539: These 4 Interview Questions Will Help You Find the Best Talent w/ Adam Robinson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Adam Robinson, CEO at Hireology.

Are you struggling to come up withoriginal content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out ofcontent ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the BETBgrowth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whetheryou're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to theright place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into theshow. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today withAdam Robinson. He is the CEO at higher alogy and he's also the authorof the best team wins. Adam, how you doing today? Doing Great. Thanks for having me on. I'm really excited to chat with you today. Adam. We're going to be talking about interview questions today, but underthe scope of something a little bit bigger, really, what you call the forsuper elements that we need to be looking for as we are growing ourteams. And so, obviously, ever, you know, we all know,that the talent that you bring into your organization is huge factor in thesuccess that the organization is going to experience. And so, as we were talkingabout these four super elements offline, I just think they're going to beextremely valuable for the marketing leaders listening to this that are that are growing theirteams. But before we do that, I'd love to give some context asto why you're the guy to be talking about this. Can you tell usa little bit about what you and your team are up to a higher alogy? Sure thing. Higher Alogy is a talent technology platform that helps entrepreneur ladbusinesses and operators be great at the people's side of their business. So weprovide a platform available on a monthly subscription basis that gives you everything you need, from the hosted career site to connection to applicants, to the interview guides, to the drug and background screening tasks,...

...assessments, on boarding, payroll,everything you need to be good at hiring and retention. We're a hundredthirty employee business based in Chicago, on a steep growth trajectory and hanging onfor dear life. I love it. I love it, Adam. So, with that being said, we've got a lot to cover today, soI'd love to dive into these four what you call super elements, and ifyou could start by giving us just kind of a high level understanding, howdid you come about developing these? Well, we end at higher alogy. Startedoff modeling sixty seven competencies we call the elements of success. So whenwe were building our product, we spent two years in the market interviewing hundredsand hundreds of performers at various roles at companies in and around Chicago, inthe Midwest. And what we found where there were sixty seven competencies, someof which were universal, meaning they were always predict of, some of whichwere variable, meaning depending on the job, sometimes they were predictive, and welinked those up in an algorithm and and regression tested interview questions and answersthat we had written to determine whether or not they were present. And whenwe did that, what we found, James, was there were four ofthese elements that were so highly predictive, so highly predictive that for any role, for any job, for any applicant, these are the things you should ask, if nothing else, these are the things to look for. Andwe tied research to these, validated them against our studies and now we referto them as the for super elements, and that's what we'll be talking abouttoday. I love that all right. So let's jump in to this firstsuper element. It's about or it is attitude. How do we assess attitudein an interview? Attitude? First, let's de find that attitude is apositive disposition toward work. So not necessarily I like this job, but moreI like working. And what the research...

...shows is that individuals with a positivedisposition toward work are overwhelmingly more likely to be top corettile performers in any role. And that's intuitive, right. If you like working, you're more likelyto be good at what you're doing because you're enjoying it. Right, it'sa, you know, a chicken our egg benefit, right, I likeworking, so by I'm better at my job and vice versa. So someother interesting research, James, on identical twins separated at birth in help inform workplace attitude and whether or not it's learned or acquired. And so theUniversity of Minnesota over twenty year period, looked at identical twins separated at birth. It never met each other and they follow them into their adult lives fromchildhood, and the results are really cool. But as as far as workplace attitudegoes. But the researchers found was that it didn't matter whether these twins, who never met, were blue in blue collar or white collar jobs,whether one was married the other was divorced. Kids, no kids, high school, Dropout, PhD you know, lived in Phoenix, that them Boston, didn't matter. Identical twins, separated at birth, report statistically identical levelsof job satisfaction. And so what that suggests, it doesn't prove, butstrongly suggests, is that your attitude towards work is most likely hardwired and notacquired. So said, even in even the more basically, the person walkingaround your office with a rain cloud over their head might have some good days, but they're genetically predisposed to have more bad days than good days. Andif you buy that research, and you also believe that the the Meta researchthat shows that better attitude leads to better performance, shouldn't we be screening forattitude in every interview in the answer is yes, of course. And here'sthe question. The question you ask is, tell me about the last time youwere so frustrated at work that you wanted to quit right and for lotsof people that could be today. I...

