For Employers: A Technique to Increase Your Hiring Success Rate (part 1)
Part 1 of a 2 part series on a research-based, practical approach to increasing your hiring success rate
According to a study by Leadership IQ in 2012 (www.leadershipIQ.com) the ability to be coached, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament are more predictive of a new hires’ success than are technical skills:
The 3 year study covered 5,247 hiring managers from 312 public, private, business and healthcare organisations. Collectively these managers hired more than 20,000 employees during the study period. The result was that 46% of newly hired employees fail within 18 months, while only 19% will achieve unequivocal success.
These results are not surprising when considered in the light that 82% of managers reported that in hindsight, their interview process with these employees elicited clues that they would be headed for trouble. But during the interviews, managers were too focused on other issues, too pressed for time, or lacked confidence in their interviewing abilities to heed the warning signs.
5 biggest reasons why new hires fail
The top 5 reasons why new hires failed (were terminated, left under pressure, received disciplinary action or negative performance reviews) were found to be:
- Lack of “coachability” 26%. The ability to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers and others
- Emotional Intelligence 23%. The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and accurately assess others’ emotions
- Motivation 17%. Sufficient drive to excel in the job
- Temperament 15%. Attitude and personality suited to the job and the work environment
- Technical Competence 11%. Functional or technical skills required to do the job
In addition, the study found no significant difference in failure rates across different interviewing approaches (behavioural, chronological, case study…). However, 812 managers experienced significantly greater hiring success than their peers. What differentiated their interviewing approach was their emphasis on interpersonal and motivational issues.
2 quick tests to discover the attitudes you need
The goal is to determine the key attitudes that matter most to your customers and that bring the greatest benefit to your organisation. Remember, there’s no such thing as the “perfect” candidate just as there’s no universal “right attitudes”; there are only the attitudes that are right for your hiring need.
#1 Finding high performing attitudes
The best place to go for this is to your current high performers. Think about who you would clone if you could because they bring a high level of benefit to your organisation. Now ask yourself “what are the attitudinal characteristics that make these people good to work with?” Responses might include that they:
- Take ownership of problems
- Are collaborative
- Are not afraid to make mistakes
- Meet commitments
- Are empathetic towards others
- Your attitudes will be unique to your organisation and should not a handful of items.
#2 Finding low performing attitudes
Part of getting a high performer is to make certain that a person doesn’t possess the low performer traits that impede success. With your low-performing folks in mind, ask yourself “what are the attitudes these folks have that make a dental appointment seem appealing?”
Examples might include that they:
- Always find the negative
- Spread rumours or gossip
- Respond to feedback with an argument
- Only do the minimum expected of them
- Find someone else to blame for mistakes
- Are unwilling to leave their comfort zone
- Again the list should not a handful of items.
Once you’ve got your 2 lists, conduct a quick assessment to make sure every point is on target. This can be done by asking yourself the following two questions about each attitude:
- How does this attitude add value or competitive advantage to the organisation? If the attitude brings no benefit to your organisation, it doesn’t belong on the list
- Who cares about this attitude? If the attitude doesn’t bring benefit to your customers, it doesn’t belong on the list
Now you’re ready to use attitudinal traits to start developing your interview questions.
Asking questions that get honest responses
With your list of attitudes in your hand, look at the following two interview techniques.
The first is well tested behavioural interviewing eg “Tell me about a time when …” This construction is designed to elicit a past situation and how your candidate reacted to it.
The second is the hanging question technique. For example, you are the interviewer and you know that low performers in your organisation tend to have negative attitudes, so you want to test if a candidate displays negative characteristics. To do so find real-life scenario your candidate might encounter on the job. These could include when an employee is given an assignment they don’t agree with or when someone is given an assignment outside of their job role.
Take these together and begin with the behavioural question “tell me about a time when …” Then, you finish with the hanging part “… you were given an assignment you didn’t agree with”.
BUT DO NOT add a few to the end such as “…and how did you solve it?” or “… how did you react/overcome it?” As soon as you add the extra words, your good behavioural hanging question turns into a leading question and loses effectiveness.
Never hint at the correct answer; always leave the question hanging out there
IN PART 2
Sets out a 4 step interview question pattern that will double your hiring success rate.