And Interview of Margaret Graziano by Watermark 

Watermark.org is for exceptional women professionals in the bay area

* What inspired you to develop the Conscious Hiring method? 

After 15 years of being in the recruiting field, the economy took a turn for the worse, and I needed to reinvent my business. When interviewed my customers said "if you could bottle how you match, we would buy that". That had me start thinking about what my match process was and how and why I had been in the top 10% of recruiters nationwide in terms of personal production. 

I spent time studying the concepts of E-Myth and built a manual 26 step process that was the beginning of Conscious Hiring. My business Alliance HR Network deployed this process and quadrupled our size and went from placing 1-2 people per week to placing 25 per week.  When we surveyed our customers, the feedback we got is they felt less a need to deeply interview and vet, because we were highly competent at that.  They also told us that over 85% of the hires were hitting their performance metrics within their first 6 months. We knew we had something really great. 

*Have you had an experience in the past that made you rethink how you were hiring?

I learned about the use of assessments and behavioral interviewing after being challenged with hiring the right people for my recruiting business and sitting in TEC / Vistage meetings month after month and hearing CEO complaining about the negative impact of mis-hires I knew there was a business need for weaving science and precision tinto the hiring process.  I then spent over a decade studying Role Analysis, Psychometrics, Behavioral Interviewing and Organizational development and utilized the best practices from these domains to codify Conscious Hiring into a highly effective 7-step fool proof hiring process. 

*Why is personality such an important part of hiring?

Actually hiring on personality alone is a risky hiring practice, as personality is something that often shows up on the 1st interview and may not be a true indicator of a solid, long term match.  What Conscious Hiring does is uncover the behaviors, motivations, competencies and values required to achieve peak performance in a role and then it evaluates candidates based on those parameters.

*Can you share any best and worst practices for interviewing potential employees?

Best Hiring Practices

Easy steps to implement 

Be on time for the interview 

If you interview someone over lunch then buy them lunch (be nice)

Treat candidates with respect – tell them if thy are or are not in consideration as soon as you know if they are or are not.

Harder steps to implement 

Create a job description with Key Performance Indicators clearly articulated

Be clear about what the candidate will spend time doing and make sure that is what the candidate wants to do

Find out what motivates the candidate, what is important to them in a job

Validate what the candidates ability and competencies really are

Caca Hiring Practices 

Make the candidate wait longer than 15 minutes in your lobby

Ignore the candidates' request for feedback

Trust their assessment of what they can do without validating 

Make the hiring decision on gut instinct alone

Hire in a hurry 

Use a dated, meaningless job description 

Be ambiguous about expectations