If you want to improve the performance of your organization, one of the best places to start may be with your recruiting process.
Today, I’m going to give you the tools to improve your recruiting and selection process.
The Problem with Recruiting
Selecting the best candidate for the job is more an art than it is a science. By some estimates, new hires fail to meet performance expectations by up to 75 percent! There are some great tools and strategies you can use to drastically reduce that number, though.
Understanding Your Mistakes
There are two types of errors you can make during the recruiting process:
- Hire a Bad Performer
- Don’t Hire a Great Performer
Recruiters are typically most worried about hiring someone who will be a bad performer – they’re pretty expensive and difficult to get rid of once they’re in the organization. It’s also pretty easy to tell when you’ve made this mistake – if the person is under-performing, they might have been a bad hire (or you may not be giving them the resources they need to succeed).
It’s more difficult to tell when you’ve let a candidate go who would have been a stellar performer. Sometimes a potentially great employee just doesn’t interview well, or has an off day. Maybe your selection criteria is too rigid, and you’re selecting out people who have the skills necessary to do the job, but don’t fit your assumptions about what the ideal candidate should look like.
In order to avoid both of these situations, though, its important for you to have a great collection of selection tools at your disposal.
Every recruiter uses some combination of selection tools: Interview, job references, work samples and so on. Not all selection tools are built equal, though.
There are two factors that impact the effectiveness of a selection tool:
- Reliability: Does the tool provide consistent results? If the same person took it twice, would they achieve the same score or rating?
- Validity: Does the tool measure what it attempts to? Does that measure actually have an impact on performance?
A good example of a reliable but invalid selection tool is the personality test. If the same person were to take the Myers-Briggs personality test two or three times, they would most likely receive the same score each time. However, numerous studies have shown that personality tests do not accurately predict future job performance. Personality tests are reliable, but they’re not valid.
No tool is 100 percent reliable or valid, so its really important for you to use a combination of tools when selecting a candidate. You can find a lot of great research on the effectiveness of various selection methods. If you don’t mind some heavy reading, Google The Validity and Utility of Selection Methods in Personnel Psychology by Frank Schmidt and John Hunter. Their research paper is the result of meta-analysis of thousands of studies on selection methods and their effectiveness over an 85 year period.
You can hire the best candidate in the world, but if you don’t give them the tools and resources they need to succeed, their performance is going to suffer.
You should analyze your recruiting and onboarding process in the context of the four causes of poor performance.
Knowledge, Skills and Ability
By developing a selection process that includes the use of multiple reliable and valid selection tools, you should be able to more effectively hire people who have the skills and abilities they need to be successful at your organization.
The development of a formal onboarding process that is supported by both human resources and the hiring manager should help ensure that employees have a clear understanding of their role expectations as soon as (or even before) they start.
As part of the onboarding process, it’s really important that you make sure the new employee has the resources they need to effectively come up to full-speed as quickly as possible. That means a working computer on the first day, contact information, and a mentor or buddy to help them navigate the social waters of the organization.
By establishing realistic expectations of the job and work environment during the recruiting process, you can help avoid the buyers remorse (and subsequent demotivation) that often happens when someone starts a new job. Painting a picture that’s unrealistically rosy during the recruiting process may help get a candidate to accept an offer, but it will only hurt the organization in the long run. Be honest and up front during the recruiting process.
Better hiring is one of the best ways to improve organizational performance. To summarize:
- Recruiters get it wrong as much as 75 percent of the time. They either hire someone who’s not that good or don’t hire someone who would have been a great performer.
- Its essential to use multiple reliable and valid selection tools.
- You need an onboarding program.
- Be honest during the recruiting process.
What are your strategies for making a great hire?