REVIEW: Carol Schultz — Powered by People (BOOK)
Carol Schultz’s new book is a simultaneous how-to when it comes to hiring practices in a modern-day workplace context, as much as the book is something of a what not to do for traditionalists, and dare I say it — old dinosaurs learning new ways. “Too many hiring managers don’t factor in the opportunity costs associated with turnover. If they do factor it in, they don’t realize the importance of lost opportunity.
When all I hear is a general statement that ‘the hiring process isn’t working’ without specific details, there isn’t a lot to go on toward a fix,” a key passage reads in Schultz’s new book, Powered by People: How Talent-Centric Organizations Master Recruitment, Retention, and Revenue (and How to Build One). The fact she’s willing to delve deep into the layers of corporate psychology behind the art of effective hiring practices particularly spices things up for the inner-therapist. After all, effective hiring is all about communication. It’s all about how one person presents themselves to the other, and not just the one in the arguably subservient position situationally.
Schultz isn’t interested in holding the reader’s hand intellectually through each of these passages. She’s direct and to-the-point, if a passage is excessively long — it’s because it’s packed with information, not with tangential ramblings or a decidedly maudlin set of semantics serving in place of ideological filler. “…While great salespeople may get multiple job offers, they don’t always have multiple offers on the table. To be honest, truly great salespeople won’t even be looking for a job. If you believe talented sales people always have job offers, it puts you at a disadvantage when hiring.
You start to feel like you need to make an offer to everyone you talk to. That misconception was something (a) company founder read in a book. When whatever they’re doing to hire people is failing, leaders often buy a book. I suppose it’s ironic for me to discuss this in a book, but I’m saying just reading a book can’t fix the problem,” Schultz deadpans in a nicely deprecating paragraph. “…The real problem is that we’re moving further into non-communication territory. Technology is helpful. Books are helpful. Profiling tools are helpful. AI and machine learning are helping. But none of those replace the effectiveness of two humans having a one-on-one conversation. Call me a dinosaur but nothing will ever effectively take the place of two human beings having a real conversation, going back-and-forth to connect with and understand one another.”
Schultz isn’t just a gifted communicator. She’s actually a good writer. The imagery she’s able to conjure helps moisten the otherwise dry statistics and intellectually exclusive content that much more, whether you’re a working professional or not. There’s no denying ideologically and in terms of topic the book falls into certain reading base echelons. But for those genuinely interested in the field concerning Schultz’s arguments, it’s an unusually fresh and concise piece of work. Said attributes only further support the objective reality Schultz points to that much more.