Lou Adler: if you do a great job in the interview, don't feel so great about yourself because it just means you're a good presenter. And if you do a crappy job of interviewing, don't feel too bad. It just means you're a crappy interviewer. I do with you. Good or bad on the job.
Renata: Lu Adler is the CEO and founder of the Adler Group Consulting and training firm helping companies implement win-win hiring programs using lu's signature system. The performance-based hiring with lu's helps companies have been successful in finding and hiring exceptional talent. More than 40,000 recruiters and hiring managers attended his workshop.
He's also the author of Hire With Your Head and The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired. He has also been featured on Fox News Inc. Magazine Business Inside the Long Bag and the Wall Street Journal. I first came across Lou's work on LinkedIn because he's prolific on this platform. He writes many excellent posts and articles directed mainly at supporting recruiters in hiring managers.
He's been on my wishlist. Guest for this podcast for a very long time, so I am delighted that we have finally had a chance to talk about issues that we're both very passionate about. Lou and I discussed job interviews, questions and answers, format, and technology, providing many good examples that we hope can help you prepare for your future job interview.
This is a very long episode, but there was no way I was going to cut any part of it because this is all gold for you.
If you're interested to learn more about how to advance in your recruitment and selection process and do well in job interviews, grab a cup of coffee or tea and listen to Lou. Without further ado, here's my conversation with Lou Adler, Please.
Today, I have the wonderful Lou Adler. Lou, you don't know. But you have been on my wishlist as a guest for my podcast since I started this. I've always admired your work. Well, thank you. You're prolific on LinkedIn, and I have followed you consistently for the past many years, and you have really influenced my coaching.
So I'm really excited to have you here as a guest today. Thank you for accepting. Thank you. So I am assuming a lot of people know Lou Adler, but if you don't, I'm gonna read very quickly. He's Bio, He's the CEO and founder of Performance Based Hiring Learning Systems, which is a consulting and training firm that helps recruiters and hiring managers to source, interview and hire the best candidates out there.
He's also the author of Amazing books, and if you haven't read it, please consider buying one of them. Hire With Your Head The Essential Guide to Hiring and Getting Hired. And you know, he's always on LinkedIn. There is another book, LinkedIns Learning Performance Based Hiring Video Training Program.
I don't know much about that one, but you can talk to us about that one, Lou. And I have the latest edition of Hiring with Your Head, so I would recommend that one if you want to start somewhere. Good
Lou Adler: recommendation.
Renata: Good recommendation. Lou, you've had an amazing career and you are an influencer in your you know, industry with recruiters and employers looking to you for advice and support in this sort of talent war.
Tell me what led you to work in this area? What has inspired you to do this type of work?
Lou Adler: Well, I wasn't inspired to do it, so I won't go that way, but I, will say that I used to work for a living, and this was back when I was young, many, many years ago, probably 45 years ago. I was running a manufacturing company early thirties, and I had a boss who, the group president who was a micromanager.
And every day I, he came by every two weeks to my manufacturing facility. Which had about 300 people in it. So it was not insignificant, and he and I just yelled and screamed at each other, but I didn't want him around. I tried to lock him out and he still kept on coming in. So I just quit four times in one year.
I started using recruiters. Oh boy. And I realized that at least the recruiters I was using actually had a better life than I did. I was working 60, 78 hours a week and these guys are working 30 or 40 or 50. And I said, Yeah, I think I might try that. And my wife supported it and I'm still married to the same woman.
So it's been many, many years. But that was a big deal to start to quit a job where I was running a company and then became a recruiter. But I can't say I was inspired to do it. I did it because I didn't like to, I was gonna look for another job if it didn't work out. Yeah. But I realized that most cases hiring was, super done.
It was a dumb thing. The way people hired people, the way candidates got jobs, the way companies hired people. It was not a business process. So I said, you know, this is actually, I could do pretty well in this if I just kind of look at it as a business process. If people aren't seeing the right candidates, you don't show more candidates.
You figure out why. If candidates aren't doing a good job of interviewing and if they're good people and you gotta change away the interview. You you look at all the pieces, it was a bunch of hodgepodge of odds and ends and nobody knew what they were doing. And they still don't . So I just said, Okay.
I think if everybody does it right, the recruiter, the hiring manager, the HR department, the candidate, and how everybody made decisions, you actually could create a blueprint for great people and where it was called a win-win situation where the candidate was excited about the job, not only on a start date, but also throughout the year and the actual couple years she was there and the hiring manager was just happy to have the person.
So that was the, and I don't even say it was a goal, it was selfish as, Hey, if I could do it right, I'd make more placements and make more money. So it wasn't really altruistic. It was, I think I could pull this off and I think we did, wrote a bunch of books and started, it turned out I, I'm doing a new course with LinkedIn, which is what you mentioned, which I'm going into the studio and oh, that's December.
But they asked me to come up with a, a quick reason or quick problem we're solving. And it's the same problem that every everyone was solving is how do you kind of make sure that the candidate and the hiring manager make the right decision. So in some way that is the inspiration now, cuz I'm 76 and semiretired, so I work when I wanna work, but So that's probably the inspiration.
So sorry for the long story, Renata, but that
Renata: No, that's a great story. One of the things that I've always loved about your teaching and your posts on LinkedIn is how visual they are. And I can see what you've just told. You know that that's the way you think. You're trying to find the protocols and the, roadmaps, playbooks, you know, you're always posting, you're writing, but you're always showing people what it looks like in a visual way.
And I find that that's really, you know, what captured me in the first place to pay more attention to you. Do you see that as a strength of yours to kind of show people the, the, process?
Lou Adler: Well, part of it, so, I don't know. That's actually an interesting point. I don't know what came first, but I knew that if I could tell a story with words, with pictures, it would be easier to understand.
So I don't know that it was a thing that I wanted to do. It just happened because, Okay. And some, some article said, You can only put 600 words together to write an article. Yes. I said, Well, how am I gonna do that? Without a graphic. So I think it was more that it happened. So then I just kind of went with it as a result of that.
So I don't know that it was, Oh yeah, I can't wait to do a graphic. It happened and I think I was forced to do it, and then I just, Hey, I'm telling stories. And some industrial training said, Hey, Lou, show more pictures. So I think it happened that way as a, And I think I had a boss when I got into recruiting, I was very visual, so I said, Oh, that's cool.
