The typical hiring process consists of posting the antiquated job description, recruiting candidates, reviewing resumes, checking references, conducting unstructured interviews and relying on a gut feeling. Despite the extensive research over the last 30 years suggesting inherent problems with this typical hiring process, many companies continue to follow the same inefficient steps in selecting talent.
The primary dangers of this are twofold:
- Human beings are inherently biased.
- Most hiring processes are ad hoc and unstructured—particularly the interview itself.
As a management consultant, I have witnessed firsthand the negative effects of such inefficient processes. Recently, a new manager for one of my long-term clients bypassed the company's established hiring process, which included a structured interview, hiring scorecard and a pre-employment personality assessment, and hired two salespeople on his own. After they were hired, the manager was stunned to realize that the new hires were not onboarding as quickly as they should have been. Both new hires “performed” poorly, and within 90 days one quit and the other was terminated.
Interestingly, both had grown up in the same community as the manager who interviewed and hired them, and had similar behavioral styles. The manager was biased. A closer look at the candidates identified several serious deficiencies that should have been carefully considered prior to hiring. Assessing the candidates properly would have significantly reduced the amount of time and expense of training, on-boarding and management distraction.
Hiring mistakes, like this one, can be avoided. Use these seven tips to improve your hiring through discipline and consistency.
1. Begin with the end in mind. When I ask people if it's more important to hire correctly or quickly, the majority reply “hire correctly.” It's important to continually keep the end-goal in mind—to create strong value through finding the right talent.
2. Slow down to speed up. It takes time to hire the best human capital possible. Yet most people begin the hiring process later than they should and end up trying to rush the process. The result is shortcuts and hiring mistakes. Smart companies are always looking for the best talent, not just when there is a vacancy.
3. Identify "key accountabilities." Let the job talk: Identify what the key accountabilities are to do the job well, as well as how much time each task takes in a typical workweek. The key accountabilities vary for each position. For example, a sales professional will be very different from a sales manager.
4. Create and use a hiring scorecard. Further reduce the potential for bias by ensuring that key elements such as education, certifications, training and experience are accounted similarly for each candidate.
5. Structure the interview. Make sure the same questions are being asked of each candidate and are related to the key accountabilities previously identified for the position. For example, for a sales role, you could ask, "Will you please describe your experience using a Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)?"
6. Use a valid pre-employment personality assessment. Pharmaceutical companies, as well as many Fortune 500 companies, are using pre-employment personality assessments to identify desired characteristics in candidates. Smart businesses objectively ensure potential team members have the requisite behaviors, values and attributes necessary to do the job well, further eliminating human bias through the use of a pre-employment personality assessment. Ensure the assessment tool is a valid, EEOC compliant tool.
7. Partner with a competent HR professional. A competent HR professional follows the above guidelines during every hire and works with management to constantly identify and utilize best practices.
Hiring the right employees takes time, energy, resources and commitment, yet the rewards of getting it right are well worth it. Eliminate human bias from the hiring process through a more disciplined approach that moves away from the traditional interview to dramatically improve your hiring.
Read more articles on hiring top employees.
OPEN Cardmember Chris Young is the CEO of The Rainmaker Group, Inc. (www.therainmakergroupinc.com), a management consultancy that creates high value companies through Talent Selection, Accountability Systems, and Culture Standards.
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