About Brian Back

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Brian Back has created 13 blog entries.

Covid 19 and Thinking Beyond Digital Disruption

By |2020-04-08T11:41:08+00:00April 8th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Over the last several years I have heard the term “disruption” crescendo like the climax of a great symphony. It seems all organizations are striving to be a disruptor of their respective industry. Ironically, everyone is seeking it in the same place – through technology (only). I am not discounting technology; it has great promise to advance the lives of all humans and “disruption” of our world through technology needs to be pursued.  However, could there be another disruption not intimately connected to technology? Has anyone else noticed a peculiar, dare I say competitive, relationship between the advancement of technology on one side and healthy human relationships on the other. Competition is like a 2-sided scale (think of the scales of justice) - as one side rises the other falls in equilibrium – this is the essence of competition (outside of game theory). And it is not hard to see how this competitive relationship between technology and [...]

The Nuance of Hiring Great – 10 important questions and the nuances that help answer them

By |2019-12-11T22:19:15+00:00December 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|

My goal in writing this article is to draw you into nuance, specifically the nuance of recruiting leaders (VP to C-Suite) for your organization. I think this is vital because I see very little nuance around this process in organizations. And let’s face it, the difference between Olympic Gold and finishing dead last lies simply in the nuance. For clarity purposes I will ask a series of questions to contrast what I see organizations doing and the nuanced moves they could make to elevate their recruiting. How do you define “Interview Process”? It ALL starts here. As simple as this may seem most do not define it properly (if at all) and what follows is less than optimal performance. NUANCE: An interview process is a relationship evaluation and formation process. Once this is understood the mutual aspect of getting to know someone and allowing them to get to know you enriches [...]

Why most companies get at least half of their interview process wrong; and how to make it right

By |2019-11-11T13:41:47+00:00October 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|

It may sound absurd to claim most companies get at least 50% of their interview process wrong, but please allow me to explain. My main premise is the idea that details matter more when great pressure is applied to a situation. Think of playing in the Boston Symphony. It is the peak of instrumental performance – the place where the pressure to perform is at its highest; the place where the greatest amount of detail is necessary in order to deliver maximum performance. Most leaders understand the great pressure around identifying, attracting and hiring the right talent in today’s business climate. With that understanding, the recruitment detail on which I would like to focus is the nuanced definition of an interview process. I understand everyone has an idea of what an interview process is and have probably not given the definition much (if any) thought. Give it a try; how would [...]

You keep talking but I don’t trust what you are saying

By |2019-10-18T17:30:11+00:00September 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|

I have worked closely with dozens if not 100 organizations and have also interviewed well over 1,000 people through the course of my career. This experience has provided a fascinating view of human behavior. The behavior of which I wish to discuss today revolves around the discovery of truth. People have a very interesting relationship with truth and all its ramifications, including me. I would like to focus this article on what organizations and candidates alike do with regards to discovery and how it has bugged me for over 2 decades. Admittedly, I did not know why it bothered me so much until I was finally able to put my finger on it. I’ll start with organizations. When an organization engages me on a search for a new executive the first step I take with them is a discovery process; me discovering them. It is here that I start to create the narrative that will be taken to [...]

The Corporate Community in a Divided World

By |2019-09-06T13:44:44+00:00September 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|

We live in a world split apart, and the divides are getting wider and the chasms deeper. The exasperation of everything makes the challenge seem overwhelming and unsolvable. It is here that organizations of all sizes have a unique opportunity. Recently I stumbled across a blog post by Chip Gaines of the popular TV show Fixer Upper. In the post Chip promotes the idea of kindness in the world. I think this is a good instinct and his post is a good place to start this article. Chip comments; “I believe that we are all made in likeness, and because of that, our hearts are naturally drawn toward one another.” I too believe this is true. No one likes to be lonely. We are naturally inclined to seek community, whether the community is a healthy one (church communities) or not (street gangs) – people want to belong to something. Chip focuses the post on making the choice of seeing how we are [...]

