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A Different Perspective

(Note – This blog post is in response to the article below)

Jakub and Kazim – excellent discussion! I’m adding a different perspective – if you want to hire right and get better employee performance and productivity, change the way you hire. You can hire right and fast. But to do that, you have to change the data collected and the decision process. The biggest problem with this is the word CHANGE.

“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” Woodrow Wilson.

When an executive wants accurate financial data to make good operational decisions, she does not poll managers about how they view the financial state of their departments or how they feel about their success. Instead, financial data provided are collected using proven methods and analyzed objectively. It is time that we started making talent decisions the same way. Making the three changes below, one company posted a job on Friday and started interviews on Tuesday – and spent time on the most qualified candidates because they used a valid assessment first. Another company had 44% turnover in their data entry team. After using assessment as the first step in the hiring process, turnover dropped to 0% in 8 months and these same new hires took 30% less training time to learn the job. Seriously. No magic, just proven science!

There are systems available right now that help managers hire both quickly and accurately… but they require change. More than using the right ATS, the right social media, or the right job board. Real change.

Change 1: Understand that most hiring methods cannot deliver accurate data for talent decision making. It isn’t that hiring managers not doing a good job or applicants are not trying hard enough. It is about the data we collect and how we use it.

We know for sure that the way we hire now – the job board / social media / resume / interview model – doesn’t work:

• 48% of new hires fail to meet performance targets within 18 months.

• 19% of new hires will become high performers.

• 4 in 10 promotions underperform or fail.

• referred candidates do not perform better or stay longer.

Using a valid assessment is the only way to get reliable and accurate predictive candidate data about the three factors that make the difference between hiring success and failure: hire for culture fit, personality match for the job, and cognitive learning styles.

Change 2: Collect the culture / personality / cognitive data in the first step of the screening process – that’s right: before you read a single resume.

Couple of technical points here: as predictors of future success in any job, experience and education have correlation coefficients of.10 -.18. That is about the same predictive power as random selection …or flipping a coin. Really. Instead of human screening (which brings our natural bias into play) use a valid assessment and use it first, not last.

Change 3: Use an assessment that automatically gives hiring managers the behavioral interview questions they should ask when they interview. Many hiring managers have told me they used to stare at a resume and wonder what they should be asking. With custom question generation combined with assessment data they say it’s like they know the candidate before she walks in. That means the manager is able to focus on listening to the candidate instead of figuring out the interview questions.

The cost of a hiring error cited is right – it is more expensive than anyone thinks. Most companies never calculate the cost. But you don’t have to settle for bad hires, just avoid them by helping your over-burdened recruiters and dissatisfied hiring managers. Better hiring doesn’t take more time; it just takes a little change.

Written by: Dr. Deborah L. Kerr

3 Ways to Reduce Bad Hire Article

3 Ways To Reduce Bad Hires

Written By – Kazim Ladimeji

According to a recent Careeerbuilder survey of 2,494 U.S. managers and Human Resource professionals between August 13 and September 6, nearly 70 percent of employers have reported that they have been affected by a bad hire this year. And what constituted a bad hire? In this case, it meant that the hire did not live up to expectations in terms of performance and there were six areas of concern:

  1. Employee didn’t produce the proper quality of work – 67 percent
  2. Employee didn’t work well with other employees – 60 percent
  3. Employee had a negative attitude – 59 percent
  4. Employee had immediate attendance problems – 54 percent
  5. Customers complained about the employee – 44 percent
  6. Employee didn’t meet deadlines – 44 percent

The study also found that 41 percent of the companies estimated that the bad hire had cost their business more than $25,000, with 24 percent estimating that their bad hire cost them over $50,000! These findings do have implications for the perception of the hiring process and deserve some attention. The first question to ask is, “Why are companies making such bad hires? ” Careerbuilder asked this question too and the main reason given for the bad hire, offered by 43 percent of respondents, was due to the pressure to fill a job opening quickly.

So, the prevailing situation here is that recruiters and hiring managers are facing pressures to hire quickly, which are proving counter productive and lowering the overall quality of the recruiting process. This is a situation that should not be allowed to continue as it could begin to negatively affect  the perception of the hiring process within the companies in question, and as an industry/profession as a whole.

I think it would be useful to set out several changes to a hiring process that can raise quality and minimize bad hires, while at the same time being mindful, but not held hostage to the need for speed.

1. Prioritize quality over speed

There is evidence that the hiring profession is becoming more quality rather then speed focused in order to minimize bad hires and raise the performance levels of recruits. Yes, the FutureStep Global talent Impact Survey revealed that the preferred hiring metrics were now ‘success of hire’ (cited by 67% of those surveyed) and retention (cited by 35%) with the time to hire metric being of much lower importance only being cited by 18% of respondents as the most important.

So, clearly recruitment and operations management should be prioritizing quality focused hiring metrics and ensuring that team members are incentivized accordingly.

2. Focus on employee referral

Research from Jobvite shows that employees hired by referrals stay significantly longer than employee’s hired through other channels, such as careers websites and jobs boards and the same research also shows that they are hired quicker. So, focusing on employee referrals, as a means of recruitment,  is a great way to increase retention and quality levels, with the added bonus of it being one of the fastest ways to hire.

3. Focus on the softer competencies during selection

A study by Leadership IQ found that the top five reasons that employees fail are due to lack of: coachability (26%), emotional intelligence (23%) , motivation (17%), temperament (15%) and technical incompetence (11%). Arguably, to increase quality of hire, recruiters should devote more time to assessing the candidate’s coachability, EQ, etc. as deficiencies in these areas seem to be a much more common cause of bad hires than technical incompetence.

I’d be interested in hearing about any other strategies you may have for minimizing bad hires, while being mindful of, but not unnecessarily controlled by, the need for speed in any one hiring situation.

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