Apr 30

Reduce Hiring Mistakes by up to 90% with These 4 Hiring Practices

By admin | Uncategorized

Reduce Hiring Mistakes by 90% with These 4 Hiring Best Practices

Hiring mistakes are incredibly expensive. They can create massive distractions to your company workflow and are completely unnecessary, but by putting to practice these 4 critical strategies, you can reduce hiring mistakes by up to 90% and save your business from huge financial loss.

 

1. Refine your interview process.

The first step in reducing hiring mistakes is to improve your company’s overall hiring process. When you know how to exclude underperforming candidates from the beginning, you’ll have refined your candidate pool, allowing you to select from more top performers and provide your company a higher caliber employee roster.

The hiring process for both candidates and companies hiring new employees is often flawed.

It’s not uncommon for candidates to show up for an interview with well-rehearsed answers to every question you ask. Any candidate that meets the minimum qualifications for the position can appear to be an excellent candidate if they decide they want the job. And it’s easy for the candidate to craft responses based on a simple review of the job description and requirements.

They know exactly what you want to hear. The candidate has the advantage, not you.

It’s important not to fall into a trap. Often companies looking to fill a position that has been open too long or to relieve current employees from covering the gap in manpower are tempted to hire the first person who meets the minimum qualifications for the position on paper. The need to fill the position can cloud the better judgment of the hiring employer and create a much bigger problem for the company long-term.

When hiring a new employee, most employers will take into consideration this traditionally flawed formula that leads to the hiring of an average performer:

X Degree/Certification + Y Years of Experience + Z Weeks Until Position Must be Filled

What could possibly go wrong?

A better approach is to systematically improve the hiring process so that you’re not in a position to hire the “best of what’s currently available.” Be patient, ask better questions, and create an interview process that cuts through a candidate’s rehearsed answers. The result?  You’ll be much more likely to hire a top performer instead of an average employee.

 

2. Build Better Hiring Criteria.

When drafting a job posting, most companies set their criteria for hiring in terms of degrees/certifications and years of experience. The problem with this strategy is that these determining factors are not predictive of on the job performance. This strategy is often directly responsible for the hiring of average performers.

Instead, find candidates who are naturally driven to completing the work that you need to have done. If the position you are hiring for requires analytical skills, you’re going to want to find someone who is analytical by nature and a person who analyzes things so naturally that they do it without thinking.  

If you need someone to turn average performers into top performers, hire someone who thrives in an environment that allows them to help others improve their job performance. They do this naturally and without thinking and it’s likely their favorite part of the job.

This is not a pipe dream. The principles of human behavior can be used to improve employee, leader, team and company performance. The challenge is that these proven principles are often not well-known, often overlooked or sometimes more advanced than the tools we are currently using. These tools are available to any company that will use them, but the key is that they must be put into consistent practice to be effective.

 

3. Hone Your Interviewing Skills.

“Tell me about a time when…” was the prelude to the interview question that was considered a gold standard about thirty years ago. But what worked then, probably isn’t as well-fitting now.  

The challenge with our interviewing skills is that we don’t dig deep enough in the right areas. We ask questions about degrees, certifications and years of experience. During the interview, we also get a sense of the person’s personality and whether they will be a good “fit” for company culture. And, in the end, we decide whether we like them or not. Unfortunately, none of these factors (degrees, certifications, years of experience, personality or likeability) are highly predictive of on the job performance.

The best predictor of on the job success is whether the person is wired to do the task that we need to have completed.

Have you ever known a person that was seemingly able to do the job of 2 or 3 people? They worked effectively and efficiently and they made it look easy. They seem perfectly wired to those particular tasks – and that’s because they are! People who do the work of 2-3 others are rare, but they don’t have to be if we hire people for the right positions. If we asked the right kinds of interview questions, we would hire more top performers for our companies.  

“Tell me about a time when…” is an okay place to start, but your interview questions should be geared towards an end goal of understanding how a job candidate is wired.

Ask questions like:

  • “You said that you like leading people. What is it about leading people that you like? Why?”
  • “Isn’t leading people frustrating?”
  • “Can you give me another example?”

Job candidates who are well rehearsed for the interview will only be able to provide one or two examples of how they might be a good fit in a given scenario. But, job candidates who are perfectly wired to do the task will be able to provide an endless number of strategies for handling the tasks associated with the position.

Ask for a minimum of 3-5 examples and you’ll begin to see the difference in candidates much more clearly.