Try that graphic and that graphic, et cetera, et cetera. So I don't know the really answer underlying answer. That's a good
Renata: question. No, that, I think that has always helped me. one of the other things too that I've noticed in your writing and you, you focus on it over and over again is your, I'm gonna put words in your mouth, but you can correct me if I'm wrong.
Your dislike for behavioral questions, which I that's maybe I'm saying too much. I dislike them. and that performance based question that you recommend and teach people how to use. It's so much better as a selection tool in my view. And I'd love you to expand on how you came up with that.
When did you realize that there was something wrong with the questioning during an interview process?
Lou Adler: First off, you got dumb questions, which are, Hey, what, what animal are you? And you know, Do you like Seattle over Brazil or something? Whatever it, which is stupid question. So there's that whole host of questions, behavioral questions, a little more structured where you say, Hey, gimme an example of when you've been results oriented.
My whole focus just to give people on the background and I'll get into how a candidate can do a better job of answering questions is, Hey, you know, we need to launch a new product line. Ranata, can you walk me through how you built that up and what you've ever done that? So then I would peel the onion.
Yeah. So as we started getting credible with big clients, cuz I've been doing this for so many years people pushed back and said, That's not a behavioral. So then I started doing research on behavioral questions and actually did read a lot of stuff on the validity of a behavioral interview, which is, gimme again an example of a person and spend two or three minutes understanding it.
Yeah. the idea behind us, and I'll bring both of those ideas together. That's actually not a bad question. If the interviewer has done a job analysis ahead of time, you have to understand exactly how that behavior competency has worked. Mm-hmm. and it, the research says it does work if you do the job analysis it, but it all, the research also says it doesn't work at all if you don't do the job analysis.
But what's happened is, is that all these people in HR and all these people who use it, forget the part of you gotta understand the job to make the question valid. So that's one idea of why I don't like it. If you don't do a job analysis, behavioral questions are flawed fundamentally, and they're useless.
They're just as bad as stupid questions. Well, not as bad as stupid, almost as bad as stupid questions. The approach that I use is called behavioral fact finding. So when I ask you or not, Hey, we gotta launch a new product worldwide in the next nine months, It's under a very tight budget and we got very limited restraints from an advertising standpoint.
If you were to get this job, tell us about, tell me about something you've done that's most related to that. I would then spend 15 or 20 minutes getting behavioral fact finding question and understand that, Hey, where'd you organize a team to do that? Where did you face a challenge that you had to overcome that?
Where did you find most satisfying? Where'd you take the initiative? So I would ask behavioral fact finding, and I put 'em under the umbrella of an accomplishment. It turns out when you read the research and there's been a lot of research on it, that is the correct way to ask a behavioral question.
Not just asking generally one competency and get a two minute example, it's really understand it. So what we do is we ask, I spend a lot of time digging into a candidate's accomplishments and looking at the trend of those accomplishments and understand what behaviors that candidate used to achieve the results.
And then I look at how those behaviors changed over time. I know that sounds kind of researchy and hr logic. And I just fell into it. It was because I'm an engineer and you kind of figure out, Hey, how do things work? Why did this work? And you, kind of try thing, you do this. I've interviewed thousands and thousands and thousands of people.
I didn't come up with that first. I just figured out, Hey, how am I gonna figure out? So I started getting better and better and better and asking these questions. And then I talked to, as people started saying, Hey, this stuff actually works. I had to talk to PhDs. I had to talk to psychologists, I had to talk to lawyers.
And then they looked at it and said, Oh, Adler stuff actually works. But it was almost like. I was doing these testing going on, and I tried a different kinda exam or tests of trying to experiments, and I found the experiments that worked. I said, Okay, I've been tracking people's careers for five, 10 years, and I know when I asked that question three years ago, this is what happened, and here's how I answered it.
So I think it's a little bit unusual, but it's this, it's this live laboratory of interviewing people and understanding a performance that has taken place over five or 10 or 15 or 20 years. I'm sorry again for that long answer, but
Renata: No, that's perfect. when I found out about you and I read that article that you repost today about the most important question I read it.
I was trying to remember when I first read it. I think it was 2016 17, as I was preparing for another job, and I was also coaching people already at that time and. what I felt as somebody who has been a candidate many times and had to go through a lot of interviews, it's just the way that you ask that question makes the candidate feel more comfortable with themselves and with their experience.
Whereas when you know you're getting a behavior type question, tell me about it. it, it just immediately makes the candidate worry about that star format and the framing of it. Yeah. And it becomes more of an issue that the formatting of how you answer the question is more of an issue. The content of, you know, your experience and what you're trying to convey.
So it's really confusing, especially because professionals are not always job hunting. So they don't get to get good at answering questions. They get to get good at doing their jobs. So if you're asking a question about their jobs and when they performed really well at their jobs in a way that's really natural, it sounds natural.
The answer comes also in a more natural way. That's what I really liked about that post and those extended questions, you know, how you expand on that first question, I thought, well, this would make me feel really comfortable with a recruiter if it was asked in that format.
Lou Adler: What also makes you feel, and I tell hiring managers and recruiters all the time, is that there's more to an interview than just assessing competency.
You also wanna recruit the candidate. Cause if the candidate's any good, that person's gonna use the quality of your interview to say, I wanna work for that person. And if your interview is respectful and understanding and they leave and they why that person really dug deep into my background and really understands what I'm capable of doing and I wanna work for that person.
Yeah. But I also tell candidates, and I tell this cause I've interviewed thousands and thousands of candidates. I tell 'em, candidate, if I represent you, there's a good chance you're gonna get the offer. Cause I don't send a lot of candidates in. So there's probably 25 to 35% change. You'll get an offer, but you better do a good job of interviewing.
So I'm gonna prep you on how to interview well, and I said I quite frankly, I couldn't care if you're a crappy interviewer or not. It doesn't bother me at all. , you gotta be Good person. If I think you're a good person and can do this work, I'm gonna make you a, at least a good enough interviewer.
That won't be the issue. So I tell candidates alike, if you do a great job in the interview, don't feel so great about yourself because it just means you're a good presenter. And if you do a crappy job of interviewing, don't feel too bad. It just means you're a crappy interviewer. I do with you. Good or bad on the job.
