Developing your team the “Edward Jones” way
For the past few months, my youngest brother has been going through the hiring process for the hardcore Edward Jones PASS program. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with him about the steps he took to get the position, and it honestly floored me at all the hoops he had to jump through to even be considered as a serious candidate. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that EJ had put some serious thought into the process and what they wanted their final candidates to look like.
Here’s the basic process to go through for the highly competitive PASS program:
- Apply on website
- Lengthy web application process
- Someone at EJ performs resume review
- If considered qualified, you are notified via email to call in and listen to PASS conference call and Q&A (~40 applicants on the line at once)
- If you attended the call, you are notified via email to call and schedule your own phone screen
- During the phone screen, the EJ representative asks how you would build a sustainable investing business, what your plans are, what you understand of the PASS program, etc.
- If you pass the phone screen, they send you the job description again for review, then you are notified to schedule your own phone interview
- During the phone interview, the EJ asks fairly standard interview questions. This lasts 45-90 minutes based on your responses. If you do not understand the job requirements (multiple questions based on the job description you’ve been furnished previously), you are not considered qualified. At the end of the call you are given an immediate verbal yes/no notice
- You receive an email a few days later and are provided a task to complete. Once you complete the task, you report back on your results. If you did not meet your goal, you are eliminated from the process
- If you complete the task successfully, you are notified to schedule a face-to-face interview to discuss the task and answer a few routine interview questions
- At the end of that meeting, they tell you that you’ll know if you are still being considered within 4-5 days
- Someone calls you to make sure you are interested specifically in the PASS program and provides conference call info
- You call into PASS conference call again to listen to the program description and have a chance to ask questions
- You call into a conference call only for PASS-qualified candidates a few days later
- One month before your scheduled start date, you must turn in this information: fingerprints/drug screen/paperwork/background check
- If you pass each of those hurdles, you are considered qualified to join the early stages of the PASS program
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have even half as much difficulty getting my current job. I think having a process like this leads to several things:
- Your final candidates are fairly knowledgeable about the company, their role, and how that fits into the organizational structure (I’ve met people in previous jobs with 5 years of experience who don’t even know those kinds of details!)
- The remaining candidates are deeply committed. They’ve invested several months of sweat equity into the process, and they won’t just walk away from the position halfway through the hiring steps
- The people who don’t make it in still realize it’s a good company with high standards for filling its positions
This article only covers the pre-hire steps involved with developing your team. Hopefully I’ll have some time soon to write on post-hire steps you can take in developing a highly committed workforce. For more on the topic, be sure to check out how to develop managers by getting them involved.
Anyone else have a long, difficult hire process? Did that leave you feeling more committed to the organization? Less?
Onboarding. New hire orientation. If you’ve been through a bad experience, you know how important this stuff is. Conversely, if you’ve been through a great experience, you know how important it is to help you feel connected to the organization and people from the very beginning.
Introducing the New Hire Orientation and Onboarding eBook
Recently I reached out to a few people to see if they wanted to contribute to an eBook to help HR pros, managers, and business leaders learn more about these topics. The response was a good one, and today I’m happy to share the free eBook with you. It’s titled “So, what’s next? A guide to onboarding and new hire orientation.”
There are three loose groups of articles in the book. First you’ll hear some stories about new hire orientation gone bad. Next you’ll learn some tips and ideas on how to do it the right way. And finally there are a few pieces on the unique challenge of onboarding new managers.
Special thanks to Shauna Moerke for helping me to promote the guide through the HR Carnival channel. I also want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Paul Smith, Jennifer McClure, Trish McFarlane, Laura Schroeder, Dwane Lay, Dave Ryan, Lance Haun, Charlie Judy, Robin Schooling, Sabrina Baker, Michael VanDervort, and Tanmay Vora. You can find links to each of these contributors’ websites within the guide.
Click here to download So, what’s next? A guide to onboarding and new hire orientation
Whoa! What a title, huh? I’ll get to that in a minute, but first I’d like to ask if you have an onboarding program. How do you introduce new people to your organization?
A few well-known onboarding methods:
- Is it by tossing them a manual with instructions to “read through and ask questions?”
- Do you make them watch a video or slideshow detailing the long (AKA boring) history of your organization?
- Or do you surround them with people who are willing and able to help, guide, and provide the support necessary to prepare them as a representative of your brand and an employee of your company?
In case it wasn’t totally clear, the last one was supposed to be the “right” answer, if there even is one. I was reading this really old book a few days back, and I ran across this great explanation. Onboarding isn’t new, and people have been doing it the right way (and the wrong way) for many years. Check it out:
See that? I’ll repeat it for you.
This company undertakes to form an intimate and personal contact with its new employees… This personal touch is regarded as all important.
Why do I care?
My organization is of medium size, but our employees are scattered to the far corners of the state. Creating and sharing a new onboarding program is something I’ve been increasingly interested in recently. A few other resources I’ve found:
Have anything more you’d like to add? I’d love to hear your ideas for what makes an onboarding program succeed (or fail).
I’ve been at my current organization for nearly a year now, and I really enjoy what I do. Just recently we have started an orientation process where our VPs of HR and Operations go out and meet small groups of new employees. It gives them a way to connect with the new people, and it shows our new staffers that we have them on our minds.
I wrote a post about participating in an orientation session from the new employee side of things, and I think it’s worth restating.
Take it from someone who will tell it to you straight. Do an orientation with new employees. If you want it to be more useful, wait until they\’ve been there for a few weeks (or do it in two parts). That way you can ask about problems/issues before the person begins to feel powerless, and hopefully you can rectify them in some way. It makes a big difference to people when they feel appreciated. I\’m walking proof of that.
But whatever you do, just do something. As a semi-new employee, I left the meeting with the desire to do something amazing for my organization. Wouldn\’t you want your employees to want the same thing?
I’d be interested in learning more about some of your organizations. Do you have an orientation/onboarding process? What’s involved in that procedure?