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If I wanted to put together a dream team of golfers, my first pick would be Rory McIlroy, the 2019 FedEx Cup Champion. Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas might be next on my candidate list. Wow, slow down! I just made a hiring blunder by automatically selecting people for the team before clearly setting the expectations for the team. What if the team must travel the United States for the next six months teaching kids how to play golf? Needless to say, Rory, Tiger and Justin would not be interested. Setting the criteria for the team must come first before identifying the right people for the team.
Hiring managers are often focused on “who” and not “what” when defining job criteria. By developing job criteria around actions and behaviors, not the person, you will have a better framework for successful hiring. For small businesses, hiring Super Stars may be out of reach financially. But, hiring superstar actions and behaviors are not.
Let’s look at another example. I have heard many Rock Star singers butcher The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. Personally, I want to be moved to tears when I hear the song and I don’t care “who” does it. It’s not the Rock Star I want to see. I want to hear the song sung in a way that moves me emotionally. So, if being emotionally touched was my hiring criteria for the role, I would hire the best singer who could deliver an outstanding vocal performance, regardless of their individual fame and fortune.
Here are two key factors for defining Success Criteria for hiring:
1. What do you want the individual to do? (Actions)
2. How will you know if they have succeeded? (Benchmarks)
Be specific about what you want the person to do or accomplish. Then set guidelines or benchmarks to determine if the actions have been successfully accomplished. For example, when hiring an Operations Manager, an action item might be to implement a new vendor management system. A benchmark for measuring success for this action item might be for the Operations Manager to have a new system evaluated and installed within the next four months.
Once you have fully defined actions and benchmarks, you can then build the job criteria that would most likely deliver the results you desire. Properly defining the role (actions) and it’s expectations (benchmarks) will greatly improve your hiring success, thus avoiding costly hiring mistakes.
If you would like more information on how to define your next hiring role, give us a call at 317-578-1310. Upon request, we will send you the Position Performance Profile datasheet that will guide you when defining the role for your next hire.