I said, So we created a class and if you go to win-win hiring.com, I charge people five bucks. Cuz that's what I gotta pay the people. It's a 30 day on how to prep for an interview. Oh, right. But it's important for candidates to take control of the interview. And one thing I, and I'm having a book club meeting on the day after tomorrow and it's for candidates.
And I tell candidates if you're an interview and ask somebody asks you a stupid question or it's unclear just to say, if they ask you a behavioral question, like, Hey, tell me about when you're results oriented. You might just wanna push back a little bit and say, Hey, hiring manager, interviewer, Where in this area is it most critical for this job to be results-oriented?
Because I'd like to give you a story or an example of work that I've done that's related to the job. So, pushing back and asking for clarity around the question. Number one, brands you as somebody who's different than typical candidate, you're going to, cuz you're a little pushy, not too pushy, but pushy enough.
The fact that you have the confidence to ask the question says, Wow, this person's kind of confident as important is getting the answer. You have to give an example of that's related to the job. So you'll understand by saying, Hey, how is that related to the job? Or can you exp clarify what this job really requires?
And you give an example of that work, you're now focusing on your ability to do that. Related to the job. the question alone will put you in the top half of all the candidates. If you answer it properly, you'll get an, well, you'll be in the top 25% of all candidates. So, and again, I've prepped, literally probably been involved, I've interviewed probably 10,000 candidates over 40 years.
So it's not that many per year when you think about it, it's a lot of years. But I've prepped a lot then I call hiring managers up the interviewer up right after that. What'd you think of the candidate and how the candidate call me. So I kind of get this instant feedback of how different reactions are.
cause I've been conducting this experiment in real time for so many years. It's not this human insight, it's just, hey, if you do an experiment 50, 50 times or a hundred times and 500 times, you start seeing what works and what doesn't work. So I think the issue that I see as a candidate asking for clarity around a job, Hey Ranata, could you tell me a little bit about what this job's all about or some of the challenges?
Lou Adler: I'd like to give you examples of work that are most related to what you need. That's just a game changer. You've now focused on the real work and you have an opportunity to give an examples of work you've done that are most related. Yeah.
Renata: Lou, what would you suggest a candidate do when a question is asked that the candidate perceived as being incredibly biased?
So, you know, I had a, a couple of clients recently, both in the US and in Australia, that were asked questions that made me worried as their coach. I'll give you an example. A new not new, you know, she's been in Australia for about five years, but one of the first questions that she got on the panel was, has it been difficult adapting to working in a.
and she immediately thought, you know, that they had already a bias towards the fact that she doesn't have strong experience in Australia, that she has worked overseas and they were concerned about, you know,she didn't get the job in the end. And I think one of the reasons for is that she is fairly new to the job market here.
Lou Adler: Well, I think so again, let's be proactive as your candidate. So you asked me a question that maybe I'm a little old. Let's assume I am a little old, so I don't want mm-hmm. , but I'm a lot old, so let's not get into it. But irrespective, if you have a sense of any question, just, Hey Renata, so let's take this example.
Mm-hmm. , I understand I haven't been in the Australian market very long in working. But I've been in a lot of different markets where I've had an opportunity to adapt to the circumstances. Would you mind giving me an example of where you feel that that would be a great concern in this job? Not understanding how the Australian marketplace or working cross-functionally might work?
Mm. So now, now you've pushed the question back. Yes. They now they gotta expose their bias. I love that. And again, there was a, a situation and it had to be real long ago, but so I'm not po the guy was very soft spoken candidate, very soft spoken. And I said, You gotta ask more questions cuz my goal was to pursue.
And he just said, I understand this is a pretty, and he was a very thoughtful, I understand this is a very challenging environment and cross-functional working with manufacturing. And he said it calmly a little, mm-hmm. not, and he said, Can you gimme some examples of how being able to. Coordinate different cross-functional teams of different varieties and different levels will be critical to success on the job.
Cause I'd like to give an example of work that I've done and I think are related to that. So he was in a very soft spoken manner. Mm-hmm. , he just pushed back and I kind of told him he had to ask that question cause he was soft spoken, but I knew it was good. I knew he could answer the question. He just had to be asked the question.
So in this case, right, he didn't wait for the question to be asked. He asked the question. Right. So in your case, you knew that this candidate was gonna have that problem cuz they didn't have much work. So they have, rather than wait for the question to be asked proactively intervene. So now it says, Hey, I'm gonna deal with your bias right away.
Yes. Now let's assume you have a weak accent or tough accent and you could as, and you're saying some accent is, you know, I understand that communicating with different kinds of people at different levels, professionals and customers will be critical for this job. I mean, this person's got a bad, a weak accent and they know they.
They said yes. Can you gimme examples of how that might be on the job? I'd like to address that and I Sure that will be a concern for you. Mm-hmm. . So you raise the concern by asking a question and then you answer. Now obviously if you can't answer it properly, you are not gonna get the job. But by addressing it, you put it in the park, you don't put it in the parking lot, but hey, you know that you have these issues.
Hey, I'm an old guy. I know that you're gonna feel uncomfortable with my old, but I'm pretty energetic and I can still get the job done, but you've gotta raise the issue. So I'd say you gotta be proactive and not wait for it to happen. And hopefully I don't ask it. You know, put, get in your face and ask the question.
So that's how the advice I would give to people. Lou, you
Renata: know what I love about this discussion? And your answer is, Up until now, whenever I have the situation with a client, I tell them to listen to an episode of a podcast that's not mine. It's Seth Go and he's talking about what we, he calls, he has a fancy word for it, like meta discourse, but it's basically what you're saying is addressing the elephant in the room and taking control over the narrative and, you know, telling people that you can do the job despite or because of whatever it is that they've identified in you.
And that has been part of my coaching. And, and now instead of sending people to see somebody else's podcast, I can say, just listen to my conversation with Lou . Good idea. So I'm really excited about that. Thank you so much. But you know, most recently now, Just to give you an idea about the, how the job hunting podcasts have grown.
I started it in October, Halloween, day of October, 2019. So just before the pandemic hit, and I will tell you what I did, I prerecorded lots of episodes, right? And I said, Oh, this is gonna be fantastic. I'm gonna be able to say to people a whole bunch of things I've always wanted to say and teach people how to job hunt.
