In a former job, I spent time with a senior-level partner who had just returned from a leadership conference in China. I recall how intrigued he was that a large portion of the event was spent discussing the ‘new generation’, the millennials, entering the workforce. The discussion focused on how millennials, regardless of the required constant feedback and praise, would hop to the next big thing without hesitation.I was taken aback at how easily companies were willing to accept that their best and brightest would only stick around for a short period before expecting them to be poached by another company (on average millennials are expected to change jobs every five years).
What a year it’s been in 2013! At SEI, we started the year off with a bang when we rolled out our new website, complete with a new community section and posted our first blog entry on Feb 8th – The SEI Blog: A Focus on Candidate Engagement. Through this blog, we’ve allowed you to hear the voice of our most critical assets – our consultants. We’ve had the opportunity to share some of the inner workings of SEI, given you insight into some of the exciting service offerings and projects we’ve worked on with our clients, and highlighted some of the awards and community activities we’ve been involved in over the past year. Here are some of our most popular postings from 2013:
Making a hiring decision is one of the riskiest propositions in the consulting business. A bad hire can end up threatening a valued client relationship your company has worked so hard to build, so saying “yes” to a candidate carries a high amount of risk. Saying “no” also carries the lost opportunity risk if you’re too restrictive on your hiring decision. The goal of a strong interview process is to minimize that risk for both the company and the candidate by focusing on three primary areas; skill set capabilities, cultural fit, and motivation.
One of the great features of the SEI interview process is that it is run almost entirely by SEI consultants. We are not recruiters working off a template of questions – we are actual consultants talking with people who, if hired, will become our peers in this company. This is an invaluable opportunity for a candidate to learn about SEI from the inside out, and make sure that SEI is what he or she is really looking for. Candidates see that our interview process is far from a drawn-out barrage of questions thrown at them. We’ve all heard the term “two-way street” applied to the interview process before, but let’s face it: sometimes one side of the street is much narrower than the other.
We often refer to our interview process as “the gauntlet” because identifying and assessing candidates is something we take very seriously. Candidates will interview with one SEI consultant after another. Why so many interviews? And why primarily with consultants? Easy answer: RESPECT. After being introduced to my first client, I realized that one of the intended results of the gauntlet is establishing confidence and mutual respect between a candidate and the interviewers…because that respect will carry over to the client.
During my first conversation with the Managing Director, I was told two things:
All of this will seem too good to be true, and because it actually is, this will be the last job you ever have
If you make it through the gauntlet, there will be no doubt that we want you and you want us.
My first reaction was: What the heck is the “gauntlet”? How can it be any more effective or different than other interviews that I have been through? I would soon find out.