Even though we have been hearing about economic conditions not being the best and college graduates not being able to find employment, the best do find their way into jobs.
Leaders are faced with desiring the best talent they can find today, but also with making improvements in themselves and their organizations in order to attract the very best. New, young talent will be the lifeblood of companies as they try to endure ahead to better economic times. This is not only true of recent college graduates, but the entire Millennial generation as well. This runs the gamut in age from 20’s to very early 30’s now.
There is a point in every interview process where the engagement turns from the company line of questioning to the interviewer being in control. This begins with the question, “Do you have any questions for me (us)?
The 5 Questions You Must Have Answers For
1. What is my career path?
No longer are just pension and retirement after so many years a suitable answer. More and more, as Millennials enter the workforce in growing numbers, they increasingly want the answer to this question. They want to know where the path to the future lies, the benchmarks and the timing for it. Many leaders are ill-equipped or in fear of answering this question. Succession planning in one of the most needed areas of development for leaders today. In order to attract the best talent, the answer to this question needs increasing clarity.
Best practice: Have the career path process clearly outlined and detailed from the start with requirements and objectives at every key point.
2. How are you going to develop me?
Today’s leader entering the workforce wants not just work, but meaningful, challenging work they will enjoy. Leadership and workforce development are coming to the forefront as desire elements for new, emerging leaders. You will not be able to get by much longer with the answer “watch so and so for a while until you get the hang of it”. Nope, they want individual, personal instruction which leads to faster development and deployment.
Best Practice: Have a leadership development plan outline and a skills training outline ready to go, so you can show and tell immediately.
3. Will I reach my potential by following you?
They will be measuring you and your skills just as much as you are sizing them up. They are looking at your accomplishments and how you conduct the interview as much as you are considering their answers. They want to achieve mastery, so they want to learn and follow a master.
Best practice: Have two to three case studies of employees who have continuously increased their potential on your watch.
4. What can I expect of you?
Establishing expectations from the start in the hiring and onboarding process helps the culture and the ongoing relationship. Most inter-relational conflicts come from varying expectations and a lack of clarity.
Best practice: Have clear expectations at every level of your hiring process. Don’t be vague.
5. Will you talk straight with me?
Leaders must learn today’s workforce needs healthy culture with a sizable amount of trust which runs both ways. Trust is extended and nurtured by straight talk and honesty. If you have grown the habit of watering down the truth, talking in vague obscurities about performance or skirting the primary issues that need attention for your people and the organization, there is no time like the present to make improvements in that area as the workforce will demand it from you.
Best practice: Find at least 3 people to bring it to your attention when you are hedging and not talking straight.