And then the pandemic hit and the episodes just didn't make sense anymore. Yeah, I feel like now I have to always reflect what's happening in the job market at that point in time, because there was a time, as you remember, there were no jobs. All of a sudden there were lots of jobs and then people were resigning and now people are quiet, quitting.
Like there's always something going on and I have to address. Yeah. I wonder if you could share with us, you know, because you have such amazing experience, what have you noticed in the past three years that have fundamentally. Changed in recruitment and selection of candidates, if anything, Or maybe I'm just overstating it.
Lou Adler: No, no. I think well, let's go up to 19 or 2019. Human nature didn't change. Mm-hmm. Darwin's theory didn't change. The evolution still existed. People said, people, the younger people are lazy. I said, No, they're not. They just got crappy jobs. So . But, and I think what what changed about 30 years ago was job boards.
Before job boards, It wasn't hard. You had to really work to change jobs. So if you had a job, you didn't just apply and hope you got another interview the next day. So people stayed with companies longer, in many cases, longer than they should because it was hard to change jobs and interviewing again, didn't relate to your ability.
So it was hard. And you kind had be committed to change jobs. So I think over the last, up till 2019, people changed jobs because it was easy. I just applied to another job and if you're good, you'll get an interview and you'll go out and you'll visit in, in a week or so, over two weeks you could find another job.
and then people said, Wow, people are lazy. No, they just people looked at a job as not as important. It was very transactional. I'll just buy it from my, you buy me per time. They pay me as much as you can, and I'll be kind of happy or not happy. And then if that doesn't work, I'll get another job.
Lou Adler: So I think we've made job changings a superficial thing. So now let's go to 2019. I don't think that thing has changed about jobs, but I think the idea of work has fundamentally changed. I this, I truly believe because of working at home and part-time work, that has fundamentally changed how work will be done.
You can't force people to come in. But I think some work needs to be collaborative and in person. Other times it doesn't have to be a full-time that has to evolve and how companies actually define and argue and organize work. And that was a real burden on the hiring manager to coordinate all these little pieces.
So that's a cultural issue that companies are gonna have to deal with. Now, from a candidate interviewing standpoint of getting the job, it really means that video interviews like this are very, very critical, very, very critical. And I don't know that, you know, I talk about the accent and the speed of talking.
I talk very fast. I'm from New York so I talk fast and I recognize that. Mm-hmm. , I have to slow down. if I'm trying to sell my client, but I can't, so I just deal with it. If you can't deal with it,So be it. So what I think candidates and how you interview that becomes very, very critical is that you have to be able to ask the questions.
You have to be able to get your personality in there, the length of your answers and all those things around. Being a good interviewer online and a good presenter online is very, very critical. Mm-hmm. . And I think people, if I was just to give advice to a candidate without thinking deeply, I would start taking some, I would kind of put some training classes online and just develop 'em for yourself.
You learn how to communicate on to a group, whether you ever put 'em on there, but I would kind of create, tell candidate, Hey, tell stories, online, video and then listen to it to make sure that you're making an effective program online. That would be a kind of a prep that I would probably help people do.
The problem I think, is when candidates accept offers, And hiring manager give offers. They're now kind of thinking very short term, I gotta get this person to do job. They sound pretty good online. I'll take this job. I think there's another level of superficiality added to working and organizing work, which I don't think we'd fully understood.
If I was gonna hire somebody online I'd really want to spend a little bit more time. It's very hard for me to hire somebody full time without knowing the person, meeting the person, having lunch or dinner with the person. Meeting in a little kind of a workshop session, I just would feel very uncomfortable.
But you have to do it now. Yes, I've one person and and I didn't feel, and it, I've had a meet her now a number of times in person, but I was quite uncomfortable doing it before I actually met her in person. I had a feeling gonna work and I was probably right, but I needed to do it anyway. And nonetheless, there was a lot more risk associated with it on both sides.
Renata: Yes. Although I interviewed a dean of a university here during the pandemic, and I'll put a link in the show notes for those listening later. And Nick was telling me, works for the top university in Australia, Australian National University, and he had hired three people during the pandemic that were still overseas, unable to move to Australia because the country was completely shut down.
I don't know if you know much about how Australia managed the Covid 19 situation, but we shut down. There were no flights to Australia. And that, was just amazing to see people hiring at that very senior academic level, not being able to come to. in the country that they're now being hired to work and, doing all that selection process remotely.
Whereas in the past, universities would spend quite a lot of money scouting academics overseas, especially in Australia cuz we want to grow our relevance in university rankings. So you would try to hire people and go overseas and scout and spend quite a lot of money doing so. So things have changed a lot.
One thing that I've noticed as well, because my, clients are usually 40 plus middle managers and up, you know, up to C level and right during the pandemic it went from. Face to face networking to get a CEO their next job to all of a sudden a straight to camera interview. You have five minutes to answer three questions,
Yeah. And that is a true story. You know, it was a hospital CEO role and of course the client was not prepared for it. and up until, you know, a few months before that sort of technology was being used to hire graduates and junior staff for, you know, large organizations like banks, you know, you wouldn't have used that technology to hire C level executives.
So what is your view on that and how do you train recruiters and, candidates to deal with that level of technology?
Lou Adler: Well, again, I'll, go back to the core level. Mm. If you don't know how to answer a question, it doesn't matter what technology you use. And I'll say, ask and answer questions to make sure you're inter being interviewed properly.
Once you get that down, then the technology just becomes an enabler of asking the questions. But if you don't know how to ask and answer questions, and the interviewer doesn't know how to ask and answer questions, then you're focusing more on the presentation of the candidate and the technology then becomes a complicated, Oh god.
Was, now you're already nervous and now you're ly nervous cuz you're asking, you got this technology piece that intercedes, that kind of messes you up. So when I go back, so I've always suggested 30 years ago, maybe it was even 40 years ago, I said, the one, the best way to eliminate interviewer bias is conduct a phone screen for 30 minutes before you ever meet the person in person.
This was before Zoom and I, people wouldn't even have a phone call. But it was, if I just have a phone call, Hey, I'm gonna ask you a few questions, Ranata, and I always had my hiring managers do it. So if I had a candidate, Ranata, I really like this person, would you have a phone screen before we organize it?
So I would actually tell you what to ask as a CL hiring manager and I'd kind of say, Hey, just dig deep into this person's accomplishments. I feel that they're related to the job that we've discussed, so I kind of controlled what the hiring manager would ask and I controlled what the candidate would answer.