 

4. Always Be Interviewing.

How do you tackle a large project? One task at a time, of course! So, how do you get better at interviewing? One practice interview at a time. You might be thinking, “How can I “always be interviewing” when I’m not in need of new candidates?”  

Great question.

When you schedule an interview, tell the candidate that you don’t currently have a position open, but you’re considering candidates for any future positions that might become available. Express to them that you’d like to meet with them, learn about them, and tell them about your company, and should the opportunity arise, you can offer the position and fill it quickly.

You’ll get to practice your interviewing skills, challenging yourself to dig deep and find out what three factors make each candidate tick – and since this is an informational interview, you’ll also begin to see insights that you wouldn’t otherwise see. It’s a great learning experience!

The other key benefit of interviewing frequently is that you gain market intelligence about what’s going on with customers, potential customers and competitors. You’ll gain insights you would have missed otherwise.

Takeaways

As promised, the hiring best practices recommended are simple and straightforward – making them easy to implement and make a habit. Hiring mistakes are highly avoidable. They can create massive distractions to your company workflow and are completely unnecessary. Putting to practice these 4 critical strategies will save your business from what can become a crippling financial loss.

 

What will you do with the money you save by reducing hiring mistakes by at least 90%?

Schedule a Call Here

Author

Jim Connolly is Founder & CEO of OrgEx, Inc. OrgEx, Inc. helps companies systematically apply principles of human behavior to improve operational performance and financial results.  

Jim is a sought-after speaker who uses humor to challenge the thinking of his audiences.  Jim understands how people think and uses that knowledge to equip, cajole and inspire audiences.  He has spoken to audiences as large as 1,100 people.

In his consulting practice, Jim helps clients with their most pressing people challenges, including:

  • Eliminating hiring mistakes
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Underperforming teams – sales teams, project teams, leadership teams
  • Leader performance challenges
  • Resistance to organizational change efforts that are necessary to move the company forward
  • Systematically building toward record-setting and industry-leading performance

Whether it’s a company-wide issue or working with a specific department or team, we know how human behavior works so we know how to improve organizational performance and financial results.  Find out more at www.OrgEx.com.  

Apr 30

The #1 Proven Interview Method for Hiring Top Performers

By admin | Uncategorized

The #1 Proven Interview Method for Hiring Top Performers

Once a candidate has been screened for an opening on your team by HR, it’s up to you to determine whether they’re the best fit for the position. Are your interview skills as effective as they need to be to ensure you’re hiring a top performing candidate? 

Interviewing can present as a challenge if you’re not sure what to look for.

The CEO of a client company expressed that he very much disliked having to conduct the interviewing process. When asked why he said, “Most every candidate presents very well. But, at the end of the interview process, I’m left unsure of which candidate will be the best performer and which one will be an average performer.”  

The objective, of course, is to hire top performing employees. Industry research clearly shows that top-performing employees, which comprise a small 5% of the workforce, produce more than a quarter of a company’s total output.1

Behavioral Interviewing – with A Twist

Some interviewing strategies are far more predictive of on the job performance than others. Behavioral interviewing strategies are proven to provide a higher rate of validity than job-related interview strategies and psychologically based interview strategies.2

The foundation of behavioral interviewing is built upon the idea that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior in similar situations.3

4 Keys to Effective Behavioral Interviewing:

  1.    Ask situational questions.

As mentioned above, behavioral interviews are proven to yield more valid results than other type of interview. To conduct a behavioral interview, ask situational questions.

  • “Tell me about a time when you managed a project.”
  • “What obstacles did you face? How did you overcome them?”  

Be curious.

  1.   Get specific.

If you ask for one example, every candidate will come up with a solid answer. If you ask for 3, 4 or 5 specific examples, the cream rises to the top. Someone highly experienced in the skill you are evaluating (i.e. overcoming project obstacles) will provide an endless supply of credible examples. A candidate who has prepared rehearsed answers for the interview won’t be able to produce a variety of valuable answers and will begin to stumble as their story crumbles beneath them.

  1.   Don’t fall for excellent, but generic answers.

Be on the lookout for perfectly rehearsed answers. Responses such as, “When I manage projects I do 3 things. First, I make sure the team is crystal clear on what needs to be done and who will take responsibility for each piece. Second, we meet weekly as a team to review project status so all the information is out in the open. Finally, I check in daily with any leader that has tasks that are more than 2 weeks behind schedule.”

