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Who: The A Method for Hiring YourProblemWhat does a who problem look like Remember the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel nd work at a candy factory Theyre supposed to be wrapping chocolates, but they cant keep up with the pace So instead of letting the candy pass them by, they start shoving it into their mouths, down their shirts, and anywhere else it will t Thats when a supervisor looks in and congratulates the new hires on the empty conveyor belt Then she calls to someone in the next room, Speed it up And with that the chaos really ensues You could spend countless hours trying to optimize the line, but that wouldnt get to the heart of the matter The supervisor didnt have a conveyor problem She had a Lucy problem The Lucy problem is a who problem, but chances are yours is neither as funny nor so far down the chain of command As an engineering friend of ours often laments, Managing is easy, except for the people part In an Octobercover story, The Search for Talent, The Economist reported that nding the right people is the single biggest problem in business today We doubt that surprised most readers The fact is, virtually every manager struggles to nd and hire the talent necessary to drive his or her business forward Weve all been there Weve all heard the horror stories of the CEO who sank a multibillion dollar public company, the district manager who allowed his region to fall behind competition, even the executive assistant who couldnt keep a schedule Most of us have lived those stories and could add dozensto the list Even we have made bad who decisions A few years back, Geoff and his wife hired a nanny well call Tammy to look after their children Unfortunately, Geoff had what his six year old calls a space out moment and neglected to apply the method this book describes when he hired her Not many months later, Geoff was on the phone in his home ofce when he saw his two year old running naked down the driveway He immediately hung up on his client and raced outdoors to stop his daughter before she ran into the street Fortunately, the FedEx truck was not barreling up the driveway at that moment Then Geoff went looking for Tammy to nd out what had happened All she could say was, Well, its hard to keep track of all of the kids It is, but as Geoff explained to her, thats exactly what she had been hired to do Sometimes a who problem can mean life or death Needless to say, Geoffs next nanny search commenced immediately, involved the method presented in this book, and resulted in a much better hire The fact is, all of us let our who guard down sometimes We realize how inated resumes can be Yet we accept at face value claims of high accomplishment that we know better than to fully trust Due diligence, after all, takes time, and time is the one commodity most lacking in busy managers lives George Buckley grew up with adoptive parents in a boardinghouse in a rough part of Shefeld, England, went to a school for physically handicapped children, and worked his way up to becoming the successful CEO of two Fortunecompanies, including M, where he works now Its the sort of background that breeds a healthy skepticism about resumes When we met with Buckley, he got straight to the point One of the hardest challenges is to hire people from outside the company One of the basic failures in the hiring process is this What is a resume It is a record of a persons career with all of the accomplishments embellished and all the failures removed Jay Jordan, CEO of the Jordan Company, told us how he once hired a candidate who looked great on paper but failed in the role The executive demanded some feedback from Jordan on the day of his termination Jordan didnt want to add insult to injury, but nally couldnt stop himself from saying, Look, I hired your resume But unfortunately, what I got was you Due diligence is also lacking in what Kelvin Thompson, a top executive recruiter with Heidrick Struggles, calls the worst mistake boards makethe la di da interview nice lunch, nice chat They say this is a CEO, and we cannot really interview them So you have a board who never really interviews the candidates The techniques you will learn in the pages that follow will help everyoneboards, hiring managers at every level, even parents hiring a nannynd the right who for whatever position needs lling The method will do the due diligence for you It lets you focus on the individual candidates without losing sight of the goals and values of your organization Before our method can work to its optimal level, though, chances are you might have to break some bad hiring habits of your own The Economist, October , Seventy percent of the game is finding the right people, putting them in the right position, listening to them, and alleviating what gets in their way Whois a practical guide to making sure you get the right people to start with Excellent advice and guideRobert Gillette, president and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace Geoff Smart and Randy Street have done an amazing job distilling the best advice from some of the worlds most successful business leadersWayne Huizenga, founder, Blockbuster Video A great readit really is all about finding, keeping, and motivating the team John Malone, chairman, Liberty Media Corporation The key point in this book is that those of us who run companies should include who decisions near the top of the list of strategic prioritiesJohn Varley, group chief executive, Barclays Whois the only book you need to read if you are serious about making smart hiring and promotion decisions It is the most actionable book on middle and upper management hiring that Ive read after twenty years in HREd Evans, executive vice president and chief personnel officer, Allied Waste Industries I wish I had this book thirty years ago, at the beginning of my career Jay Jordan, chairman and CEO, the Jordan Company This book will save you and your company time and money In business, what else is there Roger Marino, co founder, EMC Corporation You ll find yourself nodding yes, saying Thats right, and thinking, Oh, Ive been there, all the way through this grand slam of a book Whether youre starting a company or running a part of a big one, the level of success you achieve is almost always a result of choosing the right people for the right jobs at the right time Its all about the who Aaron Kennedy, founder and chairman, Noodles Company

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