Selecting the right candidate the first time around is worth investing a little time and thought. No one can guarantee 100% success, but you can dramatically improve your odds with a structured process.
Here’s the process I recommend to my clients:
- Know the Critical Success Factors for This Job. Get clear on the critical success factors for the job – what characteristics will be displayed day-in and day-out by a truly successful employee in this job? What are the key characteristics (key competencies) of other highly successful employees in this job? And, what skills would take your team to the next level of performance if you could add those skills to the mix of talent already on board?
- Add a Pre-Hire Assessment. Pre-hire assessments are incredibly effective today at identifying behavioral characteristics, work styles, communication styles and interaction preferences. As one factor in the selection process, assessments can help you identify candidates who are more likely, or less likely, to be successful in a given position. Assessments can help you answer the question of who is going to be a good fit for the job and for your company. They can also help you identify whether the candidate has the work ethic and reliability required to be successful.
- Look for Flexibility, Adaptability, Creativity and Initiative. Look for candidates with the talent and experience you need, but also focus on important personality characteristics such as flexibility, adaptability, creativity, teamwork and initiative. Don’t get so focused on hiring someone with just exactly that right experience that you lose sight of the other factors that will make you glad to have this person on your team.
- Use Structured Behavioral Interviewing. As the final step in your selection process, learn how to apply the proven techniques of structured behavioral interviewing. Behavioral Interviewing focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related. It is based on the understanding that past behavior and performance is the best predictor of future behavior and performance. Structured behavioral interviewing establishes a repeatable process consistently applied across all candidates for a given position. Clients who use this interviewing technique are often surprised by how quickly the process identifies the “best right candidate” among the three or four candidates interviewed.
Upon identifying the candidate you want to hire, extend your employment offer conditioned on completion of a thorough background check (criminal record, education, certifications, references) and drug screening. The first day of employment should not occur until the background check and drug screening are complete!
Consider every hiring opportunity an opportunity to improve your team and your company. A bad hire can be an instant drag on company and team performance; and correcting the mistake takes time, expense and lost opportunity. When you improve your odds of making that best right hire, you accelerate your company’s performance improvement trajectory.
Contact me to discuss improving your odds of hiring superstars for your team. I will help you:
- Identify the critical success factors (or competencies) for your jobs and your company;
- Select the right pre-hire assessment tools to accomplish the results you need;
- Train you and your managers in the proven techniques of behavioral interviewing that increase your hiring success and coach your interviewers in the effective probing, follow-up and assessment skills that make behavioral interviewing so effective.
I look forward to talking with you.
Note: Of course, every hiring process additionally needs to include the right application forms, disclosures, consent forms, and record keeping to meet legal requirements and prudent risk management requirements. And good practice includes awareness of the legal issues associated with what one can and cannot ask, or can and cannot consider, in the interviewing and hiring process to be within anti-discrimination and equal employment laws. But that is a discussion beyond the scope of this article.
R. Rushton Paul Consulting, LLC