Rehearsed responses might lead you to think that the candidate has lots of experience in effective project management – but don’t be fooled. You need to be sure that the candidate can provide specific examples of their experience as it relates to the position.

What were the obstacles this project manager encountered on the project you asked about? (Obstacles? The candidate didn’t mention any obstacles.)  What you heard was a rehearsed perfect answer.

…With a Twist

  1.    Engage in a little small talk. Why not get all the information you need without ever starting the “official” interview? Conversational Interviewing is a process of gathering insights about a candidate using whatever topics come up in casual conversation.

For example, if the topic of sports comes up during small talk, ask:

  • “What are your favorite sports? Why?
    • Insight: Do they prefer team sports or competing as an individual?
  • “When you played sports, were you the leading scorer? If so, why? If not, why not?
    • Insight: If they were the leading scorer in basketball, were they the most talented or did they refuse to pass the ball to their teammate?
  • “You coached your child’s team? Fantastic. Why did you become a coach?”
    • Insight: Do they like being in charge? Do they like being of service? Do they LOVE when a kid learns a new skill?

Each answer the candidate provides will give insight into how well the candidate aligns with what you’re searching for. In short, your end goal is to find someone who loves doing the tasks that you need to have completed – this is essential in hiring a top performer.

Conversational interviewing puts the candidate at ease – allowing them to be most honest because they’re relaxed and their guard is down. They’re ready for the official interview to start, but, in essence, it never does.

I once had a recruiter call me after I interviewed her candidate. She assumed I disliked the candidate because the candidate mentioned that I had not asked any real interview questions. The reality was, I got all the information I needed without ever “starting” the interview. My client hired this candidate – and twelve years later, he’s still working for her to this day and is a top performer.

Takeaways

If you’re going to spend time interviewing, wouldn’t you prefer to hire a top performer instead of settling for a subpar employee? Become a top performing interviewer and you’ll hire more top-performing employees.

 

References

  1.    O’Boyle, E., Jr., & Aguinis, H. (2012). Top Performers Produce 4x More Output and Higher Quality Referrals. Personnel Psychology. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x.
  2.    Mcdaniel, M. A., Whetzel, D. L., Schmidt, F. L., & Maurer, S. D. (1994). The validity of employment interviews: A comprehensive review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology,79(4), 599-616. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.79.4.599
  3.    How to prepare for behavioral-based job interviews. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychometricinstitute.com.au/Behavioural_based_job_interviews.html 

Author

Jim Connolly is Founder & CEO of OrgEx, Inc. OrgEx, Inc. helps companies systematically apply principles of human behavior to improve operational performance and financial results.  Jim has completed more than 2,000 behavioral interviews for his clients.

Jim is a sought-after speaker who uses humor to challenge the thinking of his audiences.  Jim understands how people think and uses that knowledge to equip, cajole and inspire audiences.  He has spoken to audiences as large as 1,100 people.

In his consulting practice, Jim helps clients with their most pressing people challenges, including:

  • Eliminating hiring mistakes
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Underperforming teams – sales teams, project teams, leadership teams
  • Leader performance challenges
  • Resistance to organizational change efforts that are necessary to move the company forward
  • Systematically building toward record-setting and industry-leading performance

Whether it’s a company-wide issue or working with a specific department or team, we know how human behavior works so we know how to improve organizational performance and financial results.  Find out more at www.OrgEx.com.  

 

Apr 30

The Cost of Hiring an Underperformer

By admin | Uncategorized

The Cost of Hiring an Underperformer

Focus on employee turnover is a thing of the past. And more recently, focus has shifted towards increasing employee engagement. While both of these variables impact the cost of doing business, they pale in comparison to the cost associated with the hiring of a mediocre, underperforming employee.  

How to Spot an Underperformer

An underperformer might be a salesperson who is expected to secure 90+% of a quota but only delivers 71%. Selling just enough to avoid being fired, the rep will have missed out on countless opportunities to find new sales and close existing ones. Hire an underperformer and your competitors will be tempted to send you a thank you note.

An underperformer might be a former engineer who is now leading an engineering team but would rather be engineering. This scenario is similar to a story of an engineering manager who once told me, “this people management crap is the s#%t I have to do on top of my real job.” He viewed every knock on his door as an interruption to the small amounts of engineering that he still occasionally got to do.

The underperforming leader wasn’t focused on building his employees and teams into top performers. His lack of leadership, settling for mediocre employee performance and demoralizing his team cost the company, at a minimum, millions of dollars over the course of the five years he maintained employment with the company.

