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Top Performance Archives | Underwood Executive | Executive Search & Talent Management

Underwood Executive takes out 9 medals & named Australia’s Executive Recruiter of The Year 2020

By | Leadership, Performance, Recruitment, Results, Success

At Underwood Executive we are delighted to announce that we have been named Executive Recruiter of the Year 2020 by HRD Magazine for the third year in a row. We have won a total of nine medals in Australia’s Top Recruiter Awards in the following categories:

  • Executive Recruitment – Gold Medal
  • Professional Services– Gold Medal
  • Banking & Financial Services – Gold medal
  • Sales & Marketing – Gold medal
  • Overall Recruiter of the Year – Silver medal
  • Healthcare – Silver medal
  • Human Resources – Silver medal
  • Construction & Engineering – Bronze medal
  • IT, Technology & Digital – Bronze medal

We are very proud to be acknowledged in these national awards. Most importantly, these awards are recognised by our clients and represent the service they receive, the results we generate and the relationships we build. It’s a genuine recognition of these peer relationships we invest in and value in our consulting practice that mirror our own ethos around culture, leadership and high performance. Awards like these are so important to our team, as they give us an opportunity to reflect and celebrate our point of difference and appreciate the impact we are having on businesses, people and their careers.

Now in our ninth year of business, Underwood Executive is consistently dedicated to the executive search market and winning gold in this category is an absolute thrill and a very proud moment for us. In the past 12 months, we have been accredited with the AESC (Association of Executive Search Consultants), which is an exclusive global industry profession that sets the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting worldwide.

As the only recruitment firm in Adelaide with this membership, it further reinforces our commitment to providing the highest quality standards in executive search and recruitment. The executive search market demands that we become a trusted advisor to our client’s business and we work hard to find them the highest performing talent in the market – talent that they couldn’t otherwise access. We acknowledge the responsibility we have in representing our client’s businesses and how we contribute to their overall success by finding them their most important assets – their people. We are absolutely committed to the fundamental principles of search and are consistently advising our clients on the benefits of this approach – these awards reinforce that our client’s value this approach and the return on investment.

Founder & Managing Director Nicole Underwood says “With dedication, discipline and consistency. The team at UE are united, with team goals, aligned values and a high care factor about what they deliver. We are very clear about who we will and won’t do business with – there has to be an alignment in terms of people, culture and leadership. We choose to work with organisations who are dedicated to getting this formula right. When you know what you stand for, it makes it much easier to say no. From day one, I have held an unwavering dedication to building this business with that mindset; with the discipline to consistently have a ‘high touch’ relationship service with C-suite level decision makers.”

Underwood Executive is an exclusive executive search and talent management consultancy based in Adelaide specialising in sourcing C-suite, leadership and hard to fill positions. Please contact us here.

 

Stop talking! 4 ways to reduce your communication intensity

By | Communication, Leadership

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We are all aware that openness and transparency is on the desirable list for a leader and that employees generally demand even greater communication and honesty in today’s leader.

However………..Are you an over-sharer? Do you talk as you think? Have you got so many thoughts running through your head, that you assume your team must know everything that is going on?

Sometimes there is such a thing as too much when it comes to communication and this of course can be confusing when leaders are constantly told to communicate more often, with greater transparency and in a variety of ways.  Use of social media, targeted emails, company wide communications, tele-conferences, sending a group text, use of company newsletter etc. Aren’t we communicating enough?

I recently conducted some coaching with a leader on the back of some feedback he had received relating to his communication effectiveness.  It turned out he was an over-communicator. Examples included sending emails and demanding action during meetings – where his directive would continue to change through-out the meeting as the emails were ‘pinging’ into inboxes all around the office.  His behaviour would also involve significant verbal communication in the hallway and informal designated ‘catch up’s’ rather than sticking to official one on one meetings.

So what? He likes to communicate – better than no information and a closed-door right?

Here’s the problem. When you over-communicate and overload people with your verbal diarrohea and a barrage of emails, what happens? Your team can feel distracted, micro-managed, overwhelmed, unsure of the direction you want them to take, confused and that you are being authoritarian in your approach. Ultimately, your message is lost – no matter how good your intent.