Do your interview techniques REVEAL & ATTRACT the best candidates? Part II

By |2019-06-26T20:20:34+00:00June 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|

Last month I shared an article about evaluating and attracting candidates through a simple interviewing technique. You can see that article here. This month I am turning the tables from seeking the story of the candidate to telling your (corporate) story. Again, if this is done well, it attracts and reveals the best candidates. I have often commented that interviewing is a relationship-formation process – one which involves mutuality. Both parties sharing who they are and exploring the other.  In other words, an authentic getting to know each other. There are some companies (not a lot) that do a great job of getting to know candidates but very few that do a great job of understanding how to share their own story in a revealing and attractive manner to candidates. What are companies missing you ask? Well, that is what I will share with you today. For starters, telling your (corporate) story requires the same approach that a candidate is required to follow when telling [...]

Don’t let your employee brand disappoint new hires

By |2020-01-02T20:27:39+00:00June 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|

My job for the last 20+ years has been to help companies identify, attract, evaluate, hire and retain professionals. The retention part of my role is less obvious - I will discuss this later in the article. For now, I would like to talk about the “attracting candidates” part of my job. Everyone understands there is tremendous pressure on the labor market for the right type of talent. Organizations have worked hard to create strategies in response to this great challenge. The most common strategy undertaken has been the creation of an employee brand. The hope of the brand is to create an employer of choice perception in the broader candidate marketplace and an employer of choice reality for all current employees. Overall, the idea of an employee brand is good, however, the means by which the brand is used in recruiting has gotten completely upside down. How it is currently [...]

How to Utilize the Ideal Hire Framework for Successful Executive Recruiting

By |2019-03-26T21:25:58+00:00March 20th, 2019|Ideal Hire Techniques|

The HansenBack executive search Ideal Hire™ Framework is based on compelling story creation and relationship formation.  Successful executive search relationships form most successfully and dynamically through the exchange of authentic stories.  As part of our framework, we teach you exactly what candidates seek in your story – which is rooted in human psychology –  and how to properly construct your story for the greatest chance of success.  We also work with you to draw out those vital characteristics you seek in candidates through their stories. HansenBack is your best executive recruiter partner to help you recruit, hire and retain your ideal executive.  We work closely with you through each of these 6 Steps to make sure every step is optimized and effective to realize hiring success: Create Your Story – We create your authentic company story that will illuminate, motivate and stimulate the best candidates to  action.  Addressing key candidate psychological [...]

Want to Flourish Professionally?  Here is The Recruiting Groove That Will Save You From A Demoralizing Rut

By |2019-03-21T17:19:17+00:00March 15th, 2019|Ideal Hire Techniques|

Ask any biologist and they will be quick to confirm that extreme habitual safety is actually hazardous to living organisms.  Many people naturally seek safe and comfortable environments or patterns of living that could be dangerous to their well-being.  Here is an example to demonstrate the biological danger.  If you plant a tree in an office building, the tree will continue to grow until it becomes too top heavy and topples.  It topples because the roots never develop as the tree lives in an extremely safe environment – never buffeted by a rain, wind or snow.    Challenging yourself is uncomfortable and often requires some pain and suffering – but it is critical if you want to weather life’s storms. Embracing Challenge and Change to Drive Success Successful people ardently pursue their groove in life.  That groove is the habitual effort to challenge and thus transform themselves.  Everything else is likely a [...]

Do your interview techniques REVEAL & ATTRACT the best candidates?

By |2019-03-15T15:46:59+00:00October 18th, 2018|Ideal Hire Techniques|

Curiosity Curiosity may kill the cat, but it enlightens the world. I am sure many thousands of people saw apples fall from a tree, but Newton asked why, and the world became a bit more enlightened. Curiosity requires an opening of the heart and the mind. The heart is required because not everything can be known mathematically/scientifically. Your disposition as an interviewer is important as you seek to understand the person across the table. Be curious; have a sincere desire to know the person and not simply what the person did or does. Asking the same questions of every candidate in a “canned” interview approach does not allow for the uniqueness of the individual to shine through. What is left is an opaque understanding of a candidate who, by the way, will be left feeling uninspired by your approach and, therefore, your company. If you give this (uninspired) person an offer, they most likely will think you are [...]