Month: June 2020
June 15, 2020
Steven Levitt, the renowned Harvard and MIT economist and author of Freakonomics, did a study on people who were perplexed to make a significant life change, e.g., looking for a new job, getting engaged, or divorced. The results: those who made the giant life change were much happier than those who remained stuck. But here is the best part, the decision to turn their life upside down was not after a thoughtful process considering second and third outcomes, they made the leap based on a coin flip. Levitt asked people who were on the fence to flip a coin over whether they would become engaged, end a marriage, or change jobs – heads you make the change, tails you do not change and remain status quo. Levitt used his Freakonomics Podcast and FreakonomicsExperiment.com to attract 22,000 participants and received about 13,000 surveys, following up on their level of happiness over the next six months. Here is the link to his working paper report. https://www.nber.org/papers/w22487
Levitt: “People may be excessively cautious when facing life-changing choices. If you are torn between adventure and stasis – between doing something and nothing – take the adventure. Odds are you will be happier for it.”
“So there’s a status quo bias. Let’s just say of thousands of people making big real-world decisions we find that the changers, the ones who shake up the status quo, do better. Well, if that’s true, then that’s a really important message because what that means is whenever you’re on the margin, you should have a default rule, which is I go for the change.”
The enlightenment from the experiment is not that we should be flipping our lucky silver dollar to determine our decisions. Still, it sheds light on people’s tendency to resist change at the expense of happiness. The idea of changing jobs might sound like an exciting adventure and a terrifying experience at the same time. Fear is commonly the winning emotion at an expensive cost. We are willing to suffer while drudging our way, trying to protect the idea of certainty that usually does not exist at the level we perceive.
List your top 3 favorite restaurants, your top 3 vacation locations, the top 3 universities you hope your children attend.
Now, name off the top 3 companies that would be best for furthering your career.
Few people can answer the last question, yet it might be the most critical question to reach your personal and professional goals.
Why does the best talent pool remain distant from the hiring company’s recruiting activities? Generally speaking, candidates and hiring leaders do not have a network of relationships to overcome the fear of the known surrounding, making a career change.
Career certainty does not exist, but at Misura Group, the combination of our network, process, and commitment to lifelong relationships helps candidates de-risk job changes by understanding the opportunities open to them. Our role in pre-scouting cultural alignment, career path growth, compensation valuation, and attention to confidentiality creates a smoother transition and higher probability of success.
Hiring leaders, is your candidate pipeline missing the best talent? Embrace the limitations of your network and connectivity reach. Know the difference between an average and top-level performer, and how that compares to your existing talent pool. Our one focus is connecting with top performers in the building materials industry, which provides the ability to elevate the quality of any talent pool. Contact the Misura Group team, and we can give you the support to raise your hiring standards.
Hire Smarter – Tony
June 1, 2020
Interested in improving your critical thinking skills when faced with emotional, bias, and prejudice-charged situations?
The most recent book from Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers, delivers some answers but, more importantly, drives us to start asking the right questions. The book weaves together stories about increasing our self-awareness and our tendencies evaluating people, strangers.
You will find examples showing even the best critical thinkers leaping to unfounded conclusions, persistently blind to the facts presented, crippling their ability to evaluate people. Further, once those findings are made public, the human ego sets them in stone, doubling down on what was an inadequate assessment from the beginning. The examples diminish respect for the superior intellect or expert skill of the liars, shining a light on how those deceived are unknowingly complicit, entrapped by their self-conceit. The willingness to be proven wrong publicly might be the most powerful trait of a great critical thinker.
Gladwell shares a compelling study pitting artificial intelligence against New York City judges on their effectiveness granting bail to 554,689 defendants from 2008- 2013.
When predicting, “who was most likely to commit crimes while out on bail and most likely to show up for their trial,” it was no contest; the computer was more effective forecasting by 25%.
What is more shocking – of the top 1% most likely to repeat crimes based on the historical facts, the Judges released 48.5%. Nearly 50% of the most apparent repeat offenders were miss ranked by professionals trained to detect liars.
Who had the most information on the defendants, the Judges or the computer?
Who had access to the most irrelevant information might be the better question. Judges had the defendant’s previous record, age, what happened the last time on bail, where they lived, and work. The judges also had the testimony of the prosecuting and defending attorneys, and the information shared in the courtroom. And they had the evidence of their own eyes. “What is my feeling about this man before me?”
The computer had only age and the rap sheet, a fraction of the information the judges had, yet the computer made better decisions.
It is clear meeting the person face-to-face, seeing their eyes and hearing their stories, was the debilitating factor.
Malcolm references another example of how orchestras made smarter hiring decisions when they started having auditions behind a screen. Taking the right information away from the committee allowed them to make better hiring decisions. The information gleaned from watching them play is irrelevant. How big, small, handsome, homely, or their ethnicity is unrelated to how well they perform.
How can you apply the lessons from these examples to improve your vetting process?
Internally, Misura Group’s double-vetting process has some hard-fast rules.
1) Use standardized questions: There is only one list of key performance outcomes and behavioral traits per position. As a group, make that decision before interviewing starts and rank them.
2) Protect objectivity: Do not share notes before interviewing. Force each interviewer to develop their individual assessment.
3) Phone/blind interviewing: Studies show face-to-face engagement encourages biases. Create a blind interviewing phase for your process. Video interviewing has its place around developing trust but know that it impedes critical assessment abilities.
What measures do you put into practice to maintain your humility, persistently collect new data, and give space to new conclusions? Contact the Misura Group team to learn more about how we implement these rules in our double-vetting process.
Hire Smarter – Tony
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