We are human and, as such, have innate instincts that guide us in life. Instincts may effectively guide us in selecting friends and loved ones, but, does it work when hiring employees? The statistics reveal that data-backed hiring decisions are far superior in selecting star performers than trusting our gut instincts.
Caroline Stokes, author of Elephants before Unicorns: Emotionally Intelligent HR Strategies to Save Your Company, suggests that, as a hiring manager, you ask yourself these five questions:
1. Do you tend to talk more than you listen in an interview?
2. Do you have a system to discuss/evaluate feedback from all involved in the interviewing process?
3. Do you gather information from all relevant parties, including references?
4. Do you use an assessment tool to prevent bias in analyzing a candidate’s competencies, preferences, and potential?
5. Do you have clearly defined performance expectations for the role and communicate your expectations during the interview process?
The last question is critical to your hiring success. How can you find that shining star if you don’t know what you don’t know what you are looking for? I have written articles and conducted workshops on helping companies better define key accountability criteria for positions because, as the old saying goes, “Input equals output.” As we engage with clients on hiring initiatives, we make sure they are crystal clear on the performance criteria for the position as this is the most important first step in the hiring process.
Lou Adler, author of Hire with Your Head, drives this point even further. His research suggests that there are two key factors that are the best predictors of on-the-job success:
1. The candidate’s most significant major accomplishment is comparable to the critical performance objectives of the new role.
2. The hiring manager and the new hire are compatible from a work style perspective.
The first factor addresses job fit . . . can they do the job. The second addresses style fit . . . will they do it in a way that the hiring manager prefers. According to Adler, both must be present for hiring success.
Here is a classic example of wrong fit: a business owner hires an administrative assistant that has past performance that fits the role, yet the business owner has a hands-off management style while the admin needs a lot of direction and nurturing. Another example: A business owner hires a friend for an operations manager role who previously worked at a big corporation. Yet, the owner finds his friend is more of a big picture guy and struggles with details of a small business environment.
Hiring is not an exact science, and placing more weight on data than on your feelings or gut instincts can greatly improve your hiring success. Our Tiger Eye Hiring™ process includes multiple data checkpoints that helps hiring managers make educated hiring decisions.
If you would like to increase your hiring success, give us a call at 317-578-1310. Or, send us a request to learn more.