...mean, you never know, butthat's not what's important. What's important is the follow up question, as itwill be with all of these questions. We talked about why, what wasgoing on, and someone with a positive disposition toward work will go out oftheir way most times to put to use positive language, put a positive spinon a negative or frustrating situation. And so you know, for anyone that'sever been in an interview, I know you've heard an answer like this.Here's an example of an answer you want to hear. Yes, this wasincredibly frustrating. The situation was frustrating and the fact that it kept happening isreally why I'm leaving. But honestly, these folks gave me my start.They taught me this business, they taught me everything I know about marketing andI'm grateful to them for the opportunity. It's just time for me to moveon. All right, there's an example, James, of a good question ora good answer to you know, with a positive spin on a frustratingsituation. Here's the answer you don't want to hear. Those people they likefolks on fire at that agency. That place is a mess. That guycouldn't manage anything. They're terrible. I cannot wait to leave that place right. That would that's an example of a poor attitude towards the workplace or workingand my suggestion is that you just pass immediately because the the likelihood of themnot being a top performer just went way, way up. Got It. That'sthat's that's incredible inside and it makes it makes absolute sense when you whenyou explain it, and the story with identical twins and being I would havenever expected that to be a genetic thing. I would have just assumed it wasa little learned behavior. So this second Super Element, Adam, thatwe're going to be talking about, is accountability. How do we assess that? Well, this is the fancy psychology term for accountability. Is What's calledthe locusts of control, and it's the degree to which an individual believes thatthe things that happen in their life are a result of their own actions ordecisions or the actions of others. So...

...you can have an internal locusts ofcontrol, which means the things that happen in your life or a result ofthings you did or didn't do, or an external locust which means it's thingshappened to you right, and someone with an internal locust of control is forderopercent more likely to be a top chordtile performer, according to the research.Now here's the question. When was the last time you set an aggressive goalfor yourself but did not achieve it? And the person will look at youlike you're trying to trick them or get them to admit a failure, andso you might have to put them at ease with saying something like listen,we all set aggressive goals. I've missed goals before. I like to talkabout the last time you didn't quite get there. You know, when didthat happen? And someone will say, well, you know, I seta target for, you know, pipeline contributions in dollar terms, and Ididn't quite get there, and so that's not what's important. What's important isfollow up what happened. Someone with an internal locus of control will tell youall of the things they did or didn't do that resulted in that miss.They'll say something like I should have done a better job understanding the resources requiredor the time required to hit that goal. I'll do a better job next time. Someone with an external locus of control, will say the following.They did not give me what I needed to hit the goal. They setthe goal too high. I did not have what was required to to meetthat target. Basically, it's not my fault, and you can ask thisthese questions about ownership of goals and people are literally one or the other.They're not. There's no gray area here. You're not somewhat accountable. You're eitheraccountable or you're not with the research shows is that that locus of controlis burned into an individual or very, very early in life, and soyou're either one or the other. I would pass on someone that as signsblame for failure. That's just not someone I'm going to want in the organization, if nothing else because the research shows...

...their forty percent less likely to bea top performer. I want to build the best team. I think thebest team wins the market. I'm not going to hire someone who doesn't havea chance to be in an a player on my best team. That's fantastic. So we've now covered attitude, we've covered accountability. Now we're going totalk about prior related job success. Talk to us about this one, Adam. So this is the resume. So what we find in our research isfifty percent of the factors that predict a person's success in the role it hasis nothing to do with your experience. This is the one area where itis predictive, but it's not what you think. It has nothing to dowith whether or not they've done the job you're asking them to do before,although with certain vocation or hard skill focused roles, that's going to be important. Right. You either know how to fix a diesel engine or you don't. You either know how to write in react framework as an engineer or youdon't write. But you can learn those skills. You cannot learn this particularaspect. Right. What's it predictive is whether or not you've ever been managedclosely. Top performers are tend to have been managed closely in prior related jobs. And so here's the question. When you go home at the end ofthe day, or week or quarter, depending on the roll, when yougo home at the end of the day, how do you know you had agood day? Someone who's been managed closely will answer that question with anumber. So they'll say something like, at the end of the day,if I was able to generate fifteen warm inbound qualified leads through digital means,that was a good day. Versus if I generated some leads, that wasa good day. Well, how many? Well, as long as I generatedleads, I was in a good spot right versus I needed to hitfifteen every day. If I didn't hit fifteen, that was that was nota great day for me. In the...

