Ed Baumstein, founder and CEO of professional services firm SolomonEdwards, has been personally responsible for connecting employees with employers — more than 1,000 of them. You see, finding a service or product that fills a need is only part of building a successful company. No matter how great the idea, entrepreneurs still need the right employees to help them carry out their vision.
Last fall, he provided insights on the hiring process as part of the “Make Talent Your Job” panel at the EY Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, California.
“The thing about entrepreneurs is that we start with a very clear picture of reality today. We see an even crisper vision of what we want to create,” Baumstein says. “Our problem is getting from point A to point B.”
In order to grow their companies, entrepreneurs need to recruit, attract and inspire talented people who can execute on that vision.
Stop talking and listen
Too many hiring managers dominate conversations with job candidates, Baumstein says.
“I can’t tell you how many clients have had an hour interview with the candidate and they spoke for 98 percent of the time. And when we come back and debrief them, they’ll say, ‘Boy, that candidate was really terrific.’ So the first thing that I’ll put up there is that when you’re interviewing you have to be an excellent listener,” he says.
The main priority of the interview is to find out about the applicant. The hiring manager’s focus should be on learning about the person, with the exception of selling the company to the candidate and creating excitement about coming to work there, Baumstein says.
Another “trick of the trade” used to separate candidates is to focus on how they have performed in terms of job responsibilities. Baumstein says resumes typically provide a chronological history of work experience that lists what the company does, their title and responsibilities.
“What distinguishes one person from another is not what they’re responsible for, but what they’ve done with those responsibilities, how they moved the dial. So I like to look for accomplishments on a resume. And if they’re not there, I like to ask people to specifically talk about examples of what they’ve done in their role to take something from point A to point B,” he says.
Utilize the right network
Since social media is such a popular mode of communication, it makes sense for employers to develop a strategy to incorporate these networking tools into recruiting efforts. But not all social networking sites work well for that purpose.
Baumstein says he was quick to consider Facebook as a potential recruitment tool and launched an initiative to make use of Facebook’s collected data when the site first gained popularity.
“We began to look through Facebook to be able to catalogue and attract and speak with the people that we were looking for,” Baumstein says.
However, SolomonEdwards didn’t have success using Facebook to attract employees.
“I’m not exactly sure why, maybe because of the dynamics of how it has come together, and its original purpose. It’s not designed to connect people together,” Baumstein says.