Putting the Right People in the Right Jobs

Posted by Joseph Sherren on June 13, 2013

It is spring, the time when many students will be completing their education and entering the job market. It is also the time when companies are actively hiring for the coming season.

Organizations that pay close attention to hiring practices are wise to do so.  It is important to ensure your company hires people with not only the right skills and education, but also the passion for the profession, are intrinsically motivated, and whose values are in alignment with the organization’s culture. All this cannot be determined by a resume and an interview.

A recent study of 20,000 newly hired employees determined that 46 percent will not be with that same company in 18 months. This is not because of the lack of job related skills, but because they have the wrong temperament or other issues which do not get assessed during the interview.

Many managers feel that reviewing the candidate’s resume and using their gut instinct will tell them what they need to know.  Evidence proves otherwise.  Another study shows that 70 percent of college students exaggerate or outright lie on their application. Also, it is a common practice to pay a professional service to write resumes.

What process does your organization use for hiring?  What training do the people have who conducts your interviews? Equally important, what objective, scientific assessments are used to determine the applicant’s fit with the job and your organization?

The latest statistics show that a ”wrong” hire can cost an organization as much as 1.5 times the annual salary of the position.  That is on top of the ongoing salary.

The good news is there are steps you can take to significantly improve the reliability of your hiring:

1)    Develop a hiring strategy that ensures a consistent selection process for filling all positions. When all staff understand the objectives and know what it takes to succeed in your business, hiring mistakes will drastically decrease!

2)    Clearly define each position’s overall job requirements. Go beyond a focus on the skills and education required.  Attitude and personality of the candidate are critical factors in long-term success.  An easy way to do this is to benchmark past and current employees who have excelled in that position and see what characteristics and attributes they possess.

3)    Use behavioral interviewing techniques.  A resume and background check will tell you what they did yesterday; behavioral interviewing will assess how a potential employee thinks and will make decisions in the future.  This type of questioning might be, “What would you do if you had to implement a management directive with which you did not agree?”

4)    Develop a new-hire orientation program that will guide the applicant to success. Often, managers say they do not have the time. Such a program actually takes a lot less time than dealing with the consequences of hiring the wrong person.  Give them a tour of your facility, introduce them to other staff, and explain how the company operates. Some organizations do this even before a job offer is made.

There are two assessment instruments for which I am certified and recommend when working with clients:

  1. The LSI (Life Styles Inventory) provides valuable feedback on an individual’s thinking styles and attitudes that form the basis of their working behaviors and how they interact with others.  This is benchmarked with the culture of your organization.
  2. The ProfileXT measures how well an individual fits the role and the organization.  It has a powerful benchmarking and “job matching” feature and evaluates the individual relative to the qualities required to be successful in a specific job.

Selection and on-boarding are critical components to ensuring employee satisfaction and productivity.  Hiring the right person for the right job in the right culture will save on training costs, reduce turnover, increase productivity and improve customer satisfaction.

My question for managers this week: What does your hiring process include that has proven to be successful in selecting the right candidates for your organization?

Joseph Sherren, CSP, HoF, Canada’s management effectiveness expert is certified to administer proven assessments that increase the reliability of your recruiting and retention initiatives.

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