Here are 4 ways you can positively reduce your communication intensity:

  1. Stop and reflect before you speak – what is it that you want to communicate? Start with your intent or what you want to happen/achieve.  Never leave this to the end of your communication. People will be actively listening when they know what is expected of them upfront and the context of your message.
  1. Delivery – what is the best mode of delivery for this message? Is it verbal? Email? Face to face? Group? If you are giving someone feedback or any piece of communication that could be construed negatively or where the meaning could be misinterpreted, face to face is best. Email is good for instructions or re-confirming deadlines or verbal agreements.
  1. Impact – before you blurt out what is on your mind, consider the other person.  What impact is your message going to have? Consider your delivery – how you are going to say it? You can communicate the same message and meaning without being so direct and blunt that you catch the other person off guard and put them on the defensive.
  1. Pause power – actually pausing, allowing you to take a breath, before you open your mouth, is a real opportunity to get clarity. Maria Shriver said “Sometimes when you pause, you will realise you’re going to have to hold yourself back from acting out on your ego and first impulse”.

I agree that we need honesty in communication – the more transparent we can be, the more we keep things simple and we can learn a lot from ourselves and each other by having these honest conversations.  It’s when our communication is rushed, too frequent and full of loaded emotion that it can become distracting and overwhelming for those around us, especially those who look to us for leadership and direction.

So for the over-communicators out there, I will leave you with this: Consider your message, pause, use delivery with good intent and consider a shorter version in our time-poor lives, as succinctness is the key to more effective communication.

How to get the X factor of presence

By | Confidence, Success

At the end of last term, it was my daughter’s turn to be the VIP for the week in her reception class.  This is a confidence building strategy which involves the girls being interviewed by the Principal at the front of the class being asked about her family, favorite things, hobbies etc. Parents are invited along, the session is completely documented and then a full wall display including photos and quotes from the VIP is put up in the classroom.  It is truly impressive.

There were two things that really stood out for me.  The first was the process, where everyone, (her teacher, classmates, Principal and us as parents) was asked to contribute by saying what they admire about Charlie.  It was amazing to hear the perceptive things girls at the age of five were contributing. Quite frankly, it floored me. I can only imagine what this does for their self-esteem and confidence. The second thing was what the Principal said about Charlie …… she has presence.  Of all the beautiful things she said, she mentioned ‘presence’ three or four times.  She said that every time she sees or interacts with her, she is struck by the mere presence that she commands in a room or situation.

It got me thinking about this intangible presence and how to get it.

I like to think of it as charisma, the x factor, that something you can’t quite put your finger on.  That feeling when someone who has presence walks into a room and you feel their energy. Put simply, it is that unknown factor or the unexplainable thing, which adds a certain value to that person where you are drawn to listen to what they have to say.

I believe having this presence goes a long way to making a successful Recruiter.  I have seen those who ‘have it’ and those who have had to develop it and the difference in their success can be significant.

When trying to define it with Consultants in the past we have discussed public speakers, sales people, celebrities and people in our own lives to help us get clear on what this presence is and how to develop it.  I think some people are just born with it – and maybe this is already Charlie (think of me when she’s about 15!) and others can develop it and fine-tune it to assist in business meetings, presentations and winning new work.  There is just something about it that makes us want to be around these people and hear what they have to offer.

After a brainstorming session with Consultants on presence and how to get it, a range of ideas came flooding forward and the five main themes included:

  1. Body language – stand tall, look confident, carry yourself in a way that attracts attention. One Consultant mentioned that image is still really important in making a great first impression.
  2. Communication – speak with conviction; be concise and sharp in delivery.  It is rare to be engaged by a waffler!
  3. Listening skills – ability to make everyone feel important and heard.  I’ll never forget my interaction with a particular speaker some years ago. After her talk I went to speak to her, and while I was talking to her, she kept looking right past me to see who was more important in the room that she could be talking to.
  4. Know what you want – be able to lead and control a conversation to stay on track and gain an outcome.  Being clear on your message and what you stand for.
  5. Demonstrate with stories and real examples – people with presence have the experience to back up the theory.  They can easily share a story or re-count examples to demonstrate their point, making it easy to connect with them.

People who have presence inspire, engage and more often than not, educate others in a way that stimulates our thinking and questions the status quo.  As a Recruiter, you need to stand out from the crowd just to be given an opportunity to deliver your presentation.  Presence can be a significant competitive advantage.

Who do you know that has presence and what advantage do you think this gives them?

