From Hire to Higher - Setting the Stage

The first place to start in any strategic approach, logically, is the beginning. At the beginning of the employee life cycle is the hiring process. Naturally, the best strategy is to ensure that the people hired into the organization are the right fit, and will add the most value. Hiring anyone other than the best candidates will be detrimental to the work environment, the culture, and the teams they were hired onto.

The hiring process itself is intense, time consuming and costly. There is a lot riding on this decision for everyone involved. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to do it repeatedly for the same position if it could be avoided. It is interesting to note here that hiring ‘the way it’s always been done’ has worse odds than a Hollywood marriage lasting a lifetime! (Only about 18% of hires achieve unequivocal success whereas 25% of Hollywood marriages last.)

Consider this:

Three resumes sit on top of the desk. Each highlighted, marked and circled with red and black ink. All three representing people that are diverse, but all look like good candidates. Only one can be chosen. A decision needs to be made: Choose the candidate that will best serve the company. Pick the person that, in the long run, will add the most value. Now consider the information available to make this decision. Often the only tools to help in this decision are the information gathered from the resumes and the interview process.

The question that pops into mind, then, is does this resume and interview comprise enough information to make the most informed choice? This seems like an important decision to be made using a piece of paper and the ‘feelings’ gathered in a first impression.

For many people faced with this situation, this is where the ‘hunch’ or ‘gut feeling’ takes over. Realistically – the wrong choice costs the company over 3 times this person’s salary and the decision comes down to a resume, an interview and a hunch... The million dollar question of course: What else can be used to make a more informed choice?

This scenario is far too common in offices around the globe. But before it went this far, the situation could have been altogether different. The solution is much simpler than you think.

From the three people selected as the top potential according to their resumes and interviews, a hiring manager is tasked with the job of choosing the person who is the best fit. What additional information does a hiring manager have that lets them know if one of these candidates does not share the same sense of pride in their workplace? What if another will never share the common vision that drives the rest of the staff? Perhaps the last candidate is lacking the skills they need to perform effectively and will have personality conflicts with the people around them. Really, in order to feel comfortable and confident in the final decision, the person doing the hiring should have access to as much information as they can so that the choice is an informed one, and one that can be built upon for the tenure of that employee. All in all, there is a huge need for some quality information in the hiring process; information that is not freely given using traditional methods.

In my knowledge, there has yet to be a resume written with a heading called ‘all the ways I won’t fit this organization.’

Being able to predict the job success of a candidate is the ultimate goal. Traditional interviews, even behaviourally based interviews only supply a partial picture of the person. What a hiring manager needs is an objective picture, and more detailed information about the person so that the choice to hire is an informed one, and the potential for on the job success is maximized.

By gathering job-fit data in the hiring process, the hiring manager will be better able to understand who the candidate truly is. This allows for a proactive approach to potential problems in the future. By understanding your people in terms of how they think, how they behave and where their interests lie, you are better able to predict how well they fit with the role. Really, knowing this information allows you to make an informed choice in the hiring decision, and gives you information that can be used throughout the tenure of the chosen employee.

Using a strategic process that allows you to gather as much information as you can and accurately qualify candidates based on how well they will fit with the job using preselected criteria gives the best possible framework for success. Be sure to practice SMART hiring. Choose people that have the skills, both technical, and of ever increasing importance, social, to do the job and work well on the team. Don’t regret choices and avoid going through the process over again.

Plus, once the decision has been made, follow up by putting this collected information into practice to drive up the value of your employees. Do not go through the effort to hire and then forget that you have critical information that can shape the person at your fingertips. Application of your knowledge is the key to the success of any program. Why not start succession planning at the bottom and know you have people who are ready to step up when the time is right.

We’ll take a look at succession planning in the coming articles.

While you are here, why not take a look at our flyer or click on our 'Assessments' tab above to see how we help our clients effectively hire and feel confident and comfortable in their final decision. 

Tips and Tools – Principles of Hiring Overview

  • SMART Hiring – Choose candidates based on:
  • Specific Job-Fit Criteria
  • Manager – Candidate Compatibility
  • Aspirations/ Goals of the candidate
  • Relevant Experience
  • Team Awareness (knowing the group that will be working closely with the new hire)

Call James: 1 (519) 383-6002 for a chance to learn a little more.