Lou Adler

Lou Adler is the president of The Adler Group, a training and consulting firm helping companies find and hire top talent using Performance-based Hiring(sm). He is the Amazon best-seller author of Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007) and the new Nightingale-Conant audio program Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Hire Top Talent (2007). Adler is a noted recruiting industry expert, national speaker, and columnist for a number of major recruiting Internet sites including SHRM, ERE.net, Kennedyinfo.com and ZoomInfo.com. Adler's early career included executive and financial management positions with The Allen Group and Rockwell International. He holds an MBA from UCLA and a B.S. in Engineering from Clarkson University, New York.

Articles by Lou Adler

Classic TLNT

I’ll Say It Again: We Need to Get Rid of Resumes and Job Descriptions

resume

Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.

As some of you may know, I think the continued use of traditional, skills-infested job descriptions prevents companies from hiring the best talent available.

By default, they wind up hiring the best person who applies.

That’s the same reason I’m against the indiscriminate use of assessment tests. While these tests are good confirming indicators of on-the-job performance, they’re poor predictors of it (square the correlation coefficient to get a sense of any test’s predictive value). Read more…

Best of TLNT

Get Rid of Job Descriptions and You’ll Hire Better People

Jobdescription

Editor’s note: TLNT is continuing an annual tradition by counting down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 6. Our regular content will return on Monday.

For the past 30 years I’ve been on a kick to ban traditional skills — and experience-based job descriptions.

The prime reason: they’re anti-talent and anti-diversity, aside from being terrible predictors of future success.

Some naysayers use the legal angle as their excuse for maintaining the status quo. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time Recruiting Passive Candidates

© Lasse Kristensen - Fotolia.com

Editor’s Note: Sometimes, readers ask about past TLNT articles they may have missed. That’s why on Fridays we republish a Classic TLNT post some of you have asked about.

Every executive and hiring manager worth his or her salt will tell you hiring top talent is the most important thing they need to do. Unfortunately when it comes to putting their money on the table, most often all you’ll see is pocket change.

Somewhere in the bowels of the company’s mission statement is some form of the platitude “hiring top talent is a major company objective.” But in the field where the battle is played out, a different picture emerges.

Hiring top talent, especially those who aren’t looking for a job, is not about posting a boring job description on some site, getting people to apply, and then conducting a series of behavioral interviews. It’s about finding and convincing these top people that your position offers the best career move among competing opportunities. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Want a Candidate to Succeed? Then Define What It Takes to Be Successful

123RF Stock Photo

If a manager is concerned about hiring a high achiever, you need to be concerned about the manager!

We just ran a quick poll to determine if hiring managers would trade off experience for potential if they didn’t have to compromise performance or results. Two-thirds agreed.

How would you answer the question, and how would your hiring managers?

If you’re not on the same page, you’re working a lot harder than necessary. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Want to Be Great? Here Are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Recruiters

7habits1

We just updated our Recruiter Circle of Excellence Competency Model to take into account the expected surge in hiring in Q2 and Q3. There was also an interesting story by the co-founder of Meebo who concluded that most recruiters are pretty bad.

Her big points: recruiters are afraid to pick up the phone and call, they don’t know the job so they sell smoke and mirrors, and most just post boring jobs or search through LinkedIn.

It was a pretty scathing summary. This approach might work when you’re trying to hire the 15 percent of fully-employed who are looking, but totally useless when trying to hire the 85 percent of candidates who are passive, even the bad ones! Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

I’ll Say It Again: We Need to Get Rid of Resumes and Job Descriptions

resume

As some of you may know, I think the continued use of traditional, skills-infested job descriptions prevents companies from hiring the best talent available.

By default, they wind up hiring the best person who applies.

That’s the same reason I’m against the indiscriminate use of assessment tests. While these tests are good confirming indicators of on-the-job performance, they’re poor predictors of it (square the correlation coefficient to get a sense of any test’s predictive value).

Worse, they filter out everyone who isn’t willing to apply without first talking with someone about the worthiness of the position. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Get Rid of Job Descriptions and You’ll Hire Better People

Jobdescription

For the past 30 years I’ve been on a kick to ban traditional skills — and experience-based job descriptions.

The prime reason: they’re anti-talent and anti-diversity, aside from being terrible predictors of future success.

Some naysayers use the legal angle as their excuse for maintaining the status quo.

To debunk this, I engaged David Goldstein, a pre-eminent legal authority from Littler Mendelson (the largest U.S. labor law firm) to compare the idea of using a performance-based job description to the traditional job description. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time Recruiting Passive Candidates

© Lasse Kristensen - Fotolia.com

Every executive and hiring manager worth his or her salt will tell you hiring top talent is the most important thing they need to do. Unfortunately when it comes to putting their money on the table, most often all you’ll see is pocket change.

Somewhere in the bowels of the company’s mission statement is some form of the platitude “hiring top talent is a major company objective.” But in the field where the battle is played out, a different picture emerges.

Hiring top talent, especially those who aren’t looking for a job, is not about posting a boring job description on some site, getting people to apply, and then conducting a series of behavioral interviews. It’s about finding and convincing these top people that your position offers the best career move among competing opportunities. While many recruiters and individual hiring managers can pull this off one assignment at a time, only those companies with a compelling employer brand have mastered the art at scale. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Looking Ahead to 2011: The Market For Talent Will Heat Up (I Think)

2011

I predict that the market is finally heating up. Of course, I’ve been wrong for the past few years, so you might want to take the next few ideas on how to get ready for 2011 with a grain of salt. Or not.

The market for top talent is definitely heating up, and you need to take some serious steps to stay on top of your company’s recruiting activities. In five informal surveys I’ve done in the last 15 days, three out four recruiters (sample of 1,000) suggest that for the professional worker, 2011 will represent the tipping for significant job growth, with 2012 being a banner year. At last.

Of course, all of this presumes that our political leaders don’t mess it up, which is a 50-50 proposition at best. However, assuming they’ll get it right, here’s what I see as some emerging trends that you need to consider as you get ready for the new year and beyond.

These are based on a recent comprehensive U.S. survey I conducted with LinkedIn this past quarter. In fact, here’s a link to the whitepaper that we just released with all the nitty gritty details on what over 5500 professionals think when it comes to job-seeking. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing

Here Are 12 of the Zillion Reasons Why You Should Ditch Job Descriptions

Jobdescription

As most of you know, I think job descriptions are the primary reason companies why can’t find or hire top talent. For this reason alone they should be abolished. Here’s the first dozen of a zillion reasons why.

  1. Expect for the list of responsibilities, they don’t define jobs at all; they define people taking the jobs. If these descriptions left out the required skills, years of experience, industry background, and academic requirements, they’d actually offer something useful as a place to start.
  2. They’re bogus. If there are more than a few people who can do the work the required without having all of the skills, experience, industry, and academic background listed on the job description, it means the list is bogus. We all know managers develop these lists as rough guidelines to filter out the obviously unqualified. Rarely is it based on a scientific study including a detailed job analysis correlated with the skills and experiences of those already successfully performing the job. On this basis alone, the requirements listed are questionable. Read more…