A Sure Fire Hiring System


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I was recently asked about the personality and behavioral profiling tools people use in the hiring process and which one I recommend. I have come across a wide variety of capable programs and systems. While they are tools that can assist in the hiring process there are none that are a sure-fire panacea for improving the hiring results. While these programs provide a variety of helpful insights, they are simply tools and are not a predictor, indicator, or prognosticator of any assured successful outcome.

While there are many processes, programs, and approaches designed to assist in identifying and selecting the best candidate for open positions, there are no guarantees these decisions will be successful. Quite frankly, no program in itself is going to improve or increase the odds of success.

One need look no further than the National Football League (NFL) to demonstrate this point. NFL scouts spend hundreds of hours testing, measuring, evaluating, and judging football talent. They put athletes through physical tests, mental tests, intelligence tests, and performance under duress tests; yet some of their highest, sure fire drafts never pan out. That is because there is not one single test that can assure success or guarantee a great hiring outcome without putting a person into the organizational mix.

When it comes to hiring successes, there intangibles that cannot be measured, evaluated or predicted in any systematized assessment program. While I do trust and rely on the accuracy of many of these tools for what they have been designed to do, I believe that nothing replaces another, more efficient tool — the interview and development process.

There is no substitute for directly engaging in the evaluation of a potential candidate. And, many organizations need to be more accountable for their process in this regard when it comes to their successes in attracting and retaining talent. Here is my hiring system and the critical success factors associated with it:

  1. Test for Cultural Fit: Every organization has a cultural DNA. First, the organization needs to clearly know what that cultural DNA is. Then, they can and must recruit, hire, and attract people who fit that DNA. The problem is that many organizations are not connected to, or in denial of their culture. An organization cannot successfully attract and retain people unless they reflect or embrace the existing culture. If the organization is in the midst of a culture shift, then hire change agents who reflect the new culture; otherwise, focus on understanding the culture and hire accordingly.
  2. Management and Leadership: Most businesses fail at hiring because of poor cultural fit and leadership. They don’t have a hiring problem — they have a retention problem. This is supported by the statistical fact that 90% of the people who leave any organization leave because of leadership or management issues. If an organization’s management style or leadership team is dysfunctional, attracting and retaining “A” players will not be fixed by improving the hiring process. Instead of attempting to hire “A” employees to fill open positions, businesses need to focus first on identifying and attracting “A” leaders to improve the teams they have.
  3. Training and Development: Most people come to a new position with the desire, potential and commitment to be successful. Besides culture and leadership, the other component of a successful hiring model (attraction and retention) is the employee development component. A team can only improve, grow and prosper when the organization provides the tools to help them accomplish this. Organizations that make a commitment to developing their team are more successful and are more effective in attracting and retaining talent.
  4. Hire for Skill not Industry Experience: Many organizations, especially when it comes to sales, focus on recruiting people with industry experience. If talented people with industry experience are available and willing to move, one needs to ask themselves if they are talented why are they available? The obsession with industry experience is misplaced and over applied. It is easier to educate and develop talented individual about the business than it is to teach them the skill you are actually hiring them for. Hire intelligently; hire for acumen and potential not industry experience.

When it comes to hiring, there are no guarantees. However, the more an organization holds itself accountable for the success of its hiring process without transferring that responsibility to an external system or program the more effective the organization will be in attracting and retaining great talent. Instead of looking outside to purchase or utilize a simple hiring model, look inside and build a solid, sustainable one.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.


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