And they'd have a 30 minute call and you would then invite the candidate in for a full interview on site. Mm-hmm. . Now that burden was on you. Normally, if I was a recruiter to set the meeting up, you, the hiring manager would think it's my fault that I interview the candidate. But in this case, you then invited the candidate up.
So you took responsibility for doing a better job. Number one, I reduced bias because we're focused on accomplishments. Number two, you didn't blame me for interviewing a candidate. You blamed yourself for interviewing it, and you tended to not wanna do it improperly. So you actually conducted a better interview.
So the phone screen always became a powerful, powerful tool to increase assessment accuracy. And I told candidates, whether I put you or not is I would always demand a phone screen before you go on site. Don't waste your time going on site. Now. This was 10 years ago before Zoom. Mm-hmm. . It's hard to just have a phone call right now.
That's not video. So you kind of say, Okay, that's gonna happen. You gotta deal with it. It's gonna be a video phone screen. But if you really understand how to ask questions as a candidate, and the the way I say to an ask him is, Hey, Ranata, could you gimme some examples of big projects or big challenges that candidates gonna face on the job?
I'd like to give you examples of work that I've done that are most related. So that's kind of how you get the hiring manager and even you gotta do that on video or not. You gotta do it. I tell candidates to use what I call the A F W response to talk two to three minutes for every single answer. A fw say a few words, make an opening statement.
It just kind of highlights what you've done, amplify it. I tell you over the last three to, you know I understand that working cross-functionally with manufacturing, engineering and accounting is critical. Over the last three to five years, I've worked a lot with different levels and different jobs related to that in this, information.
Then they, so it's essays. Say a few examples. Make a statement, amplify the statement, then give an example. Let me give you a specific example of where I did that, which happened a year and a half ago, Ranata, where I had to, I over, I was involved in a project where I was doing all of the engineering design work for this new system.
And the area that I thought was interesting is then you kind of give us some story about, Hey, marketing wanted this, the finance people wanted this. And I came and I developed a way to bridge the gap between our cost function, the customer who wanted this, and we could optimize it. And I feel very comfortable that I can work cross functioning like that.
That's an example. Yes. And wrap it up. And I said, if those are the kinds of things that you've done here, I really feel that's my strength, is to bring these different kind of parties together and understand what we're really trying to do and deliver good products to our customers. Now if you really understand how to ask questions that are relevant and answer questions that are relevant around your strengths and weaknesses, Then it doesn't matter the vehicle in which you use to communicate.
Mm-hmm. and I, think is at the core and I, I really focus hiring managers and recruiters and candidates alike have to be good at presenting their information and asking it. And then the technology in which that's communicated becomes a secondary issue. But if you don't know either of the first two parts, the technology screws everybody up and you walk away and say, Oh, I did a crappy telephone interview.
No, you did a crappy interview cause you weren't prepared to, regardless of the interview. So yes,
Renata: it's easy to blame your technology when in fact that there is that core that needs to be developed and understood. I
Lou Adler: agree. You know, things go screw up and you deal with, I didn't know if I was gonna get, you didn't just sent me this LinkedIn thing to hear and I realized, hey, how could I not have.
You know, you deal with
Renata: it. Lou, the the win-win hiring system that you've developed and you teach can you explain to candidates what it means? Because I think that a lot of people will resonate with it considering how important culture, culture and a good workplace has become for people that are changing jobs in 2022.
Lou Adler: Well, let me do it two ways. Okay. So let me kinda, let's assume you were, you were not over my candidate for a job. Let's assume the marketing director of marketing I might say, Hey, Renata, I really like your background and this is in the first 20 minutes. I really like your background. I wanna spend more time digging into it, but I wanna set end this call today with this idea.
If I actually, and I, there's a lot of work to be done, but if I present you as a candidate, I'm only gonna send three or four candidates. That's the deal I always have. So I've gotta do my due diligence to make sure you're one of 'em. But if you're one of the candidates, you're gonna be a 30 to 40% chance you'll get an offer.
But I want to kind of set the stage here for you to think about how you're gonna accept an offer three or four weeks from now. If we go forward, you're gonna have probably three or four different interviews of different people. If you get an offer three or four days before you actually get this offer, I'm gonna call you up and say, Renata, forget the money.
Do you really want this job? Because if you don't want this job, we're not gonna make you an offer. But I want you to tell me why you want this job without being the money biasing your. And I expect you to tell me what I call what I we. In my company, we have what we call win-win hiring outcome. A win-win hiring outcome means we, we measure success for you.
Taking this job on the anniversary or anniversary date, not the start date, meaning a year from the day you start, Let's assume it was December 1st, next year, December 1st, I'm gonna call you up 2023. I'm gonna say, How's Renata? How's that job going? And you're gonna say, It was a great job. And I'm gonna call the hiring manager up and say, How's Renata doing?
And say, Well, she's great. That's a positive win-win hiring outcome. But to get to that, the job has to be the right job for you. You have to be motivated to do that work. You have to see the growth and the opportunity that job represents is the right place. You have to see the culture is a place where you can thrive.
I talked about the culture being the pace, how decisions are made, the quality of the hiring manager, how you're learning and developing, how that work life balance works for you, your chance to make an impact. So there's a lot of variables we're gonna get into that have nothing to do with the compensation or your benefits package.
Yeah. Over the next two to three weeks, it is incumbent upon us and the company to get you all the information to make the right decision, but it's incumbent upon you to gather that information and compare every other opportunity you have. Not on the compensation package, but on the work itself, the environment in which that work takes place.
And if you're motivated to do that work. Cuz I don't want you to kind of say, I, they promised me all this and it isn't the job I wanted. No, we're gonna get it. We're gonna tell you exactly the challenges that you have in this job and why they're motivating for you. We're gonna ask questions about that.
We're gonna ask a question about the. That's what we call win-win hiring, outcome, hiring for the anniversary date, not the start date. And it's incumbent upon the company, the hiring manager, the recruiter, to get, give you that information. But it's incumbent upon you, the candidate and the candidates, advisors, friends, family, spouse to evaluate the career opportunity itself, not the size of the compensation package.
And I know, Renata, you're gonna focus the day, you get an offer, you'll have two or three offers, you're gonna focus more on the biggest pay package. No, you gotta focus on what's the biggest career package. And that's hard to do. But I wanna start to set the stage right now of why win-win hiring is so important in outcome.
