Can they do the job?
It certainly seems like a simple question, almost a no-brainer, right? Yet I wonder how often this question is deliberately answered.
We’re all familiar with the typical job descriptions – things like, “must have college degree, 8-10 years experience, knowledge of MS Office, etc.” But are these job descriptions driving away the very candidates we’re hoping to attract?
What is it that seems to thwart our effort to attract the brightest and best?
No business leader ever intentionally sets out to have a bad hire. Yet it happens every day, and the cost is staggering.
The Department of Labor states that turnover costs US businesses over $5 trillion every year.
That’s an epidemic!
Depending on the role, the cost of a bad hire can be anywhere from 50%-600% of annual salary, and that can take a big toll on any sized company…especially smaller ones.
One of the biggest challenges to consistently hire top performers is determining up front if they can really deliver on their perceived potential or just talk a good game.
Unfortunately, many companies use the same broken hiring process time after time, hoping that somewhere they’ll find that “special” person who will help them achieve their organizational goals. Even using some of the better interviewing techniques, such as behavioral-based interview questions, there is a lot of information about the candidate that is lost and never found until it is too late.
Show me a business that doesn’t want to hire top performers and I’ll show you a business that will eventually become non-profit...whether intended or not. Any smart business leader wants to find that next top performer who can elevate their game to better achieve business strategy, right?
Here’s the thing – consistently hiring top performers is a highly disciplined process.
High organizational performance starts with a decision.
That would just be too easy an answer, right? In fact, it's the rigorous recruiting process from application to graduation that allows only the best to become Navy SEALS.
What special processes do they use to "hire" the best of the best, how can they do it so consistently, and what can you learn from it?
The training is designed to screen out the weak. It might sound a bit Darwinian, but especially in this game, only the strong survive.
Ah, the 91-Day Wonder. They provide just enough performance to get past most 90-day evaluation periods.
If it's happened to you, don't feel bad. This could happen to almost any hiring manager for any position, although sales managers may feel this more than anyone based on the example I'm about to provide. For some reason, they seem to be the most likely targets for this little scheme, which you'll understand better as this story develops.
Hiring new employees can be a risky business, though it doesn't have to be. One of the more common mistakes I see in the hiring process is screening in candidates to the pool of finalists.
What exactly is screening in? It's the hope that you'll end up with a nice selection of final candidates to find that diamond in the rough. Making exceptions, creating shortcuts, or whatever means you use, but the result of the problem is that you intend to compare candidates to one another.
The scenario: Really, really big dude across the valley wants to fight only one of us. Whoever wins, the whole army wins.
Commander to recruiter, “I want you to find someone to fight this gargantuan warrior and kill him. He’s huge! Good luck! Oh, and don’t fail.”
Recruiter to commander: “OK, got it. What do you want to see in this person, and what’s in it for them?”
I’ve hired good people before, and I do OK.”
The trouble with this feel-good statement is that it relates almost entirely to turnover measurements. While turnover is a good measurement, engagement is even more important when it comes to business productivity and profitability.
Numerous reports indicate engagement as:
Many times, engagement is sabotaged from the start through the use of faulty job descriptions. We’ll talk about how to fix that shortly, but first…