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 with original 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 of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the BETB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Adam Robinson. He is the CEO at higher alogy and he's also the author of 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 under the scope of something a little bit bigger, really, what you call the for super elements that we need to be looking for as we are growing our teams. And so, obviously, ever, you know, we all know, that the talent that you bring into your organization is huge factor in the success that the organization is going to experience. And so, as we were talking about these four super elements offline, I just think they're going to be extremely valuable for the marketing leaders listening to this that are that are growing their teams. But before we do that, I'd love to give some context as to why you're the guy to be talking about this. Can you tell us a 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 lad businesses and operators be great at the people's side of their business. So we provide 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 hundred thirty employee business based in Chicago, on a steep growth trajectory and hanging on for dear life. I love it. I love it, Adam. So, with that being said, we've got a lot to cover today, so I'd love to dive into these four what you call super elements, and if you could start by giving us just kind of a high level understanding, how did you come about developing these? Well, we end at higher alogy. Started off modeling sixty seven competencies we call the elements of success. So when we were building our product, we spent two years in the market interviewing hundreds and hundreds of performers at various roles at companies in and around Chicago, in the Midwest. And what we found where there were sixty seven competencies, some of which were universal, meaning they were always predict of, some of which were variable, meaning depending on the job, sometimes they were predictive, and we linked those up in an algorithm and and regression tested interview questions and answers that we had written to determine whether or not they were present. And when we did that, what we found, James, was there were four of these 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. And we tied research to these, validated them against our studies and now we refer to them as the for super elements, and that's what we'll be talking about today. I love that all right. So let's jump in to this first super element. It's about or it is attitude. How do we assess attitude in an interview? Attitude? First, let's de find that attitude is a positive disposition toward work. So not necessarily I like this job, but more I like working. And what the research...

...shows is that individuals with a positive disposition 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 likely to be good at what you're doing because you're enjoying it. Right, it's a, you know, a chicken our egg benefit, right, I like working, so by I'm better at my job and vice versa. So some other interesting research, James, on identical twins separated at birth in help in form workplace attitude and whether or not it's learned or acquired. And so the University 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 from childhood, and the results are really cool. But as as far as workplace attitude goes. 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 levels of job satisfaction. And so what that suggests, it doesn't prove, but strongly suggests, is that your attitude towards work is most likely hardwired and not acquired. So said, even in even the more basically, the person walking around 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. And if you buy that research, and you also believe that the the Meta research that shows that better attitude leads to better performance, shouldn't we be screening for attitude in every interview in the answer is yes, of course. And here's the question. The question you ask is, tell me about the last time you were so frustrated at work that you wanted to quit right and for lots of people that could be today. I...

...mean, you never know, but that's not what's important. What's important is the follow up question, as it will be with all of these questions. We talked about why, what was going on, and someone with a positive disposition toward work will go out of their way most times to put to use positive language, put a positive spin on a negative or frustrating situation. And so you know, for anyone that's ever 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 was incredibly frustrating. The situation was frustrating and the fact that it kept happening is really 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 and I'm grateful to them for the opportunity. It's just time for me to move on. All right, there's an example, James, of a good question or a good answer to you know, with a positive spin on a frustrating situation. Here's the answer you don't want to hear. Those people they like folks on fire at that agency. That place is a mess. That guy couldn'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 working and my suggestion is that you just pass immediately because the the likelihood of them not being a top performer just went way, way up. Got It. That's that's that's incredible inside and it makes it makes absolute sense when you when you explain it, and the story with identical twins and being I would have never expected that to be a genetic thing. I would have just assumed it was a little learned behavior. So this second Super Element, Adam, that we'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 called the locusts of control, and it's the degree to which an individual believes that the things that happen in their life are a result of their own actions or decisions or the actions of others. So...

...you can have an internal locusts of control, which means the things that happen in your life or a result of things you did or didn't do, or an external locust which means it's things happened to you right, and someone with an internal locust of control is fordero percent 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 goal for yourself but did not achieve it? And the person will look at you like you're trying to trick them or get them to admit a failure, and so 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 talk about the last time you didn't quite get there. You know, when did that happen? And someone will say, well, you know, I set a target for, you know, pipeline contributions in dollar terms, and I didn't quite get there, and so that's not what's important. What's important is follow up what happened. Someone with an internal locus of control will tell you all 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 required or 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 set the goal too high. I did not have what was required to to meet that target. Basically, it's not my fault, and you can ask this these 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 either accountable or you're not with the research shows is that that locus of control is burned into an individual or very, very early in life, and so you're either one or the other. I would pass on someone that as signs blame 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 be a top performer. I want to build the best team. I think the best team wins the market. I'm not going to hire someone who doesn't have a 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 to talk about prior related job success. Talk to us about this one, Adam. So this is the resume. So what we find in our research is fifty percent of the factors that predict a person's success in the role it has is nothing to do with your experience. This is the one area where it is predictive, but it's not what you think. It has nothing to do with 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 you don't write. But you can learn those skills. You cannot learn this particular aspect. Right. What's it predictive is whether or not you've ever been managed closely. 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 of the day, or week or quarter, depending on the roll, when you go home at the end of the day, how do you know you had a good day? Someone who's been managed closely will answer that question with a number. 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 was a good day. Well, how many? Well, as long as I generated leads, I was in a good spot right versus I needed to hit fifteen every day. If I didn't hit fifteen, that was that was not a great day for me. In the...