Renata: Lou, how, how do you balance that with this other concept that I've, read in one of your articles about not moving jobs if it's not for a raise of 30% or more
So here's what I say, Renata. Then you might wanna say, What do you mean by how do I know if it's a big enough job?
Lou Adler: I said, I use what I call the 30% solution now. Now we have to give you at least a 30% increase, but it's nothing to do with money. It's not money, it's job impact. It could be a more important job, it could be a bigger job, it could be more learning, more growth, more satisfaction. Each of those pieces could be worth five or 10% better than what you're getting now, or other jobs.
Collectively, they have to be at least 30% better than what you're doing from the non-monetary standpoint. Mm-hmm. , obviously the compensation has to be competitive. So I don't wanna minimize it, but if we're, But once the compensation is competitive, it becomes less important. So don't make it too important.
It's gotta be in the game, and I understand that. But if you get 30% non-monetary inquiries, you'll be making a heck of a lot more next year and a year after that. Yeah. So don't think about what you're getting on the start date. Think about what you're gonna be getting next year and a year after that, and a year after that.
So if we put you on a biggest growth path, the money's gonna be insignificant. What you get today, we're. All the money you're gonna get in the future and growing faster, the best career not only will you get more money, but you'll have a heck of a lot more satisfaction and a better life.
Renata: So do you think that a red flag for a lack of win-win strategy from a candidate's perspective would be, you know, focusing too much on the package?
What would be the red flag for the employer so that the candidate kind of, sort of thinks, Oh, maybe this is not the win-win employment for me? what would be a red flag doing the recruitment process for the candidate? Well, let's see.
Lou Adler: If I'm interviewing a candidate, I, during the work history review, I always say, Hey, Renata, tell me how'd you change jobs?
Why did you go from your current job to the one you just had? And you'll say it was a career opportunity in growth. I say, Well, did you get that out of that job? Mm-hmm. , They say, Well, no, they promised me this and they promised me that. So everyone will say they took the job for career reasons, but the reality is they took it for the pay package.
I said, Well, let's go back. Why'd you go from job B to job C? Which was only three years ago. Well, I did it cuz career up. What happened? Then they did it for, they promised me this but didn't do that. And I said, Redon, you know you're changing jobs. I know you say it for career reason, but you're not doing your due diligence.
That's really not the reality of what, You might use those words and believe that, but the reality is you're taking it for the pay package. Now, I might, as a recruiter, I would say that to the candidate as a career coach, and I think you were not talking to your clients, you could see why they've changed jobs.
But I look at changing jobs as a strategic decision to improve growth. If two or three times you just change it for the money, you're really basically saying, now I'm just out for the money. Push your, and you, you're kind of plateaued to where you are. You're not getting bigger jobs, bigger teams growing, taking on more important projects.
So as a red flag for me is, hey, your growth is plateaued and you gimme a lot of Bs. Which is American term for bullshit. Yes. or and you can cut that out if you want, but , no, it will stay in, I know, I know if a candidate is serious or not. Why they take jobs and they and just like, I think most people would say when I told you I changed jobs, cause my boss was a micromanager.
This was 44 years ago. People would believe that I could go through it and I could tell you all the other jobs that I've had, but I had a pretty good growth path and most people thought I was an idiot for doing it to get, leave a company where I was really growing and had a huge job. Irrespective of that, the point is by really understanding, you can't hide your growth.
You can't hide your decisions. You might be able to think, you can talk your way out of them. The reality of it is the progression shows. So to me, no progression, a lot of words and no action, and a lot of job changes for superficial reasons is pretty clear. And that's the red flag I have when I'm interviewing a candidate.
I also was, you know, I sent you this question ahead of our interview cuz I wanted to discuss the deadly sins of recruitment with you, , because I, I already like that terminology and I think that, you know, as you can imagine when a client. Reaches out to me. They're usually frustrated with how their job search is going.
Renata: They usually have either tried to job hunt by themselves and didn't have, you know, a good run or they are avoiding it. They're procrastinating, but if they have tried, they have bumped into bottleneck along the way. They feel they've been ghosted, they feel like they've gone through, you know rounds and rounds and rounds of interviews that led to not much at all happening.
And they, you know, want to work with a coach to identify how to advance in those processes with less stress and feeling less overwhelmed by it. So I was wondering if you could share with us maybe not all 10 deadly hiring scenes, but maybe
Lou Adler: one, I don't remember that article, so I don't remember. Was that my article?
Renata: it was a an article from ages ago, the 10 Deadly Hiring Sins that, people have during job, you know, the recruitment of
Lou Adler: candidates. The article that I kind of remember for candidates was called 15 Ways to Hack a Job. So if you look up on LinkedIn, hack a job. It might be related to those two.
I just don't recall the other one. But the one that I, I give the advice I give to Ken, I'm gonna give a story from about 10 years ago. Okay. It was very similar. He was a young fellow, I guess who was young, but I don't really know that he was getting his master's degree in marketing research or something.
And he was Italian and he calls me up and he had a pretty strong accent, but I understood it. And he said, I want to get a job in the big tele in a big, one of the big telecommunication companies in Europe. And Siemens was one of 'em. And I don't remember the name of German one, another German, Siemens was German, I can't remember the other name.
Mm-hmm. . And I, he, I said, What kind of work do you do? And he told me, I said, Why don't you do this? And he wanted to work at the VP level. So I said, Well, you could easily find out the names of the VP marketing of any of those companies or any of those divisions. Why don't you just pick five or 10 of 'em, get the VP marketing.
And then read their products, their product line and look at their competition, which you can do it, you're a marketing analyst. So do a little two or three page PowerPoint or consulting study, which created a competitive analysis of their products against their competition. Yeah, just a little matrix and a little story of what you could do and say, Hey, I've been doing this.
I'd like to work at your company and really take this project a little bit further. And then he, so about a week, two weeks later, a month later, he called, Hey Lou, I got, I sent it to five people. I got three interviews, three interviews just based on, and he sent me, and I don't, I, maybe he told me what the project was cuz I don't remember seeing it, but it was obviously pretty good.
He said, Okay, here's Seaman's doing this. This company's doing this, this company, and here's their biggest system. It was a PBX or some kind of telecommunication switching system. And I had done some in work in that industry, so I kind of knew the words that he was using. Then he said, I got three interviews and they're coming up in the next two weeks.
