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Behavioral Intelligence

What You See May Not Be What You Get When Hiring

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Hiring is not an exact science, but there are ways to mitigate getting it wrong.

Twenty-seven percent of employers in the U.S. who reported a bad hire said that a single bad hire costs more than $50,000. (According to a CareerBuilder survey of 6,000 hiring managers and HR pros worldwide, 2013.) The internet is rife with tales of how expensive a bad hire can be.

But the bigger issue, and the one that has the potential to cause long-term damage to any organization, is the impact a bad hire has on productivity and morale. Matching candidates talents to the specific role, the team culture and conducting behavioral interviews to get below the surface, is more likely to get you to the right candidate for the role.

Sixty percent of hiring managers report that bad hires don’t get along with co-workers, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Keep in mind that candidates will have a mixture of natural, learned and cognitive behaviors. These insights are measurable and, using a validated tool, can be revealed at the outset of the hiring process. Still, it isnt enough to fill a vacancy. The fit to the team, the organization, the culture and the up-line management, are significantly more important than the skill set a candidate brings to the table.

The lesson for CEOs: Dont hire yourself. Just because the interview went well and you connected does not translate to a fit for a role. Hire to the job. Hire to bring the talents you dont have to the organization.

And for you Recruiters? If you want to hire well, make sure you have a benchmark of the typical behavioral characteristics needed for high performance in specific roles. Not only do you need benchmarks for the role, you also need them for the team, department and decision makers. Without this information, the hire will be based on resumes, references and gut instinct.

Your reputation is riding on it. Candidates will be watching for vacancies at organizations who are known for their integrity, culture and treatment of their people. They will be more interested in the role than the salary. They will want your company name on their portfolio of work. They will want to boast they work for you.

Related: You Need to Own it! And Succeed

Assessment Centers should take recruiting seriously too. Spend time with candidates. Its not enough to hire those that look good on paper and fit all the benchmarks; they also need the right character traits. If you are recruiting to a highly-pressurized role, you need to know their potential to manage others under pressure. Is there risk associated with the decision making in the role? How will the candidate respond under pressure? Are they going to become a rogue trader (for example)? Time spent in an assessment center provides insight into the extent a job applicant meets these qualities.

What to do?

  • Use a validated talent discovery system to get under the surface and discover the natural strengths and struggles.
  • Compare the outcomes to understand the candidates team fit and how they will interact with the leader and team members.
  • Have a list of powerful questions for conducting a behavioral interview based on the candidates natural strengths and struggles.

The most effective investment that a business can make into the hiring process, is to devote time and energy into benchmarking the talents and behaviors required for different roles. This makes for a smoother and more effective hiring process as you match candidates to roles.

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