 

Don’t sweat the cold call….how to get your Consultants on the phone & winning business

By | Recruitment, Results

In my recent blog “head in the sand vs action junkie ….what’s your mantra?” I wrote about a Consultant who worked for me who didn’t enjoy prospecting new business as she felt that she was annoying clients when she rang. This generated a range of comments and questions asking how I helped her overcome this.

The recruitment industry is notorious for its continuous flow of calls to clients asking for appointments.  This in itself gives us a bad name.  Now, I agree, don’t get me a wrong, a cold call with no purpose, interrupting my day for what seems like only their benefit, is completely annoying.  I tap my foot thinking yes? So what? What’s in it for me? I assume that many clients feel the same way when Recruiters ring.

One of the problems is that many Consultants start their week, look in their calendars and realise that they don’t have any appointments for the next 5 days. Their weekly meeting with their manager is that day and they will be asked, drilled, coached, questioned or in some consultancies have strips torn off them for not meeting their KPI’s.  I’ve heard of these experiences from many Recruiters over the years…including one boss who waves $20 in the air for the next consultant who jumps on the phone and wins a client visit.   There’s another manager who stands directly behind her Consultants until she is satisfied that they are actually doing their marketing.  Hmmmm and we wonder where our bad rep comes from?

Picking up the phone will the sole intention of winning a marketing visit is a recipe for disaster.  The client can hear the desperation in your voice, they will detect that you need to meet your quota and that you’re just another ‘sales person’ trying to fill the week with appointments.  I’m sure with this approach most consultants don’t have a very high hit rate nor a very high job satisfaction level.

Tip 1 – Mindset

Changing a Consultant’s mindset from “I’m annoying”, “they don’t want to hear from me”, “I’m the 100th recruiter who has called them today”, can be a challenge to overcome!  Especially when you have a Recruiter who is a top performer and is streets ahead of the competition in terms of knowledge, results and ability. The shift occurred when I could get them to move away from thinking ‘get the appointment’ to ‘what’s in it for them’.  This successfully moved the mindset from annoying sales person to helpful expert. Approaching the conversation in terms of offering, differentiator, benefits and helpfulness broke down a lot of barriers and stereotypes.

Tip 2 – Strategy

This is where a lot of Consultants go wrong – they simply don’t have a targeted approach as to whom they will call.  Yesterday I was in a client’s office who was using the yellow pages for a screen monitor boost and that’s about all it is good for these days.  You can’t build a profitable client base from random lists or with a scattergun approach.   When starting a desk from scratch, I would recommend Consultants start with something familiar – perhaps an industry they have worked in previously to give them the confidence to start.  With no strategy, there will be no success.

Tip 3 – Always have a real reason to call

Don’t pick up the phone without having thought about what you are going to say first and please don’t ever ring to ‘touch base’ (a pet hate of mine)! . When I coached Consultants on this particular issue we would brainstorm all the reasons why you could ring to speak to a client and then what were the benefits for them in taking your call.  It is amazing how many reasons there are to call a new potential client – to tell them about a star candidate you have recently interviewed, to ask for their help/advice, congratulate them on a recent piece of news in the media, to follow up a previous conversation, to invite them to a function, to ask for an introduction to another person in the business etc etc. The list is endless. Just make sure you have prepared your plan of attack before picking up that handset.

Tip 4 – Technique

Do your Consultants know how to prospect new business? Might sound like a silly and very basic question, but have they been taught and shown how to make these calls? A client of mine recently instructed her team to make 5 calls to existing clients to generate referral business.  The instruction was clear – make 5 calls by the end of the week.  By Friday morning, no one had even started their calls.  They were petrified! After a further conversation, I uncovered that there was no strategy, training or instructions about how to go about making the calls and what could be said.  As soon as she ran through some scenarios, techniques and quick role-plays, the team was off and running. Never assume people know how to make effective calls.

Tip 5 – Big picture outlook

The amount of procrastination, excuses and palaver that goes on in consultancies in order to avoid ringing clients is amazing.  Two techniques I would use to help overcome this with Consultants were to get them to focus on the bigger picture – what is the goal? What are the benefits they receive in achieving them (see staff mojo….planting the seeds of motivation)? In the scheme of things, picking up the phone and having a conversation is pretty insignificant right? The other technique is to do your hard tasks first – speak to 3 clients, make 2 appointments etc before doing anything else.  This focus on taking action and “do it until it’s done” was another successful strategy.

