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Hiring Advice From A Billion Dollar Company

Hiring advice from a billion dollar company

If you haven’t heard of Kendra Scott, you should check her out. Her company (also called Kendra Scott) has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. In fact, the company was recently valued at $1 Billion. Nice!

 

I had a chance to hear Kendra talk about her growth a few weeks ago, and one of her big secrets? Good hiring decisions and employee retention.  Here are some of the highlights of Kendra’s hiring philosophy and some thoughts from yours truly…

 

Core values:

Here’s one of the most valuable insights when hiring and it’s true regardless of position, company size or industry.  Hire people that align with the company’s core values. This is not a big secret, but it’s something that is often overlooked in the hiring process.

 

Kendra Scott has three core values; family, fashion and philanthropy. Every decision made in the company-especially hiring decisions, reflect those values. For example, the Kendra Scott headquarters boast a nursing room and a kid’s room where children can hang and play for a bit while their parents work.

 

Zappos lives by ten core values. These values are the guiding principles through which teams operate and decisions are made. At every step of hiring process from the job description to the interview process (which can take several months and is more like a courtship than a selection process) to onboarding and training, those values are present. Employees even receive training on each core value to learn the behavior that is expected to live the value.

 

Integrating this into your hiring process ensures that you’re hiring people who “get it” and are more likely to passionately contribute to the company’s success.

 

Star quality:

Kendra Scott once offered a coffee shop barista a position on the spot after witnessing this person’s warmth, friendly demeanor and desire to delight the customer. It didn’t matter that this person had never worked in a retail store before. Kendra knew that they could teach sales skills. This person had a spark and a customer centric attitude and that was all Kendra needed to see.

 

Don’t overlook star quality when you see it! Star quality often shows itself as exceptional customer service, enthusiasm, passion, or going above and beyond what’s required in a job.  Keep this in mind in the hiring process. While a candidate may not have all of the requisite skills, consider how many of those skills can be taught versus someone who shows themselves creative or a considerate team player.

 

Experience:

Resist the urge to automatically eliminate candidates solely on the basis of their past credentials and experience — remembering that in doing so, you may be weeding out the very best, most creative candidates. I’m not suggesting that you get rid of job descriptions, however the job description should be a guideline. It’s not realistic or helpful to hire only those prospects who allow you to check off every last requirement set forth in the job description.

 

Decide ahead of time what experience is necessary for the success of the position and what is “nice to have.” Determine what areas can be developed over time with training or coaching versus what a candidate needs to possess on day one.

 

Thoughts on interviewing:

Many savvy job seekers are skilled at interviews so it can be challenging to pinpoint their actual experience and alignment of core values. This is where the interview comes in handy as it gives employers an opportunity to get to know candidates in a variety of settings and circumstances. Consider tricking up your interview process. Here are some examples:

  • Invite an existing superstar employee who believes in and lives the company values to the interview process. Let the superstar employee talk about the values and ask pertinent interview questions.
  • Multiple interviews are a good thing. Especially interviews that include different company stakeholders in various settings. Some companies have an extended interview process that stretches out for months and includes meetings with key team and company stakeholders, a meeting with the team, a company social event, and lunch with would be counterparts from different departments. This provides you will a well-rounded view of how the candidate handles different situations and interacts with people that he/she could be working with in the future.
  • Take your time! Don’t fall into the trap of hiring quickly or hiring “good enough” because the company is in a hurry to bring in a body. Hiring decisions are incredibly important. Retention, engagement, leadership development and culture all begin with hiring the right people. Give yourself time to find the right candidate and make a sound hiring decision, as opposed to one that’s made out of desperation.
  • Share the good stuff and the bad stuff. I’ve seen plenty of instances in which the hiring manager speaks in glowing terms, and glowing terms about the company. Not only does this paint an inaccurate picture but it partially defeats the purpose of the interview and selection process. That process is about selecting the right person for the position, for the company by weeding out those who are not qualified, capable or interested.  If on-call shifts are required, warehouse work is expected or travel is a big part of the job

 

Each of these strategies can be implemented right away by you and your hiring managers. But if you are interested in gaining additional insight on the topic or help in making those impactful hiring decisions, Pathfinder Strategies is here to help. Give us a call at 888-529-0240 or info@pathfinder-strategies.com

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