Sometimes we win, and sometimes we learn.
As a part of my HR Strategy Series, I’m talking to top experts in the field to teach prospects what hiring managers are actually looking for, while also supporting business leaders in their hiring and retention strategies. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Deborah Moroz.
Deborah Moroz is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Health-Ade Kombucha. Deborah is a former employment attorney and senior leadership coach. She is also a trusted coach to both executives and employees around culture, engagement, and professional brands. As an HR consultant and employment attorney, Deborah has advised hundreds of employers about culture and Human Resource matters.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! First, please tell us what brought you to this specific career path?
I’m a recovering employment attorney who fell in love with Human Resources almost 30 years ago. I’m inspired when helping employees find their professional purpose, which is one of the greatest rewards of working in Human Resources.
Can you share the most interesting or funny story that happened to you since you started this career and what lesson you learned from that?
What’s fascinating to me is how the same personality types manifest in every workplace. I’ve seen permutations of martyrs, optimists, bullies, humble teammates, know-it-alls, strong leaders, equal opportunity jerks, lone wolf, philosophers, rainmakers, out of the box thinkers, debaters, facilitators, and trailblazers at every workplace.
A big lesson I’ve learned is that people are fundamentally who they are, and while they might make strides forward when working hard to address an opportunity, the reality is people have strengths and that should be their focus. We don’t say to say to a peony — “you should look and smell more like a rose.” We take the peony at face value and appreciate its incredible lush, full, rounded bloom.
Wonderful. Now let’s jump into the main focus of our series. Hiring can be very time consuming and difficult. Can you share 5 techniques that you use to identify the talent that would be best suited for the job you want to fill?
We are using the Culture Index personality assessment tool to better understand how candidates will “show up” at work, which has been very insightful. We work as a team to determine what personality traits for which we’re looking for (most) roles, and from there, we match candidate results with our desired traits. For example, in certain positions, we might need someone who has high autonomy and can handle a fast-paced environment. Whereas for another role, we might need someone with strong attention to detail who is logical. The flushing out of our ideal candidate beforehand, coupled with the mapping of candidates’ traits, has resulted in stronger hires, and better balanced teams.
We also do a Culture Interview to determine if the candidate will contribute (not fit in) to our culture. We truly value culture and must make sure that each new employee will help to make our culture even better.
We also do a group debrief after interviews. First of all, it saves time. Instead of the Recruiter talking to all of the people who interviewed a particular candidate, we get everyone in one conversation. Secondly, by having everyone debrief together, we gain more perspective. One person might have asked something no one else did. Another interviewer might have felt something subconsciously, and then all of a sudden someone else mentions something — and from there we can really flush it out. We did a group debrief once for a key role, while the offer letter was being drafted, and after getting everyone in the same room, we realized we really didn’t need to fill this position.
We also ask everyone, especially direct reports, to conduct interviews, which is also important for buy-in to include people with whom the new hire will interact. Plus, oftentimes the most poignant insights come from those in entry-level positions.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
It would be about bringing more compassion to the workplace. As quarterly earnings calls, hungry shareholders, and aggressive growth goals consume Corporate America, we forget to be kind and compassionate to the hard-working employees who hustle every day to make it happen, and who are very often trying so hard to succeed.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and how that was relevant to you in your life?
Sometimes we win, and sometimes we learn. I believe in making mistakes valuable, and learning from mistakes is key to growth.
We are very blessed to have some of the biggest names in Business, VC, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?
I’d love to talk with Bill Gates. I’m totally inspired by his mind, and what he’s done with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I also appreciate his positive attitude and expert leadership style. He knows as much about the particular topic at hand than most subject matter experts. His endless curiosity and willingness to tackle our greatest challenges, through vision and endurance, is remarkable and is solving some of the world’s greatest challenges.
Thank you so much for these fantastic insights!