  • Which similar situations are costing your company?
  • How much money is your company leaving on the table?

Considerations

  1.     The cost of employee underperformance is literal.

Consider the financial impact that hiring a top performer will induce. Your top performing employees, that is, the highest producing 5% of your workforce, produces 26% of your company’s total output.1

If you do the math, top performers produce over 400% more than your average employee. This means that you lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual profit due to lost output every time you hire an underperforming employee instead of a top performer. The cost is substantial, so knowing how to hire top performers is critical to the overall success and longevity of your business.

  1.    The impact of an underperformer is far-reaching.

Consider the effect that hiring an underperforming employee has on the overall morale and productivity of the entire staff – how is this directly, and indirectly, impacting direct reports?  

  • Does the underperformer accept responsibility for their poor performance or do they blame their co-workers and/or boss for their workplace challenges and low output?
  • Does the underperformer’s mindset reflect that of an employee who is inclined to serve others or do they have a more inward focused mindset?
  • Does the underperformer show a focus on forward progression by creating innovative solutions that build competitive advantage?  

If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above questions, your competitors will thank you.

The influence of an underperformer is systemic, feeding mediocrity in the workplace. And worse, this influence can be so far reaching that it may even lead to a decline in the output of your top performers or those who show promise in becoming members of your top performing workforce.  

  1.    Time is money – and an underperformer will consume both.

Consider the cost of your company’s efforts to coach, encourage, document and fire an underperforming employee. What is the extended financial cost that you incur when your above average and top performing employees realize that you’re tolerant of much lower output?

  1.    An underperformer brings more associated costs than traditional turnover.

Consider the cost of an underperformer compared to the cost incurred from traditional employee turnover. Not only will you face turnover cost when making the decision to let go of an underperformer, but you’ll be paying for turnover plus resources spent on recruiting, mentoring, and counseling the underperformer while they were a member of your team.  

And let’s not forget the losses you incur as a result of opportunity cost. Every time you hire an underperformer, you’re compromising sales revenue, new client acquisition, and current client retention. A top performer will perform at a significantly higher threshold across the board – and the gains are worth taking the time to figure out how to vet the kind of talent that is build for top performance from the beginning.

The cost of hiring an underperformer is substantial, but you can avoid the losses that accompany hiring underperformers by knowing what to look for and how to place people according to their skill set.

References

  1.     O’Boyle, E., Jr., & Aguinis, H. (2012). Top Performers Produce 4x More Output and Higher Quality Referrals. Personnel Psychology. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x.

Schedule a Call Here

Author

Jim Connolly is Founder & CEO of OrgEx, Inc. OrgEx, Inc. helps companies systematically apply principles of human behavior to improve operational performance and financial results.  Jim has completed more than 2,000 behavioral interviews for his clients.

Jim is a sought-after speaker who uses humor to challenge the thinking of his audiences.  Jim understands how people think and uses that knowledge to equip, cajole and inspire audiences.  He has spoken to audiences as large as 1,100 people.

In his consulting practice, Jim helps clients with their most pressing people challenges, including:

  • Eliminating hiring mistakes
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Underperforming teams – sales teams, project teams, leadership teams
  • Leader performance challenges
  • Resistance to organizational change efforts that are necessary to move the company forward
  • Systematically building toward record-setting and industry-leading performance

Whether it’s a company-wide issue or working with a specific department or team, we know how human behavior works so we know how to improve organizational performance and financial results.  Find out more at www.OrgEx.com.  

Apr 30

3 Steps to Hiring Top Performing Employees

By admin | Uncategorized

3 Steps to Hiring Top Performing Employees

Did you know that the top 5% of your of your employees produce more than a quarter of your company’s total output?1

If you do the math, top performers produce 400% more than the average employee. So what does this mean for your company? Every time you hire an average employee over a top performer, you’re losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost output. Follow these three easy steps to hire more top performers and avoid output loss.

  1.   Know a “Top Performer” When You See One

Clearly define what a top performer is to your business so that you’ll be able to differentiate what top performers look like as opposed to average performers.

Ask yourself:

  • What are the major differences between a top performer and an average employee?  
  • How does a top performer behave?  
  • How does a top performer think?
  • What habits are typically observed in a top performer?

Disclaimer: Your best-performing employee may not necessarily be a top performer. A top performer delivers a level of performance that would rank as “best in the industry”. Consider this when determining if your best-performing employees are, in fact, top performers. You may find you have one or more top performers, or you may find that you have none.

