Management Class Became Hiring Best Practice Lab

Jeff Strese, Chief Human Resource Officer for SMU, led a session Tuesday evening on “Selecting the Best People” as part of the Certificate in Management program. The session included several opportunities for role playing in pairs and small groups, and became a creative laboratory for discussing and practicing hiring best practices and developing a workforce study.

Role playing included discussing the autopsy of a bad hire, setting the context for a productive interview, practicing situational, behavioral, background and job knowledge questions, and obstacles to successful interviews.

One of the recurring themes was a “level-up” perspective – seeing things from a 10,000-foot view, not just what’s immediately in front of you. One of the interesting topics was the study of cross generational differences. For the first time in modern history there are FOUR generations in the workforce – Traditionals (1922-1943), Baby Boomers (1943-1960), Gen X (1960-1980) and Millennials (1980-2000). The newest generation soon approaching the workforce hasn’t been named yet, but has its own differences in values, communication styles and views on loyalty.

The final exercise involved thinking of a potential future position that you might need to hire or weigh in on at your company and asking yourself these questions:
• What preparation is needed to understand the role and needed competencies?
• How will you approach screening applicants?
• How will you set context to help the applicant feel comfortable?
• What job specific questions will you ask?
• What behavioral interviewing questions will you ask to discern character qualities?

Hopefully your interview set-up won’t go this way:
“We’re looking for someone with the wisdom of a 50-year-old, the experience of a 40-year-old, the energy of a 30-year-old and the pay scale of a 20-year old.” (A Boomer Xillennial?)

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