...difference is important because if you're trying to build a high performance organization, you know if you're running a business that's metrics driven and with the research shows the best businesses are operationally sound and run based on Kpis. If I'm running a business based on Kpis and metrics or outcomes, do I want to hire someone who's never been successful in an environment where they're going to be managed two outcomes? The answer is no, not if I'm looking to minimize my chance of having bad hires. I want to make sure someone can thrive in that environment. So someone that knows a number that's required 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 kind of environment. So that's the prior related job success. Okay, and and would you say the person that maybe hasn't been in that environment before. Is there any data around? You know, if they haven't been in that in that environment before, is there a point in their career where there's kind of like no looking back? And if you haven't been in that type of environment by you know, x age, that the likelihood of you being able to adapt to that style of management is unlikely. or or should you just shy away from folks that have never experienced that before? But it's such a good question. I unfortunately don't have data to answer your first question, but what I can tell you is as a person goes through their career, they develop habits and an approach to the work, and someone that thrives in an environment where 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 management is very light. So for anyone out there listening that's, you know, selfaware of their management style and thinking, well, look, I just need people 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 operationally sound business, and I can think of no other business that requires more KPI focused than than marketing, digital marketing and...

...advertising. I mean it's the business is metrics, right. So so people that don't like being managed to metrics might not be a great fit. And in this industry you see that all the 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 so if 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 big one and this is the reason why so many people from a creative background, when put, you know, on an opera, in an operating roll or in 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 one that we're going to talk about, adom, is culture fit. Talk to us about this one. This is a gray area and you have to be really careful here because this is how you end up in court. So it's the degree to which the person shares the work style and workplace tendencies of the broader team in your organization. Right. So do they do the work the way we do the work? Do have they been successful using the same systems that we use? Right? And so what this is important in entrepreneur or letter 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 the big company to come work in your little company because they're going to teach you how you do it. Well, what makes someone successful at that bigger agency is not what's going to make them successful at your fledgling agency. But makes someone successful at a big organization is structure and tools and process and pricing power and in breadth of team and roll specialization and the customer base right. Someone can operate in that environment. What makes someone successful in a start up or entrepreneur led environment is the fact that they can be a utility player, that they can focus on nineteen things at the...

...same time and keep all the plates spinning right. And so understanding which environment somebody can be more successful and is really critical. And I would just ask the following question. What is required from a tools or process standpoint for you to be successful here in this role that 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 someone that is worked at the big company is going to rattle off a thousand different things. Someone that's an entrepreneur or comes from an entrepreneurial background or a startup company will tend to say, I we just figured things out. Neither of those are bad answers, but they're better answers depending on the kind of business you're running. And so the key here for your listeners is to just be self aware of the kind of company you're running and and target people who have been successful in that kind of environment in the past. Okay, and so does 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 there ever any conflict between that and the fourth Super Element? Well, there can be, but here's being you know, the the example of someone who's had their 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 CEO says to me, Hey, man, every week I need you to produce x dollars and addressable pipeline for the sales organization. Go find me thirty grand a week of warm leads. Well, how do I do that? I don't know. Man, figure it out. So I knew I was accountable for thirty grand a week of leads. I had no idea how to do it. I had to figure it out. I had to wing it, you know, fly by the seat of my pants, so I could be both managed to a number and all. So have zero process internally to follow and I just have to wing it right. So there's an example where you could be both of those things. Got It? Okay, I love it, Adam, this has been fantastic, incredibly helpful for me. I know our 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 for them to do that? And then also, how can they learn more about higher alogy and where can they find your book? Yeah, so you can learn more about the best team wins. The book I've published, which is all about team building, on Amazon or at my website at www dot the best team winscom. We've got an audible version of kindle version, good old fashion 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 about higher 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, we want to feature you on sites like the Huffington post social media examiner and chief marketer. 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 for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom slash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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