Making sure your company is the right fit for your employees is critical to productivity, morale and retention. Whether you are a small, medium or large firm, we are all faced with the challenge of how to identify and retain top performers.
With the right performers in the right position, we are better at obtaining new clients, maintaining existing client relationships, finding creative ways to streamline processes, and providing humor and esprit de corps during high tension projects.
So……How can we increase our odds of success?
We should keep in mind that a SHRM Study reported in USA Today stated that: “63% of all hiring decisions are made during the first 4.3 minutes of an interview.” Isn’t it surprising how we can base our decision on how well a candidate can present a good first impression? But what’s below the “tip of the iceberg?”
We must learn to utilize all available resources to increase our success rate. Note how the following table illustrates the increased chances of a successful job fit when we apply additional processes:
Process Cumulative rate of job match success
Background Checks 26%
Personality Testing 38%
Ability Testing 54%
Interest Testing 66%
Job Matching 75%
Psychological Bulletin Vol. 96, No 1, August 1994
Professor Mike Smith, University of Manchester
Personality / Behavior Testing has been around for many years. We are now able to determine components of personality through many paper and on-line instruments. I’m a big fan of instruments that measure optimism. In addition, other measures such as energy level, assertiveness, sociability, manageability, decisiveness, accommodating, independence and objective judgment are critical to determining job fit.
Interest testing provides us the measures of the candidate’s occupational interest. It provides a long-term perspective and has an impact on retention.
Job matching has become more common place due to advances in technology. What used to be a long and paper intensive process of building a job match pattern has now become easier with web based tools that provide us the ability to quickly determine the patterns of our best and worst performers for any one job function.
Working with Luce Performance Group clients, I’ve noticed that abilities need not be equal. Sales representatives need to have excellent verbal skills; however their need for highly developed numerical skills may not be required due to systems support. On the other hand, vendor and supplier managers who are responsible for accounting functions and perhaps accounting functions are best matched with higher numerical reasoning skills. Can you tell the difference from the interview process? Honestly? Is your process reliable and has it been validated over thousands of scenarios?
I often jokingly ask the question: “Have you ever made a conscious decision to hire a non-performer?” Of course we don’t. We must find the best ways to promote job fit: Can the candidate do the job? Do they want to do it? Will they fit within our company culture?
The answer is to improve the quality of interviewing, background checks and implement pre-employment assessment measures. These measures must provide information about the quality of customer service, account development and account retention. Focusing on the characteristics of top performers, using sound assessment tools to enhance historical data and the interview will get us much closer to a fit employee.
Jon Morse, MBA, is Recruiting Director for Luce Performance Group. Jon@LucePerformanceGroup.com 210-286-7041