A forward-thinking and enlightening view of hiring practices.

TALENT MAKERS

HOW THE BEST ORGANIZATIONS WIN THROUGH STRUCTURED AND INCLUSIVE HIRING

The co-founders of human resources software firm Greenhouse Software make a strong case for systematizing talent acquisition.

“Hiring is the mother of all variables,” write Chait and Stross in a candid debut that’s directed not at HR managers but at business leaders who “must become the Talent Maker and catalyst for [their] team.” Their fervent belief that senior executives need to be more engaged in the staffing process, rather than simply delegate it to human resources, is the cornerstone of their approach, which aims to help readers to identify, attract, and retain the best talent. This message is conveyed in a tightly organized work comprised of three logical parts: Part 1 walks the reader through the reasons why a “structured approach to hiring” makes sense (“The ‘Why’ ”); Part 2 addresses four specific hiring competencies (“The ‘What’ ”); and Part 3 lays out the tactics for becoming a “Talent Maker” (“The ‘How’ ”). Each section contains observations based on the authors’ experiences with scores of organizations. In addition, Chait and Stross include insights by senior HR experts that validate the book’s emphasis on involving leaders at every level in the process. In Part 1, the authors introduce their company’s “Structured Hiring Framework,” which references concepts that are explained in further detail later in the book, including “Employee Lifetime Value,” the “Hiring Maturity Curve,” and “The Four Competencies,” which include “Finding talent,” “Hiring experience,” “Decision making,” and “Operational excellence.”

The Hiring Maturity Curve is particularly intriguing because it identifies HR practices on a spectrum that ranges from “Chaotic” to “Strategic.” Chait and Stross use lively, appropriately detailed descriptions to effectively contrast what operations look like at each point in this curve; “Chaotic,” for instance is defined as “the Wild West, or a free-for-all,” in which “hiring painfully gets done when circumstances force the issue.” The bulk of the book is in Part 2, in which the authors explain the concept of structured hiring in detail—from the corporate brand that attracts prospective candidates through the job posting and application process and, finally, onboarding. Not surprisingly given the authors’ professional positions, one of this section’s strengths is its lucid discussion of data usage and analytics. Another strong point is the vital emphasis on diversity in acquiring new employees. Part 2 also offers a useful template for a “Scorecard” that can be used to objectively evaluate job candidates. Part 3 defines the term “Talent Maker” and describes some of the key attributes of a person who wants to become a “talent leader” and eventually develop into a “talent magnet” and a “talent partner.” The authors close the book with an excellent overview of issues surrounding organizational change. Chait and Stross make the point that using HR software—even theirs—is less important than approaching the process in a systematized manner, and they conclude that, for those organizations who figure out how to recruit and hire effectively, “the ability to hire great talent at will is very much a competitive advantage.”

A forward-thinking and enlightening view of hiring practices.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-119-78527-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

THE GUCCI MANE GUIDE TO GREATNESS

A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982146-78-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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