In order to bring you the most accurate and useful information possible, Employee Selection and Development, Inc. will be issuing PRACTICAL RESEARCH REPORTS quarterly. Its purpose is to give you practical and useful information on hiring, motivating, and managing employees. Should you have any questions or want further elaboration, please contact us by email or call 800-947-5678.
PRACTICAL RESEARCH REPORT #6: FOUR KEYS TO HIRING A WINNER THE FIRST TIME
Albert H. Zinkand , MIM
The following is an article in numerous business publications and newspapers.
“I just dont understand. I used my best interviewing techniques and questions. I checked his references and they were great. My instincts said, ‘Hes a runner.’ I poured my heart and soul into training him and now, six months later, hes failing miserably. Im going to have to let him go. Sound familiar It has happened to all of us.
One of the most difficult tasks a manager or entrepreneur faces today is finding the right person for the job. Most follow a suggested interview guide and trust their instincts. They hire the individual and hope that with proper training and motivation, the individual will succeed. The difficulty with this approach is that it is human nature to hire people we like and that have similar personalities to our own.
If you are an accountant and are hiring accountants, then you probably have a 50% chance of hiring the right person for the job. But, if you are an entrepreneur or manager, and you are hiring for a position you have little experience in, chances are you will fail and the position will become a revolving door. With the average hiring mistake costing a company $17,000 – $20,000, competitive pressures make hiring right the first time a necessity.
There is a better way. At Employee Selection & Development, Inc., we have many years of experience turning companies around. We have learned that the key to productivity and profits is having the right people in the right jobs. We call people with the skills, motivation and work ethic to do the job Power Runners. Put the Power Runner in the job and you will have a top producer; someone you wish you could clone. Put many Power Runners in the job and you will have a fast growing and exciting company that is fun to work for; a company that your competitors wish they could clone.
The Four Keys
1) JOB COMPATIBILITY
The first question to answer is “Is the individual compatible with what you are asking him or her to do” Many corporations today have career broadening assignments for their employees. The notion is based on the idea that the broader the experience, the better the employee. Unfortunately, many employees are miserable in career broadening assignments because their personalities are not compatible with what they are being asked to do. Their performance lags. They become frustrated and what was once a rising star becomes a management problem with an attitude. Usually, the employee leaves before the harried manager can determine the root of the problem. Doesn’t it make sense to determine a person’s compatibility with a new job BEFORE they are hired or promoted
How is this done Through the use of our ENet Hire or Personality Profile. First, test your most successful people in the position. The results will uncover their dominant job related traits. Our program will then model the results through a process called “benchmarking” or “base lining.” This process creates a hiring or promotion personality trait standard, by which you can compare your applicants or employees to the most successful people already in the job. If you do not have enough employees to benchmark, then you can use our industrial database of baselines. We have benchmarked over 88 positions from receptionist to CEO.
2) SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE
The second question to answer is “Does the individual have the skill set to do the job” This can be determined through good interviewing questions, checking references, and giving the applicant a skills test that is relevant to the position. Recent research has shown that many degreed applicants lack the basic skills to do the job. I sincerely recommend the use of a Basic Skills Aptitude test. My company uses tests that were developed by a Doctor of Education to specifically measure the applicant’s computer knowledge, math, spelling, and vocabulary and grammar aptitude. Bottom line, what good does it do to hire someone who can’t open Windows, add and subtract, or compose a business letter Make sure they have these basic skills before you hire.
If you want to know if an applicant knows how to sell, I sincerely recommend the use of our Sales Strategy Index. It puts the applicant in typical sales situations and then measures their responses against a known group of top producers.
3) WORK ETHIC
The third question we must answer is “Will the individual work” For salaried positions, I recommend you rely upon the in-depth interview questions provided by the ENet Hire or Personality Profile, and the questions below. The Interview Questions Report provides in-depth interview questions for the applicant’s scores that may be a problem on the job. Also, here are additional interview questions to help you determine the applicant’s work ethic. Feel free to modify the questions to suit your needs.
Mission/Sense of Purpose
Who is the most successful person you know in our industry
What is your goal in life
Tell me about your 5-year goal Your 10-year goal
For the first year or two, is there any reason why you wouldn’t be willing to commit to working 9 am to 9 pm, three to five days a week
Tell me about something you have accomplished that required great perseverance
Tell me about the jobs you have had that required self-discipline and perseverance
Tell me about something that made you decide to give up and why
Do you use a Day Timer May I see it (Look to see if it is filled out.)
How do you prioritize your “To Do” list
Have you taken any seminars on time management Which ones
Character and Credit History
When we conduct our character and credit checks, will we find anything questionable
Check driving, credit, criminal, and employment history.
Check personal references.
For hourly positions, the questions we must answer are different. We want to know, “Will the applicant show up for work Will the applicant steal from the company Will the applicant take drugs on the job Can the applicant accept supervision What is the applicant’s attitude toward customer service and long term employment” To measure these, I recommend a Work Ethic and Core Values tool that was originally developed for Sam Walton and his companies, or ENet Hire. Both are now in use with over 3,000 companies worldwide. Each test has proven very effective at screening out people with absenteeism, tardiness, drug, theft, safety, job hopping, supervision, short term employment and customer service problems.
If you would like to learn more about how to interview, please select the interviewing tips article you would like to see in the top left hand corner of this web page.
The final question we must answer is “If I hire this applicant, who inside of my organization is best to manage the new hire and jump start his/her productivity” How many times have you hired the “right” applicant, seen them perform excellently during the “honeymoon”, then watched their productivity slowly fall into non-existence Our company has been doing retention research and exit interviews for over seven years. We have found that personality conflicts now account for 50% of the employee turnover. In a recent research project, we discovered that often a new hire had all the “right” ingredients for success. The new hire was then assigned to a manager or trainer with whom they were incompatible. The result was after 120-180 days, the new hire became de-motivated, disheartened and left.
How can this be prevented By making sure that the new hire and initial manager are compatible. You can do this by a simple comparison of their ENet Hire or Personality Profile results. If the manager and the new hire are opposites in more than three of the 20 job related traits, you may want to assign the new hire to another manager or not make the hire. While opposites may attract socially, they usually fight at work. If the manager and the new hire are opposites in less than three categories, then have an initial conference and show the new hire and manager how they are alike, and how their differences can benefit each other. Often, just showing two people how they can attack a problem from their different perspectives is enough to promote teamwork and jump start productivity.
With hiring mistakes costing the average company $17,000-$20,000, competitive pressures necessitate “hiring right and promoting right” the first time. In order to do this, you must have a complete picture of an applicant’s or employee’s strengths and weaknesses and how they will fit into your organization. This picture must include an assessment of their skills, their personality, their work ethic and consideration of compatibility with the immediate supervisor. To discuss your hirirng problems and testing needs in more detail, please call us at the number below or contact us through e-mail.