Josh Magsam uses an assignment to give leadership candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 50 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is hiring. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today I’d like to welcome back Josh Magsam. So Josh, the topic for this week is strategies for hiring and I’m particularly interested in your situation as someone who hires other leaders.
Josh Magsam 0:47
Hiring Yeah, everyone wants to know what’s the, what’s the secret ingredient to really hiring the right people. I mean, everyone knows turnover’s costly, retention’s costly. It’s all about costly, but you want to figure out the most efficient path. And it, it gets even more complicated when you’re hiring managers. It’s funny, sometimes you get lucky. And I can think of one search we were doing with just last year where we were sort of mid-process. And we had one of those out of the blue applications from someone that sort of made us whole, the whole process a complete unknown to us. There’s obviously often a lot more angst that goes on around that. You tend to find that you’re leveraging your network a lot, and that sort of old tried and true advice. When you’re going to hire someone who’s going to Yeah, be in charge of other people, maybe even other leaders, you don’t really have the time or the resources or the legality, to go around knocking on doors and saying, hey, is this person a great leader, did you work for them? You’re just not going to get that. I’m a big proponent of finding ways to let people show you how they would do the job rather than just have some of those feel-good conversations where everyone walks away going, gosh, we love the same sports teams and we, you know, had the same favourite band in high school. And that one’s a straight shooter with upper management written all over them. Right? You know, one of the things we do, and I’ve loved it actually at PartnerHero, is we have a pretty extensive manager’s assessment. And what’s great about that approach is you see people rising to the occasion, just knock it out of the park and you go, Wow, I can see how this person would train other people. I can see how they would approach, you know, sending difficult communications to others. I’d see how they would put together a metric set that would show me at a glance how their team is performing.
Charlotte Ward 2:47
Yeah, yeah. And an opportunity like that allows you to assess a lot of skills beyond just how well they can interpret or craft a spreadsheet. There’s a lot of soft skills that go into that. And some of them are quite undefinable. Obviously, you’re you can check, check out, you know, communication skills.
Josh Magsam 3:09
Charlotte Ward 3:10
Their way of writing out writing about particular topics or particular problems, which demonstrates their writing capability, and their thought process and their ability to do the job at hand as well.
Josh Magsam 3:24
Charlotte Ward 3:24
But you probably get a sense of how well they’re responding to having that task set in the first place.
Josh Magsam 3:29
Yes, absolutely. You can see people that just have fun with it. You can see the people who realise Wow, this is where I get to show you what I do know. Right.
Charlotte Ward 3:40
Josh Magsam 3:41
And what I love about this approach is that that gives people that opportunity and gives them the chance to say hey, this is what I can do in this role for you. You know, and you see things surface. Another organisation has that we did a similar exercise, and you saw a person completely misread a data table. And then in sort of a follow-up interview, you know, think on the fly when someone said, You know, I see what you did here. And so you got to see them adjust on the fly and you went, Wow, okay, this is something interesting. Another situation someone just doubled down in their error and then you went, Okay, this is definitely not someone I’m going to bring in because they’re not admitting a mistake. They don’t want to learn from this conversation. They just want to sort of throw shade at the assessment process itself. Not a great look
Charlotte Ward 4:35
That debrief on the assignment that you set is helpful to both you and they because you get a window into how they react to those feedback conversations. But actually, as a candidate, it’s quite valuable as well, because feedback is useful to any candidate, whether it’s feedback on their first cover letter or feedback on write an assignment that’s taken them, you know, seven hours to complete. How Much of the whole hiring process does that assignment and debrief represent?
Josh Magsam 5:07
It’ll vary a little bit depending on on the candidate. And we’ve, you know, there’s been some experiments to between, do we just sort of screen candidates and send the assessment and then advance to interview rounds after? Or do we sort of get into the interview rounds, then issue the assessment, and that that actually changes the colour of it a lot. Because sometimes you get into the interview rounds, you’re like, wow, this person’s gonna do great. And you send it out, and you’re like, oh, shoot, I wish we’d done this earlier. It certainly gives us a great conversation point, and it helps us understand where that person’s strong points are. So you’re not 30 days into the job and noticing, oh, shoot, there’s a sort of a skills gap here. It’s maybe kind of a way to think of it that I haven’t before. It’s almost as if it gives you a sneak peek at that 30 or 60 Day Review. So it has to be something that’s really worthy of people’s time. we’ve adjusted even since I came on board, we’ve added some sections, we’ve changed a few things around to better highlight the needs of the programmes that we actually have. And so you have to be kind of constantly make that adjustment or over time it’s not as valuable to you.
Charlotte Ward 6:27
Yeah, yeah, I couldn’t agree more that actually. It’s important to be flexible in your hiring process. Otherwise, it just becomes a checkbox exercise. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/50, for the show notes, and I’ll see you soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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