About Brian Back

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So far Brian Back has created 10 blog entries.

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

By |2019-09-16T00:23:27+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 |2019-07-03T12:26:50+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 [...]

What is Truth? A Recruiters Perspective

By |2019-03-15T14:43:23+00:00May 17th, 2018|Ideal Hire Techniques, Uncategorized|

For starters, Veritas (Truth) is Harvard’s motto. This motto was challenged in a most provocative way by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn during his commencement speech at Harvard in 1978, and it was recounted in a talk by prominent contemporary philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft who was present for that speech. Kreeft touts it as “one of the greatest speeches in the history of civilization.” If you are interested, here is Dr. Kreeft’s recounting: Kreeft on Solzhenitsyn. Why raise the question of truth today? For starters, this is a question that has echoed up and down the ages and still reverberates loudly through our culture today. The idea of bowing to an objective truth is foreign to our culture. We all have our own belief systems, attitudes and world views that shape the truths of our lives. Does this sound familiar? “Don’t tell me your truth is true if it differs from mine.” As if truth is subjective, which I don’t believe it is. [...]

Is your recruiter a self-professed matchmaker? Not me, I am a storyteller

By |2018-04-01T13:34:33+00:00September 26th, 2017|Storytelling|

If you work with a recruiter or are a recruiter who professes to be a great matchmaker, I would urge you, for good reason, to read the remainder of this article. When I was just out of college one of my aunts – one I saw often and for whom I had great affection, decided to set me up with a young lady with whom she worked. My loving aunt knew me well and got to know this young lady quite well also. Out of this abundance of “knowing,” she was convinced this setup would lead to heavenly bliss for the two of us. Now I am sure you could see this coming, but it was the single most awkward date I have ever experienced. Ask me sometime, and I will gladly tell the whole story. “What went wrong,” you ask? Presumption. You see, my aunt knew only snippets of who I was at my core. Does anyone [...]

High Performance Leadership Requires Intolerance & Transcendence

By |2018-04-01T13:34:34+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Intolerance|

Intolerance: I am uncomfortable with the way in which the media shapes our perception of ideas and words. For example, the idea of being intolerant is a label with which the media vilifies people, but here is the truth; I am intolerant, you are intolerant, everyone is intolerant…and everyone is right.  Do you tolerate murder, rape, theft? Of course not. That said, we can and should tolerate many things, but we should never tolerate injustice. It is precisely why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice resonates so loudly to this day. He would not tolerate being chained by the injustice of prejudice and racism. Understanding intolerance demands an understanding of injustice as the two are inexorably linked. We should always be intolerant of those attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that lead to, or propagate, injustice. Transcendence: The question is then, how do we determine what is just, and therefore, what should be tolerated? Should we follow the court of public (or popular) opinion? Should we take [...]