Tip 6 – Referrals & common links

To ensure you never make a cold call again, use your existing networks as well as common links to make new connections.  This can be as simple as “I’m in the area visiting client ABC”, through to industry associations to suppliers to direct referrals.  People are always going to feel more comfortable doing business with people they know and trust or if their connections are already working with you.  The power of connections is proven with Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.  Every interaction is an opportunity to ask for new business or to ask for a new introduction or referral.  It takes discipline to form the habit of asking – but remember the benefit is no more cold calling.

Prospecting new business is a means to an end. It is a necessary ‘evil’ to get in front of new clients and to be given the opportunity to then develop relationships.  We all want the easy road to a full list of clients we love working with, but it takes discipline and action to achieve this end outcome. A shift in mindset is essential to move cold calling to a conversation and being clear on what’s in it for them to see you.

Get on the phone, get out of the office and remember being face to face is where relationships are built, opportunities are discovered and results are made.

Staff mojo… how to plant the seeds of motivation

By | Empowerment, Results
Inspiration: My daughter Charlie

Inspiration: My daughter Charlie

This week one of my top performers was having a downday….she’d lost her mojo, was feeling ‘flat’ and told me she was struggling with motivation. “How do you keep motivated and inspired?” she asked me. As a leader, my stomach sank.  There is nothing scarier than a top performer who is feeling worn out…..as Leaders we get scared that if we don’t quickly ‘motivate’ them, they might drop their performance, burn out or dare I say it….leave. The pressure! I wanted to give her an answer, not any answer, a great answer that would make her feel valued, inspired,motivated and happy.  But the fact is there isn’t just ‘an answer’.

Can you really motivate someone? Especially in a 30 minute weekly meeting! Truth is it can’t be done. You can’t physically motivate another person. It is not something I can give to someone else to make them feel good again to conquer the world.  However, I can certainly influence them, share my experiences and ask them questions that may help them find their own internal motivation.

Firstly, what’s not working? What is it specifically that is making them feel disheartened, disinterested or demotivated? Is it just a once-off incident of something going wrong with a client, an internal disagreement or something bigger? Or is it an accumulation of things that have been niggling at them, with something that has made them snap that perhaps in isolation would not have been a big deal but now seems huge. Getting to the crux of their de-motivation is really important because once this is solved; that can often be the end of their bad patch and they return to a positive frame of mind.

In this circumstance, nothing was specifically going wrong with my Consultant. There wasn’t anything in particular that she was unhappy about. So it comes down to desire…..

Whatever job you do, you need to be clear on why you are doing it. What’s in it for you? What are the goals you are aiming for and the benefits you receive from doing what you do? I’ve always been a visual person and it might sound corny, but really having something in front of me to focus on gives me inspiration on days that perhaps aren’t perfect or going 100% my way.  Early in my career, working as a Recruitment Consultant, I had picture of a convertible at my desk – I was determined to have a sports car.  Those days when I didn’t want to pick up the phone and make a cold call or tell a candidate they didn’t get the job or it was 7pm at night and I was screening even more CV’s, I would look at that picture and find my inspiration and that extra mojo I needed to achieve success. As years went on the visuals changed – but there has always been pictures of something (holidays, houses, travel) or someone (family) to inspire me. And it works. I got that silver MG convertible at age 21 – the insurance was a killer! The moment you take your eyes off the goal, you can lose focus, ambition and drive.

So with a demotivated staff member – be clear on what their goals are. What is this person motivated by? Do they have visuals around them? Everybody aspires to something – as the leader we need to show the connection between what they do and how they can go about achieving it in their day to day work.

If this doesn’t work, the flip side is cost. I don’t like to use this method as much – it doesn’t have a nice warm and fuzzy attached to it like the benefit method does.  For example, I have had Consultants tell me in the past they aren’t motivated by money or they don’t aspire to a new house or an overseas holiday. They are happy as they are. Great. Really, that is great.  But you’re telling me you’re de-motivated, you have lost inspiration and are feeling flat – what is the cost to you, your career and your results if you continue this way? Perhaps things won’t be that great anymore.  It is getting them very clear that if they don’t make the calls, see the clients, fill the jobs, generate the results, then actually you won’t be in top performance and then they may not be in such a great place. The ultimate cost here is their job.  This can be the make or break conversation that either gets them back on track or a realisation that change is on the horizon.