I lost track of the guy for about a year and a half. I looked on his resume. He works, he was working at one of the companies. But the idea was, and some people, Oh, I'm not gonna do consulting for free now. Do consulting for free. You're not really doing it. You're getting an interview. It's like market, it's like marketing.
If you're a marketing guy, it's like marketing. Hey, here's how a competitive analysis would be. Here's what I've done so far. It take three or four hours to do it to get a job and you wouldn't, you have a chance to talk to the VP Marketing, Give me a break. This is kind of the coolest thing in the world.
And you complain that you're giving consulting, wait for free. You're not gonna get the job you kind people wanna work for. Or I wanna play. So I mean, even the fact that somebody was having not gonna give consulting away for free, I'd say, you know, give consulting away for free because you're gonna get a full-time job and you won't be paid for free.
So to me it's kind of like, Hey, this is what marketing people do all the time. And in many ways, getting a job is very akin to marketing. Yes. And very akin to sales. Yes, absolutely. If you're not a good marketing person or good salesperson to get a job, you have to be a good marketing person, a good salesperson.
Being a good marketing person gets you the chance to make a presentation. Being a good salesperson gives you a chance to close the deal and the way you close the deal. Hey, you know I really appreciate having the opportunity to interview. Why don't you walk me through some of your challenges?
I'd like to give you examples of work that I've done that related, if that's close, and we'll see if I'm competent and motivated to do this work. I mean, and so if you think about marketing and sales as a way to get a job it's a total, it's what you have to do to to get there. So I don't know if that's probably one of the ways to hack a job, but there's a lot, probably other stories related to that, that I if you read between the lines, you'll see other opportunities to get.
Renata: I love that story, Lou, because first of all, what you've just said about marketing is so true. and ironically, so many of my clients have a comms background or a marketing or sales background, . So some of them are listening. If, if you're listening, you know who you are. But you know, applying that to your own career is a different story.
But once you understand that it's needed, then they have the, the sort of the tools, the career tools are already there for them. Whereas when I have a client, let's say with a finance background, they may not have the marketing tools, but they have the discipline and the consistency and the, you know, that routine of taking up a new project that is so important.
And that's the other thing that you've mentioned as well with your example, is the idea that to hack a job, you have to also. Carve out the time to do the work. , you need to sort of understand that as
Lou Adler: a project. One thing you should never do is apply to a job posting that is the biggest waste of time in the world.
Mm-hmm. job postings are useless unless you're a perfect fit. Do not apply, but you can use. Oh wow. That's a big statement. Oh, it's, it's true statement. Yeah. I mean, I was at, and this had to be 2018 or 2017. Now I think, I'm actually thinking it had to be 2020. It was the last flight I had. Business trip was at a big applicant tracking system conventional with all their customers.
And the CEO of the company said, Our, system has handled 60 million job postings in the past five years. So this was, they handled, they managed them. It's called an applicant tracking system. Mm-hmm. . And he said, and based on that, 600,000 people got jobs. and they all clapped and I'm sitting in a room.
I said, Why would anybody clap? It's 1%. this is where I talk about, it's too easy to apply to a job. It's a waste of time. There's only a 3% chance you'll get interviewed and a 1% chance you'll get hired. So why bother? I mean, to me, the biggest, if you're gonna save time, is don't.
On the other hand, you see a job posting for a engineer, a director of accounting or a cost mat, whatever the job is, use that as a lead. Ah, mm-hmm. , this company is hiring a cost person, or this company's hiring a marketing analyst, or this company's hiring a director of logistics. Well, don't apply to the job.
If they're hiring a director of logistics and you're a background in logistics, find out you can go on LinkedIn and instantly find out who the vice President of Logistics and supply chain. And then say, Hey, I understand. And then also might wanna look for other jobs that that same company's doing. Oh, the hiring drug logistics, and they're launching a couple new products and they're expanding their manufacturing operations.
Well now you know that they're investing money in a new product line. And they're gonna be from procurement in Asian procurement, whatever it may be. You have a lot of research now, write a little story and maybe even put a little video together. Hey, I've done work. I'm looking at what the work you've done.
I see you're launching a new product. I have some background in that. Here's a two minute video. I'd love to come in and chat with you. Or you hack a job that way. But you can use that lead as, or that job posting as a lead for another job rather than applying, applying as a worst thing you can possibly do.
Let me tell you, if you're apply, do not apply. You will not get a good job. And you'll not get paid enough. It'll be a dumb decision. And I think, and if you think that applying for job is a way to get one, and you are so proud that you apply to a hundred jobs, no, you've Waste a lot of paper and wasted a lot of overhead.
And it waste a lot of people's time by applying, including more importantly, you will not get a good job as a result of it. So I say, Hey, getting a job at sales. Do you think, you think sales people go out and oh, this company's wants to buy a new system. Oh, I'll just send 'em my summary and they'll buy my product from me.
No, it doesn't happen that way. If you want a good job, you're gonna have to work for it. But if you spin your, if you narrow your focus to five or 10 situations and work hard on five or 10 deals with five or 10 companies, something's gonna, it's gonna pay off in the future.
Renata: Lou do you also think, you know, what's your view on passive recruitment of candidates?
Do you think that those jobs that are advertised are in fact filled or, you know, considered and shortlisted via passive recruitment? By recruiters contact me. Yeah. I I, I have a feeling that a lot of the shortlist now is done by passive recruitment instead of, there is a direct
Lou Adler: applications, well there is a hidden job market.
Mm-hmm. , that job posting went up because company that they legally had to post it. But in parallel, they're also looking for their network or other people they know who might get it. And if they had somebody that, they probably would've filled it right away. So by the time you see a posting, it's almost too late.
They're already interview. It doesn't mean it's not existing, but don't apply cuz it's, it doesn't matter whether it's late or not. But if you've, if you've identified 10 or 20 companies that you think are growing in your local market and. I'll work there start doing the research about it, look at the job postings, look at all the postings and something, and then start networking with, I just talk to that VP of marketing or the director of logistics or supply chain, these people and recognize if, if someone just gives you the resume, if someone in a company gives you the resume, you know, if they don't know you, you're put on the top of the list right away if you apply at the bottom of the list.
