Capital One CEO, Rich Fairbank once said, ““Great talent is the most talked about and least delivered. People spend 1% of their time recruiting and the rest of the time managing their recruiting mistakes.” That quote speaks volumes about the importance of finding the right person for the job. Fortunately, with the tools and processes at a manager’s disposal today, hiring mistakes can be minimized. This allows managers to focus on what’s really important. Delivering results. Below are several things you can do to help get the best person on board at just the right time.
- Clearly define the job – I once worked for a large industrial supply company. When customer service agents were hired, the job description said “computer skills”. What we got were people who were proficient at Word (it was probably Wordperfect at that point). What we needed were people who could look at an exploded parts diagram on a computer screen and help the customer determine which part they needed. Still a computer skill, but the definition was far too ambiguous.
- Focus on cultural fit – Have you heard the old adage, hired for technical skills and fired for people skills. Unfortunately, it’s true. You cannot underestimate the power your culture has on the workforce. The most skilled person with an education from the finest university will not last if they can’t get along with their co-workers.
- Narrow the field – You are far too busy to talk to everyone who applies for an open position so you have to be selective about who gets your face time. At On Target Talent, we use ASSESS (salaried) and SELECT (hourly) pre-employment assessments with our clients. We use them because they work and they make our lives easier. We are in the business of screening and interviewing, but we still use the assessments for our own staff hires as well. These screens along with an effective phone screen and realistic job preview dramatically increase the chances that we are interviewing a qualified candidate.
- Background and reference check – The biggest mistake hiring managers make is skipping this step when they feel they have found the perfect candidate, or if the candidate came to them from an employee referral. Dr. Paul Green, who coined the phrase behavioral interviewing, is fond of saying that past behavior predicts future results. People will tell you what they think you want to hear during the interview process. Your job is to then find other people they have worked with in the past and verify that what they told you they have done in the past is really accurate. It will save you headaches in the long run.
Just implementing these four items into your hiring process will improve the quality of the candidates you are seeing during the interview process. Remember that even though people will tell you that recruiting and hiring is a numbers game. Your job is to focus on the numbers that matter. So spend your time talking to the one or two people who can have the best chance of helping you hit your goals.