Day to day, I have found several things that work as quick “motivation injections”:

  1. Have a conversation with someone who makes you feel good
  2. Read an inspiring article, quote or surf social media for new ideas and excitement
  3. Write down at least 1 new quantifiable goal that you really want to achieve
  4. Take 30 minutes to write a dream list – anything you ever wanted to achieve/have/own and there is no restrictions (dream big!)
  5. Put up a new visual for inspiration – photo/screen saver/picture
  6. Take action – do something that makes you feel uncomfortable (as this often generates big results eg: a new client)
  7. Write a love & loathe list (to re-focus on what you are good at)
  8. Plan a holiday & enjoy the research
  9. Buy a new book on-line
  10. Have a coffee, go shopping or plan a day off to “re-charge”

So for me – how do I keep motivated and inspired? My husband laughs as I’m telling him what I’m writing about – he says it’s the mortgage and my love for shopping that keeps me motivated! There is of course some truth to this – visual goals remember! But I do believe inspiration comes from around us as well as finding inspiration from within ourselves – it is not something someone else can give us or make us feel. I am certainly inspired by other people’s success or by a conversation or a presentation, movie or book.  But real inspiration, the type of inspiration that drives me to succeed and achieve, comes from within.

What tips and tricks do you use to stay motivated and re-focus when feeling flat?

You can’t steer a parked car …… should you manage your under-performer up or out?

By | Leadership, Performance, Retention

Under-performers, bottom quartile performance, staff that cost you money, employees that risk your reputation – those people in your team who just aren’t making the grade.  They keep us awake at night; they take up our leadership time with counselling, observations, reviews and numerous one on one discussions.  I’ve had my fair share over the years. The recruitment industry is notorious for staff turnover, usually the result of poor hires, incorrect culture fits, those lacking in the right competencies, motivational fit or we just got schmoozed by some new hot shot that convinced us they could cold call (music to our ears)!  The problem is when this happens to someone in your team do you performance manage out or up?

Of course the answer is – it depends.  If at the core, the match is right – motivation and culture fit, then you owe it to yourself and the individual to invest in coaching them up to top performance.  If you know in your heart of hearts that the long term alignment and values are out of whack – then count your losses and do it quickly. Don’t stretch out the pain and suffering for yourself, the existing team or the individual – it just makes it harder to cut the cord.

In my experience, the difference between top performers and those struggling to keep up, consistently comes down to one thing. Yes, that’s right, one thing.  And that’s action.  Taking action. Taking the right action. Taking the right action consistently.

Easy right? Come on, it really isn’t that hard or that difficult. People in general just waste a lot of time on the wrong things. Time and time again I find myself thinking “just do it”! Just get on the phone, just make that call, just see that client, just screen that CV and just make a decision! For goodness sake, it really isn’t that hard.

As a leader there is only so much you can do –you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink and you certainly can’t steer a parked car.

It ultimately comes down to desire – does the staff member want to be here? Do they want to achieve top performance and here’s the clincher….are the prepared to be coached and take the necessary action to get there?

What are the top 3 – 5 critical actions that this person must take to achieve top performance? Are you both clear what these tasks are and can you easily measure them? All jobs are made up of hundreds of little things and it is so easy to get distracted with emails, reactionary requests and time wasting through over preparation, research and blatant procrastination. Top performers are always organised, know what is important and get on with doing those things first.

I had a Consultant who worked for me for 7 years who achieved financial success, won new clients, built relationships with senior leaders in many corporate organisations in Adelaide and guess what? There was a time when she was an under-performer. I remember it so clearly. It was in her first 12 months and I was at the end of my tether with frustration over the mistakes she was making of no follow up, not asking great questions and not being face to face with clients.  The break-through moment was having an honest and direct conversation about where she was performing and where she needed to be. This conversation was not easy, but an essential first step to building top performance.  I asked if she wanted to be a top performer? Was she open to receiving feedback? Was she prepared to be uncomfortable in the journey?  Making it easier for me was the fact that she was completely receptive.  It was a tough 3 months of brutal honesty, lots of observation, feedback and coaching.  She responded with top performance resulting in increased revenue, quality of service, 7 years retention, inspiration to the team, a new zest of energy and respect.  She is a close friend and colleague to this day.

Performance issues don’t have to be a leadership headache.  It can be an opportunity to bring out the best in someone and give them their moment to shine.

