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SAC Member Dr. Maynard Brusman, Expert on Talent Acquisition

Friday, April 1, 2011
The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® has been examining the search for and utilization of talent in a time of economic recovery. SAC CEO Alan Weiss, PhD, asked charter member Maynard Brusman, an expert in the area, to summarize some findings.

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach and member of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is the president of Working Resources, a boutique strategic talent management consulting and leadership coaching firm in San Francisco, California. He offers a few insights:

The demand for leadership talent greatly exceeds supply. Few companies are prepared for the “war for talent.” The ability to select, motivate, develop, engage, and retain top people is critical to a company’s success. If you want to build a company where people love to work you have to know how to select and retain top talent. Unfortunately, a poor hire can cost a company a great deal of money and cause undue distress and wasted time for everyone involved. Great companies and hiring managers start with selecting learning agile and adaptable people whose values fit the workplace culture. Keeping great people involves creating a collaborative workplace culture where people can use all of their knowledge, creativity, and skills.

According to Dr. Brusman, “A major problem in selection revolves around the interview itself. This is often a random process that doesn’t work very well, and is one of the reasons most managers find the whole effort frustrating. Emotions, biases, chemistry, and stereotypes play too big a role. True knowledge of the performance requirements of the job usually is weak. There is an over-reliance on the interaction between the candidate and the interviewer, and too little on the candidate’s ability and motivation to do the job.”

Dr. Brusman notes, “Conducting an effective performance-based interview includes the following:

  • Successful interviews require a mixture of technical and personal/ interpersonal competency-based questions.
  • Incorporate valid psychometric tests to inform interviewers where to probe more deeply.
  • The single best predictor of future behavior is a candidate’s past behavior.
  • Stay focused and conscious. Overcome emotional reactions and remain in control. Listen 80% of the time.”
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