...difference is important because if you're tryingto build a high performance organization, you know if you're running a business that'smetrics driven and with the research shows the best businesses are operationally sound and runbased on Kpis. If I'm running a business based on Kpis and metrics oroutcomes, do I want to hire someone who's never been successful in an environmentwhere they're going to be managed two outcomes? The answer is no, not ifI'm looking to minimize my chance of having bad hires. I want tomake sure someone can thrive in that environment. So someone that knows a number that'srequired for them to have that good day, good week, good month, that's someone that's got the best chance of being successful working in that kindof environment. So that's the prior related job success. Okay, and andwould you say the person that maybe hasn't been in that environment before. Isthere any data around? You know, if they haven't been in that inthat environment before, is there a point in their career where there's kind oflike no looking back? And if you haven't been in that type of environmentby you know, x age, that the likelihood of you being able toadapt to that style of management is unlikely. or or should you just shy awayfrom folks that have never experienced that before? But it's such a goodquestion. I unfortunately don't have data to answer your first question, but whatI can tell you is as a person goes through their career, they develophabits and an approach to the work, and someone that thrives in an environmentwhere they're not managed very closely, that doesn't mean they're a bad employee.Contrary to that. They they're there are fantastic employee in an environment where managementis very light. So for anyone out there listening that's, you know,selfaware of their management style and thinking, well, look, I just needpeople that could figure it out because I'm just really not into this management thing, that's that's good right. But for someone who aspires to build an operationallysound business, and I can think of no other business that requires more KPIfocused than than marketing, digital marketing and...

...advertising. I mean it's the businessis metrics, right. So so people that don't like being managed to metricsmight not be a great fit. And in this industry you see that allthe time when you're trying to take creatives and have them accountable for output.You know, that's generally where you see this friction or conflict. And soif I'm hiring creatives into an environment where they're going to be accountable for outcomes, I really want to pay attention to this one. This is a bigone and this is the reason why so many people from a creative background,when put, you know, on an opera, in an operating roll orin a management role of other creatives where there's schedules and metrics to hit,fail so frequently because they haven't been screened for these things. This last onethat we're going to talk about, adom, is culture fit. Talk to usabout this one. This is a gray area and you have to bereally careful here because this is how you end up in court. So it'sthe degree to which the person shares the work style and workplace tendencies of thebroader team in your organization. Right. So do they do the work theway we do the work? Do have they been successful using the same systemsthat we use? Right? And so what this is important in entrepreneur orletter or early stage companies, because the impetus is all as the entrepreneur,and I've been there many times, is to go hire the person from thebig company to come work in your little company because they're going to teach youhow you do it. Well, what makes someone successful at that bigger agencyis not what's going to make them successful at your fledgling agency. But makessomeone successful at a big organization is structure and tools and process and pricing powerand in breadth of team and roll specialization and the customer base right. Someonecan operate in that environment. What makes someone successful in a start up orentrepreneur led environment is the fact that they can be a utility player, thatthey can focus on nineteen things at the...

...same time and keep all the platesspinning right. And so understanding which environment somebody can be more successful and isreally critical. And I would just ask the following question. What is requiredfrom a tools or process standpoint for you to be successful here in this rolethat we're discussing. Tell me how you ought have achieved success in prior roles. What systems have you used? What processes have you followed? It's someonethat is worked at the big company is going to rattle off a thousand differentthings. Someone that's an entrepreneur or comes from an entrepreneurial background or a startupcompany will tend to say, I we just figured things out. Neither ofthose are bad answers, but they're better answers depending on the kind of businessyou're running. And so the key here for your listeners is to just beself aware of the kind of company you're running and and target people who havebeen successful in that kind of environment in the past. Okay, and sodoes that buck against the prior super element of the prior related job success,where we're looking for someone who has been managed to those metrics? Is thereever any conflict between that and the fourth Super Element? Well, there canbe, but here's being you know, the the example of someone who's hadtheir metrics known and manage but has had no system or process to file.So it's example of I'm working for the CEO of a startup and the CEOsays to me, Hey, man, every week I need you to producex dollars and addressable pipeline for the sales organization. Go find me thirty granda week of warm leads. Well, how do I do that? Idon't know. Man, figure it out. So I knew I was accountable forthirty grand a week of leads. I had no idea how to doit. I had to figure it out. I had to wing it, youknow, fly by the seat of my pants, so I could beboth managed to a number and all. So have zero process internally to followand I just have to wing it right. So there's an example where you couldbe both of those things. Got It? Okay, I love it, Adam, this has been fantastic, incredibly helpful for me. I knowour listeners are going to get a ton of value out of it as well. If somebody wants to stay connected with...

...you, what's the best way forthem to do that? And then also, how can they learn more about higheralogy and where can they find your book? Yeah, so you canlearn more about the best team wins. The book I've published, which isall about team building, on Amazon or at my website at www dot thebest team winscom. We've got an audible version of kindle version, good oldfashion hard copy. My podcast by the same name, the best team wins, is on apple podcast or Google play, or you can find out more abouthigher alogy at Hiriol o Gi hiher alogycom. Love it awesome. Adam, thank you so much for your time today. This has been incredible.Thanks for having me on. Jane, if you're a BETB marketer, wewant to feature you on sites like the Huffington post social media examiner and chiefmarketer. Every week we send that a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write forreally popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom slash questions and signup today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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