  1.   Use Criteria Predictive of On The Job Performance

The criteria most companies use to evaluate candidates are not typically very predictive of a candidate’s on the job performance. The average job posting will likely read, “ten years of experience and a degree in…”  An interview process will follow in which the interviewer will ask the candidate a variety of questions surrounding their experience and degree.

Asking these kinds of questions might give some insight into the extent of a candidate’s knowledge or skill sets they may possess, but they’re not representative of actual performance ability – and they’re certainly not indicative of whether or not the candidate is a top performer.

Behavioral science tells us that while knowledge and skills are important,  they’ll only go so far. As it turns out, our brains are either wired for top performance, or they’re not.

Our Brain Wiring is Expressed as Talent Themes.  

Simply put, a talent theme is a naturally occurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior – and the presence of a specific talent theme in top performers is more predictive of field-specific on the job success than any other factors.

If the job you’re hiring for requires a candidate who has the ability to persuade people, find a candidate who has a natural ability to persuade. You’ll notice that this type of candidate will seemingly be persuading people all day long – even when it isn’t necessary.

Curious to find out what talent theme your brain is wired for? A complete list of the 34 talent themes is available here(2). 

  1.   Pay Attention to Body Language

Behavioral science teaches us something that can be extremely valuable in vetting candidates during the interview process. When you ask someone a question, they will display the genuine emotion they’re feeling for a fraction of a second before they cover their genuine expression with an artificially crafted one to display the emotion they believe you want to see.

A genuine expression will be present for only a fraction of a second – but that’s all it takes.

You use this skill every day.  

In fact, this is the exact same skill that helps you to determine whether or not your children are lying to you. It’s this very skill that clues you into the possibility that people may have been talking about you when you walk into a room as it suddenly falls silent and everyone diverts eye contact. You’ve likely heard of this phenomenon referred to as intuition or gut instinct – and with a little bit of practice, you can become very good at reading people and knowing their true emotions surrounding whatever question you may be asking them.

If you ask a candidate, “Have you ever been fired from a job?”, you might see a brief expression of fear followed by a response like, “No, I’ve never been fired.”

It’s important to note that this sequence of behavior doesn’t directly translate to a confirmation that the candidate is lying. What it does mean is that there is more to the story. In this case, you might present a follow-up question like, “Have you ever nearly been fired?”

Keep asking questions.  You’ll get progressively closer to the real story.

If you suspect that a candidate is telling you what they think you want to hear, this skill will prove helpful in deciphering whether or not they’re showing genuine honesty. If a candidate claims to do well at a certain task, ask them, “Why?” Ask them how the task in question makes them feel. Ask them to provide examples.

If you notice that their eyes widen, they become animated and they readily or excitedly provide several examples of situations in which they felt fulfilled from holding a position in which they were able to successfully complete related tasks, you can feel confident that you’re seeing evidence of a true talent theme.

Takeaways

If you want to hire a top performing employee, learn to define what you’re looking for and what a top performer in that position might look like. Use criteria that are predictive of on the job performance. And finally, practice reading body language during the interview process to confidently differentiate between top performers and lower quality employees.

References

  1.     O’Boyle, E., Jr., & Aguinis, H. (2012). Top Performers Produce 4x More Output and Higher Quality Referrals. Personnel Psychology. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01239.x.
  2.     Gallup, Inc. (2012, September 22). The Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 Technical Report: Development and Validation. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/services/176321/clifton-strengthsfinder-technical-report-development-validation.aspx

Call to action

Author

Jim Connolly is Founder & CEO of OrgEx, Inc.  OrgEx, Inc. helps companies systematically apply principles of human behavior to improve operational performance and financial results.  

Jim is a sought-after speaker who uses humor to challenge the thinking of his audiences.  Jim understands how people think and uses that knowledge to equip, cajole and inspire audiences.  He has spoken to audiences as large as 1,100 people.

In his consulting practice, Jim helps clients with their most pressing people challenges, including:

  • Eliminating hiring mistakes
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Underperforming teams – sales teams, project teams, leadership teams
  • Leader performance challenges
  • Resistance to organizational change efforts that are necessary to move the company forward
  • Systematically building toward record-setting and industry-leading performance

Whether it’s a company-wide issue or working with a specific department or team, we know how human behavior works so we know how to improve organizational performance and financial results.  Find out more at www.OrgEx.com.