Are You Using the Right Criteria for Your Hiring Choices?

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Milt CotterBy Milt Cotter, CEO, Candidate Resources

Part of a refrain from the musical “The Producers”  has the stars singing “We Did Everything Right, So Where Did We Go Wrong.” The same lament could be sung by many an HR manager when they confront the fact that many of their hires are not working out.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the cost of a bad hire can be equal to 30% of the employee’s potential first-year’s earnings.

Bill Warren, the founder of Monster.com once stated “Searching for a job candidate has become vastly more sophisticated from a technical point of view. At the Direct Employers Association, which I now head, our members know the human factor is highly important. Getting to know a candidate is more important than it ever was”

Finding people who are good at their jobs is also about finding people who will stay at their jobs. 75% of new hires come from the need to replace previous employees who have left. The longer workers stay, the better they get at their jobs and less has to be spent on their replacement.  In fact, 80% of employee turnover comes from bad decisions at the time of hiring.

Jennifer Hill, of Hill’s Staffing Services in LA said “Employers focus too much on specific attributes or skills and as a result often miss their best hire due to myopia. When an employer has blinders on, focusing on one particular skill or attribute, they can often miss the best hire they could have ever made.” This person who had the aptitude and behaviors could can gain the skills and experience necessary. Good hiring requires not just tabulating qualifications, but putting questions to job applicants and applying human intelligence and often a good computer analysis of the candidate’s assessment answers to determine how the applicant compares to the job. The bottom line is this: analyzing a candidate’s job aptitude and behaviors compared to the job description of the position they are applying for leads to vastly more lasting and successful hires.

This requires not just tabulating qualifications, but putting questions to job applicants and applying human intelligence and computer analysis to the answers to determine what the successful people have in common. The bottom line is this: analyzing a candidate’s job performance and aptitude as compared with the job description of the position they are applying for leads to vastly more lasting and successful hires.

A test is a single score instrument, and an assessment is comprised of a series of tests with individual scores. Since the behavioral output of an individual is related to both cognitive and various important behavior traits, an assessment is then best used rather than a test to project the behavior of an individual. Today people are groomed in what to say and how to act in an interview, thus an interview is not a truly objective way to evaluate what a person is really like and is an artificial situation. .

Jennifer Hill also says “Skills are trainable – aptitude is not. Behaviors are often modifiable with work. I like to think of it as a simple formula: attitude times skills equals employability. If an employer could focus more on soft skills such as being personable rather than hard skills, such as GPA or technology skills, they would likely make longer-term, more sustainable hires that would be a better overall match for the company. For example, look at the success of Enterprise Rent A Car, who’s recruiting approach focuses on college graduates, who are more trainable.

About the Author: Milt Cotter, CEO of Candidate Resources, Inc of Dallas TX, author of nationally syndicated newspaper column “Job Forum” and the book “Understanding Human Behavior” believes that in today’s “hard to fill job”, the wise employer can and will make great inroads in hiring really great people by first ascertaining what the aptitude and behaviors are and their levels in the successful people the employer now has in a specific job category. Then utilize a standardized assessment scores and compare the candidate’s scores to the successful people in the job with emphasis on hiring candidates who have the aptitudes and behaviors successful people in the position have. 

 

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