You can access OMG's findings and compare them to your salespeople and other salespeople in your industry by visiting this page.

When you compare your salespeople to the rest of the sales population it looks like this example where the reader's sales force is worse than the bottom 10% at Taking Responsibility.

You can also make sure you never make another sales hiring mistake by checking out OMG's accurate and predictive sales specific candidate assessments.



HR Happy Hour

Have a long, boring commute? Maybe your laundry is piling up or you have a long list of household chores. These days, people are turning to podcasts to break up the monotony, help pass the time, and gain some knowledge during these mundane moments.

Today we are highlighting the "HR Happy Hour" podcast. HR Happy Hour, the longest running and top downloaded HR podcast, focuses on human resources, management, leadership, and workforce technology. The show is hosted by Steve Boese, the Co-Chair of the HR Technology Conference, Trish McFarlane, a Human Resources Executive, and writer/speaker on HR and workplace topics.

With over 200 episodes since 2009, the HR Happy Hour podcast has a wealth of great material, tips, and news about the HR industry.  Episodes come out 2-3 times a month, and focus on human resources, management and leadership, and workforce technology.

HR Happy Hour is available through iTunes and Blog Talk Radio

To get you started, we've listed our Top 5 favorite HR Happy Hour podcasts:

  1. Getting Real About Talent Acquisition - May 9, 2017
  2. Transforming HR With Technology - May 3, 2017
  3. Getting Real About Employee Engagement - March 8, 2017
  4. Sourcing, Recruiting, and Organizational Priorities - May 10, 2017
  5. The 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report - March 1, 2017

How Successful People Think

Brendon Buchard is a New York Times Best Selling Author and motivational speaker. His latest book, The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive, Brendon argues that the only way to measurably improve the quality of your life is to learn how to activate the very ten drives that make you most human.

Today we are sharing one of our favorite clips on his YouTube channel, where Buchard discusses the mindset difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person.

Favorite quotes from this video:

“Success has been figured out we all know it’s a mindset game.”

“Successful people say ‘I want to do that, but I don’t know how to do that’, but instead of stopping they say ‘well then, my job is to go learn that’. They take their current limitation and they put it on their agenda as a job to do”.