People respect honesty and communication in any situation, but especially in the context of non-performance.  This is usually uncomfortable for both parties and is the elephant in the room no-one wants to talk about. If we don’t talk about it, maybe it will got away. It doesn’t. Under-performance can happen at any time to a new recruit or to a top performer after several years of success.  Our effectiveness as leaders is knowing how to have the conversation to turn it around and being committed to seeing the plan through.  Coming out the other side is a break-through moment that leads to ongoing top performance and success for you, the individual and the business.

Commit to increasing performance in your team – being uncomfortable is a small short-term price to pay for a long term top performance retention strategy.

Who’s hot and who’s not…what the perfect resume won’t tell you

By | Recruitment


Interviewing, recruitment, hiring, finding the right candidate….it’s easy! It’s not rocket science. How hard can it be, get resumes, interview, have a chat, make an offer – done! If only this was true….

Last week I was doing the school drop off and was asked independently by two separate parents in business how to pick the right person at interview. How long have you got??? One was disillusioned by a highly talented person leaving to take a very similar role elsewhere with the only obvious added benefit seeming to be ‘working closer to home’.  The other was being challenged by picking an internal hire from 20 great resumes that all seemed to have the right technical experience.  Both were apprehensive due to incorrect hires in the past that initially looked right on paper. They were desperate for the secret ingredient, the right answer, the one thing that I could tell them that they didn’t know to ask at interview to get it right.

Subsequently, I was called to a meeting on Monday with a client who was completely frustrated and surprised when what they thought was a ‘perfect hire’, resigned after 2 months.  They too wanted to know where did they go wrong, when the resume appeared to be perfect?

First and foremost – recruiting people is not easy. Picking the right person is even harder.  We do it every day here at Entrée Recruitment and see, hear, talk and advise clients on how to do it better. It is an ongoing battle for most business owners – finding, recruiting and retaining the right people.

Here’s what all three situations had in common – you must look beyond what’s on paper and what’s technically being said at interview and hire for culture and motivational fit.

I agree that skills and experience are important.  They are necessary in the recruiting process, but what causes you headaches and performance issues goes well beyond being able to do the job, it’s a person’s ability to fit in and being in the role for the right reasons.

How do you determine this? It’s not fool proof, but here are some quick guidelines that I follow in a recruitment process to increase my odds:

  1. Technical skills & experience – is easy to assess from a resume, very factual, qualifications, systems experience etc. Some level of experience is still needed for most roles.
  2. Competencies –what are the competencies they need to do the job eg: teamwork, decision making, achievement drive. The key is that they must give a SPECIFIC example of a time when they have demonstrated this competency. This will usually occur in 3 parts (tell me about a time when…., what did you do and what was the outcome). If they don’t give a specific, they don’t have the competency. Don’t ignore this – even if the resume is fantastic – if they can’t answer these questions, they won’t be a high performer in the job.
  3. Motivation – this is often the trickiest part of the interview to assess. It involves asking questions around why they want the job, what is their perfect job, what other jobs have they applied for, why have they left previous jobs, what makes them stay with an employer, what makes them leave, who has been their favourite boss, who inspires them and why, where has been the best/worst culture they have worked in. Did I mention why they want this job? Not just any job. Why this job above others in the paper and on the net? And then tell me again why you want it – make sure they convince you.
  4. Warning signs – this is usually around behaviour during or post interview. For example, I had a candidate tell me they would call me Monday to confirm their interest in a job at Entrée, they called Tuesdayat 5pm. For me and my culture, this is a warning sign they wouldn’t fit in as one of our values is integrity – you do what you say you will do.
  5. Reasons for leaving – don’t ever accept the first reason.  I ask several times on the same job – tell me what were your reasons for leaving? What else contributed to you leaving? What other reasons were behind this decision? Probe, probe, probe and look for patterns of behaviour.

As I picked up my daughter from school yesterday, one of these parents thanked me, telling me how much easier her three interviews had been that day. Her change in questions towards motivation and culture opened up her thinking about what was being said at interview, if they would fit her team and it increased her confidence in making the right hire.

In my experience, motivation and cultural fit is more important than skills and experience.  The culture fit and motivation buys you loyalty, commitment and top performers who in the long term outshine the power CV with a technical answer for everything at interview.  Go with your gut – will you and your team enjoy working with this person every day of the week? And whatever you do – don’t “hope” that it will work out – it never does. Hope is not a recruitment strategy.