Hiring well is hard, no doubt about it.
Art vs. Science
Try as we may to find a method that will guarantee perfect results each and
every time, there is no formula that will produce the perfect hire, but there
is hope. Hiring is a mix of art and science. There is enough research to know
that complete reliance on “gut instinct” is inaccurate, foolish
and, much more, dangerous, but because the act of hiring is so fundamentally
a human activity it can’t be turned into a sterile, antiseptic process
devoid of interpersonal chemistry and emotion.
The right mix is the key.
Despite dramatic improvements in other areas of business – manufacturing,
supply chain, customer relationship management, eCommerce – and initiatives
like Six Sigma and Balanced Scorecard, hiring remains a rudimentary process.
With competition so fierce and the underlying principles of most companies
to “do more with less”, companies must embrace better practices
for attracting, hiring and retaining talent.
“ Begin with the end in mind”
As Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, observes,
we must begin any task or effort with the end in mind. The end for hiring is
simple enough – get the best talent available; but like all businesses
processes hiring must overcome “friction” and strategies must be
deployed to get at talent efficiently and effectively. A hiring strategy must,
at least, take into account several factors:
These factors and their relative priority will govern your hiring strategy.
In the boom years of the late 90’s, Speed and Volume reigned supreme
and hiring processes reflected these priorities. Today, Quality and Cost are
more prevalent and strategies must adjust accordingly. In any case, you must
develop a strategy suited to the market conditions and your company’s
needs & capabilities.
Following a Road Map
Developing hiring strategies and translating them into operational
and tactical execution is what we do for a living. Hiring Intelligence™ is
our answer to this vexing problem. We believe hiring (recruiting,
interviewing, selecting) is essentially a sales process and its
components parallel those steps so closely that, at a high level,
we’ve developed our recruiting approach to mirror a sales
Whether we execute this approach
while engaged on a retained search or teach your hiring managers
or recruiters to
hire this way, it’s designed to increase your odds of finding
the right talent.
The Steps in the Project Plan
Each step in our approach has defined activities, tasks and sub-tasks
allowing it to be managed as a project and permitting adjustments
and mid-course corrections that ensure the desired outcome.
An accurate position definition, that is, knowing who & what
you really need to hire, will eliminate many of the errors so prevalent
in hiring today. But an effective hiring process, also follows
a well-defined plan and similar to complex selling methodologies
the steps ensure completeness and quality. Hiring is too important
a business function to leave to chance, luck or “gut” calls.
Our methodology defines seven distinct steps that when meticulously
applied deliver the desired output.
it when I see it”
Will you? Many managers take the approach of looking at as many
candidates as they can and then choosing the one that “feels” the
best. This is both inaccurate and inefficient. Selecting candidates
should not be conducted like some human Rorschach Test. Choosing
from among the pool of candidates without a defined profile
simply means that you may be selecting the best of the worst.
The goal of a world-class hiring process is to select the “best
performer,” that is, the employee who can do the best
job not the “best candidate” and the only way you’ll
know how to hire the best employee is to take the time to define
success in the role at your company.
Our approach to evaluating candidates is to apply the science
of competency-based assessments. Competency-based modeling and
interviewing have been shown to be the most reliable methods
to gauge and predict performance. In-depth interviewing coupled
with ability tests and other assessment methods and based on
a detailed understanding of the requirements for success are
the only reliable methods to assessing talent.
We begin defining a position with a framework consisting of three
As we drill down to specific job competencies we assess 16 individual
behavioral traits that address motivations, job and self-management
skills. It is essential to find evidence of these traits through
a thorough and detailed selection process and not simply rely
on superficial characteristics or claims in a resume. Our methodology
provides the “science” and delivers a detailed approach
that begins at the strategy level and works its way down providing
activities at each and every step.
Think of our approach as “business intelligence” for
hiring. Good decisions are personal judgment backed up by the
best information you can assemble. Our goal is to apply science,
metrics and other empirical data that when coupled with our knowledge
and experience and your own will allow us to arrive at quality
hiring decisions that don’t just simply fill vacancies
on your org chart but put real people with real talent into positions
that allow you and them to excel.
The Selection Strategies Team
© 2000-2004. Selection
Strategies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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