A strong debut that aims to demystify the talent acquisition process for hiring managers.
Weyerhauser, a professional executive recruiter, has more than two decades of executive search experience, mostly at large firms, and he has an intimate knowledge of what it takes to hire top people. In this work, he shares his wisdom in clear, well-organized prose, presenting a logical, thorough approach to talent acquisition. He begins with the notion that it’s the hiring manager, and no one else, who must take ultimate responsibility for securing the right person for a particular position. The author intriguingly notes that some managers remain disengaged because “if the search fails, blame can be shifted to HR and the recruiters.” Active commitment on the part of the hiring manager is essential, he says, because it leads to improved decision-making, “drives focus, energy, and momentum,” and also motivates candidates. In addition to commitment and engagement, one must also embrace a methodical approach, which is the strength of this book. It covers what the author calls “the physics” of search, discussing such things as how to analyze candidates and the job market; it also offers a smart way to select a recruiter and outlines a 12-step search process, including “likely problems” and “solutions” for each step. The author also addresses, in comprehensive detail, which characteristics of a position are most important for the manager to understand as well as how to “craft a compelling value proposition” for candidates. The section on creating a position description may be one of the most valuable in the book, as it includes examples of both “standard” and “enhanced” descriptions that one may use as models.
Weyerhauser’s wise counsel regarding candidate interviews is also helpful; instead of just listing typical questions to ask, he delves into the psychological aspects of the process, such as how to assess emotional intelligence, how to ask about behavioral issues, and how to evaluate the questions that candidates ask interviewers. The author’s authoritative advice about references could also come in handy; he says that he prefers to think of them as “referees” instead of “references” because they keep “the issue of objectivity close to mind.” Weyerhauser deftly wraps up the book by noting two additional, important areas: First, he talks about the art of compromise when making a job offer, and then he discusses how managers can approach talent acquisition in a broadly strategic manner. For instance, he believes that hiring managers shouldn’t overestimate the importance of the time and cost of the hiring process, because these aspects “diminish over time, while the quality of the hire remains important in perpetuity.” Throughout this book, Weyerhauser offers several useful tools to help hiring managers do their jobs, and he articulates them clearly. As a result, the members of his target audience will not only want to engage more fully in the recruitment process—they’ll also better understand the importance of their own roles.
A compact, well-constructed, and self-contained playbook for novice and experienced hiring managers.