So getting to the top of the list is takes some work, takes a little bit of leads, but yeah. Is it a passive market? Is that, I don't know if it's passive, but it's there's certainly candidates who are known to the hiring manager who are the first choice and only because there's a less risk to the hiring manager to hire someone he or she's worked with versus someone who's a stranger.
Same thing with a candidate. Hey, you're a stranger. It's, you got a lot of issues here when you starting a job, it's a risk for you too as a candidate. And that's why I, I tell hiring managers spend more time with fewer people. convert strangers to acquaintances before they become employees and that it goes both sides of the the desk and that hit that.
You can tell I'm pretty opinionated with respect to how all this should be done. Oh,
Renata: I knew that already, . So I'm glad that you're here telling us, you know exactly as it is. Lou, one thing that you mentioned before was a, you know, not with these words, but you, you mentioned age, you know, as one of the elephants in the room that can show up in, career progression and ageism is something that I deal with, you know, clients as well.
And, you know, you have such an amazing sort of business and career and you know, you're still going strong. When I grow up, I want to be like you. So I want you to teach me the secret sauce. What's the secret to carrying on and working and having that longevity and recognized expertise throughout your career?
Lou Adler: Yeah. I don't know that there's a secret. Again, it's kind of like, In some way I fell into this. Become a recruiter. No one would ever have thought that I could become a recruiter. My early background was an engineer. I was actually working on a nuclear missile project when I was 22. I went to blow up a nuclear missile when it was off course.
I then got into finance and accounting and I with these companies, said, You know, we gotta, actually, we could produce these missiles more accurately if we did this and this. And then I kind of got a master's degree in finance and accounting. Then I got into manufacturing and then I quit because I didn't like the boss and I became a recruiter.
But I also could see how that business process applied. And I made quite a bit of money as a recruiter. So I didn't, Once I made enough money, I said, I don't care about the money that much. And now very few people could make that statement. I kind of lucked out. That I believe that, and my wife supported it, but nobody would feel sorry for me.
I don't live in a, I do live in, by the beach. It's not that I live near the Pacific Ocean, but that's, so, that's obviously not my house back there. But I live in a very delightful area Laguna Beach, Southern California, and I'm feel blessed to be here. But I also enjoy the work that I do is try to understand the complexities of human nature and behavioral science and psychology and all this.
So I get jazzed about thinking of how those pieces come together and how to articulate that in a 600 word article with a graphic. So I don't know that. And I, but I don't enjoy it full time. I work halftime right now and I got this new course from LinkedIn and I'm enjoy doing it, but I can do it at halftime, so that's kind of fun.
So I don't know that there's a secret sauce and I don't know that I could replicate what I've done here. A lot of my friends, I still keep in touch with friends from college and high school and they're all retired or all but one of 'em. those that continue to work seem to be the most satisfied.
If they do work, they kind of like to do. Oh, great. So I think that's probably the issue is you gotta find something you like to do and if you're forceful enough to take it for the right reasons, which is maybe it's a 30% solution, I don't know, but you gotta think about what's, what's a non-monetary impact of these jobs.
And I see too many people focus on things because of what they get on the start date. And I tell candidates to think about this. In fact, I've got a hiring manager class and I talked to about 30 or 40 recruits and hiring managers, and I said to them, To get them the mindset of what this course is about.
I said, Imagine you were a candidate taking a job and you started that job six months or a year ago and you're at some family party or some family event and your favorite uncle or your, somebody who you, a friend of yours you hadn't seen for us, says, Oh, I understand you got a new job. How's a job going?
And you say, Great. What was the reason? It was great. And I had everyone put in the chat, Why is this a great job for you? And I said, Well, this is, And then, then I'm back to recruiters in Hireman. I said, This is what you have to give to the candidate whom you're gonna hire that a six months or year after they start, they'll say, This job is great and we're gonna show you how to do that in this course.
But it's also, candidates have to think the same thing. Hey, think about you're in a job six, or think about a job you really thought was a great. Was a great job for you. Why was it great? Well, don't accept another job unless you know those things. And it's not the money, it's the work. It's the people, it's the team, it's the environment, It's the culture.
It's the things you do every day to get you up in the morning and go to work. And if it isn't, and if you can replicate that greatness. Yeah. Taking five or 10% money isn't a big deal. It's doing that work you want every day. So maybe that's the message you were looking for, Renata. I think it's close.
Renata: it was a very selfish question. I wanted to know, cuz I want to be like you working and helping clients. You know, for as long as I can, I really take, I think, I think what you said is you have to get a kick out of this. You know, it has to be something that you're passionate about and that.
Energizes you and I'll take energy from you, I suppose, right?
Lou Adler: No, and that's the boss. He took energy from me. I can think of him 44 years ago when I quit . He, he sucked me out for two days every time he showed up and, oh no, I tried to put handcuffs on me and I said, No, I'm not gonna take those handcuffs.
Sorry, , push you to pull that off. So I was pushy enough to make it happen.
Renata: No, I think, he did you a great favor cuz then you started working as a recruiter and, you know, it's, it's been a much better recruitment world because of the advice you've, you've been giving people lu. So thank you so much for your time today.
you know, it's, amazing to have you on board.
Renata: Do you have any last advice before we, close today?
Lou Adler: Well, I guess the only I, number one, thank you very much for Nada. They were very nice, warm comments, so I appreciate that. And good, good questions. I'd say preparation is key for a candidate. You gotta know your strengths and weaknesses. So I tell candidates, write down your strengths and weaknesses and come up with a story for each one.
A good two to three minute story for each one that can prove. That you're analytical, that prove that you're good team skills, prove that your results focus, prove that you can deal with flexibility. Go through it all and make sure you have those stories. So when someone asks you a question, Hey, can you gimme an example of something?
Cause I'll ask you the behavioral questions. If you can relate that to the job and a true story, you're gonna do a great job in the interview. Even if the question is not as good as it could be, you can still do as great a job as you can do. And that I think is very important. So preparation is key.
Renata: A hundred percent agree.
And Lou, next time I'm in your neck of the woods, I'm gonna come to Laguna Beach and we can have a coffee be
Lou Adler: okay. I got a good Starbucks that overlooks Main Beach. I'm happy to have you beat you there.
Renata: Perfect. Let's do that. That's very much, man. Thank you, Lou. Have a good day. Bye-Bye.
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