After twenty years of instruction, CEOs and owners have shared with me one of the most frustrating issues they face:  How do I make objective evaluations of a candidate or my current employees?

With rare exceptions, a CEO or owner has expressed these four hiring frustrations (maybe you have asked the same questions):

  • “How can I minimize the cost of hiring the wrong person sometimes as high as $80,000”?
  • How can I hire better using hiring assessments?
  • “I do not know if the people I have are the right people to take my company to the next level.”
  • “How can I determine if I have the right employee(s) in the right position(s) based on their competency?
  • “How do I evaluate competencies”? In short how do I avoid making another bad hiring decisions?

These are all tough questions to answer in pre-hiring conditions

Let’s take a stroll through a TYPICAL hiring process:

1) Place an advertisement and receive resumes

2) Cull through the hundreds of resumes and narrow the focus to a handful of candidates.

3) Call the top five candidates for a quick phone interview.

4) Schedule a meeting with the top three candidates with all stakeholders.

5) If the hiring manager gets a “good feeling” about the candidate, and there are no strong opposing views, an offer is made; the recruitment process is complete.

Unfortunately, when it comes to hiring, many managers and CEOs alike rely, primarily, on the personality match to themselves and their “gut instinct.” A Michigan State University study revealed these hiring steps provide a 14-percent likelihood of a successful job hire. Really? 14%? Yep.

In other words, this recruitment process will not effective 86% of the time. By comparison, Blackjack has much better odds!

One CEO of a medium sized organization told me it cost him over $110,000 to hire, train a particular employee and who, after eight months on the job, everyone realized was a bad hire. He was terminated. This was the third attempt to fill this position. Both the CEO and the VP of human resources were frustrated with the time and money investment costs and, since they had no alternative at the time, were fearful they would repeat this costly exercise again.

If you have been experiencing making recruiting mistakes or making bad hiring decisions you are not alone. May I suggest adding in one strategic step in your hiring process? Use assessments in both pre-hire and with current employees to uncover which behaviors are they struggling with and then coach them from awareness through competency. Here are a few suggestions you can take now to improve your hiring process and enhance current employees position match:

  • Create a clear job description: for a new hire, begin with a clear job description of the requirements, characteristics, responsibilities and skills the candidate is required to possess to be successful.
  • Match Competencies and Behaviors to the position requirements: for the new hire, use behavioral assessment tools ideally before any communication. Some assessments attach directly to your career website page to automatically provide a competency match report before your phone interview. Besides showing “best fit” for the current position, it can also show competency match for other positions. For example, your search might be for a “hunter” sales person, but the assessment reveals the person would be a better selection in sales support.
  • Team Analysis: you can assess an employee’s individual or an organization’s competencies to measure the alignment or uncover the “gaps” in skill sets. These assessments provide valuable insights that enable managers to identify, focus and coach to improve individual and team performance. Without these insights, what would the impact be on revenue? Being able on your team will be essential for corporate growth.
  • Understanding Your Current Employee’s behaviors: For example, a salesperson’s basic behavior is his/her ability to What would happen is you hired a salesperson who struggled with expressing or conveying ideas? A critical skill for an accountant is an ability to focus on numbers and details. Employees who lack required skills and critical behaviors to succeed will struggle or fail. Poor communication skills will lead to misunderstandings or, worse, create distrust and engender resentment. Whatever the reason, poor employee communication will have an adverse impact on your business.

It is essential for CEOs and managers to be aware of competencies and behaviors of their employees. Knowledge of these tendencies and habits are often overlooked in pre-hire and as well with existing employees. For new hires, the resume and past experiences do not tell the whole story about the individual. Using tools to objectively evaluate current employees, especially before a promotion, makes good economic sense. Not everyone has self-awareness, perfect communicational skills or seek to understand of others.  What about your process for hiring and promoting employees?

What about your company? Have you experienced making solid hiring decisions?  What did your company do to reduce the cost of bad hires?  I promise to reply within 12 hours.

Do you have any questions or comments? Leave them below. I promise to reply within 12 hours.