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Okay, before we get into talking about employee selection, I've got a question I want to ask you.
What do the Dubai police force and bricklayers have in common?
What they have in common are robots. Robots are coming to replace both their jobs.
By 2030, 30% of the police force in Dubai will be robots. These robots, through facial recognition, can identify suspects and chase them down until a real person turns up. They can speak six languages so they can direct tourists around Dubai. You can pay your speeding fines all via robot.
And in Australia, a company called FastBrics, have robots that can lay 1000 bricks per hour. The average bricky lies about 300 to 600 a day.
Our world is rapidly changing. Times are changing. The ways people think about work and do work are completely different, not just now but in the coming years.
Times are changing and we have to keep up!
And you have to keep up in every aspect of your business. Which includes your selection system. If you aren't using 21st-century selection techniques, your business is going to suffer.
Hire for Skill, Fire for Attitude
Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill
There's an adage in HR: Hire for Skill, Fire for Attitude. Well, we need to tip that saying on its head. Instead, you need to Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill.
I'm sure you've spent hours agonizing, over writing people's job description. Then rifling through hundreds of random resumes. You've spent hours interviewing, to only still have that seed of doubt, that question in your mind, is this the right person.
You're not the only person to have ever said, "If only I'd known then, what I know now about this person, I wouldn't have hired them."
Research by Hudson found that 56% of hiring people (HR people and hiring managers), believed that their track record of making good hires was about 56%. In other words, 44% of the people that they were hiring, they didn't really think we're quite a good fit for their organization.
Basically, what that research is saying is, your chance of hiring the right person for your role is about as good as a flip of the coin.
And here's the thing, those bad hires cost you. Because for every bad egg who receives an offer letter – and who inevitably drains the team of time and money – a good candidate, who was a better job match was potentially turned away.
So we want to stop that.
We want you to get to a place where instead of being drained of time and energy, that you've got great hires.
That when you bring people on board, you're confident that they are going to be a perfect fit for the role. An ideal fit for the culture in your organisation.
who inevitably drains the team of time and money – a good candidate, who was a better job match was potentially turned away.
You must change that! Be confident that you are hiring a perfect fit for the role on offer
And so, what we need to do is to make sure that you're really hitting the 4Bs of high-performance in terms of your selection process.
You want people Believing in what your organisation does. You want them believing in the role that they'll be doing and the impact they will have on the mission of the organisation.
Research by Towers Watson (10 million employees, across 500 global organisations) identified the ultimate differentiators of excellence. They say that purpose - believing in what the organisation is doing and the employee having a high buy-in to the brand, the mission and the strategy are crucial. In other words, they Believe.
Next, you want them to feel that they Belong. Every person in the world has a sense of wanting to be a part of a community. Because we spend so many hours at work, people really, to perform at their best, need to feel that they're trusted and that they can trust their leadership. That they belong in this organisation. That it is a place they want to be, and they can thrive.
Next people need to know how to Behave. What are the behaviours that they need to succeed in this organisation, and life in general? People excel when they are in an environment where it is the norm to be at your best. To have the mindset for excellence and have clear expectations around what it takes to thrive and succeed - both professionally and personally.
And finally, Bottom-line. What is it that they do to contribute to the sustainability of your business? Both fiscally and through its impact in the broader community. People want to work for a best-performing company, one where they are the market leaders. High-performing people want to work at an Apple or a Virgin, far more so than the "just breaking even" computer store down the road. Or British Air who is rigid in their approach to work.
So your selection process needs to hit all these four B's. And at the same time, when you onboard people, you continue to grow those 4Bs through your systems and leadership.
Because here's the thing. As a recruiter, somebody who's bringing people into your organisation, it's one of the single most important things you can do. Because we're messing with people's lives.
We spend about 90,000 hours at work in our lifetime. And so significant proportion of who we are and how we live our lives is informed through the job or the role that we're in.
So if you bring somebody on who is not a good fit for their role, or not a good fit for your organisation, you're messing with their life. And that's a big responsibility. Unhappy employees go home and create unhappy families.
You want to make sure that as you're hiring people, that you're really absolutely ... as confident as you can be, that this person can thrive in both the role and the organisation.
When we talk about employee selection systems, there are a bunch of activities we need to do.
First, you should start by benchmarking the job. Because that's the basic foundation for ensuring that when you hire somebody, you're matching them with what the job requires.
When we conduct a benchmark process, we use your subject matter experts. Using people from your team, we identify what a superior performer would do when performing in this role. Not just what the current person's doing. We view it through the lens of, "If someone was thriving in the job. If they were a superior performer, how would that look?"
And then using a systematic process, we use the brains trust within the group to create a profile of the capabilities, behaviours, and motivations a superior performer will use to thrive in this position. Here is a sample Benchmark Report that would be produced once your subject matter experts have provided their input into our online system.
Once completed, your benchmark becomes a key point of reference for comparing candidates. And the closer the candidate is to the benchmark, the more likely the chance of a good hire. The farther removed the less likely.
Using our Candidate Match system, you get candidates to complete an online questionnaire, we match their results against your Job Benchmark. You are quickly able to see which candidate has closest match to the Driving Forces, Behaviours and Competencies you've identified are needed in this role.
In a traditional Job Analysis, you tend to stop at capabilities and behaviours. But that only tells a part of the story of what it takes to succeed in a job.
People's motivators (driving forces) are the cornerstone of Believing. Believing they are in the right job; because the work they are doing makes their heart sing.
It's about working out and working on what matters to them.
Get that right, and you'll get people who use boundless amounts of discretionary effort. They'll be working because they want to, not because they 'have-to'.
Let's take a look at an example. Bill Gates and Bono have each significantly contributed to charities.
However, the way Bill Gates runs a charity is quite different from Bono. In fact, Bill has transformed how charities work through the Gates Foundation. Their focus is on ensuring that what they do makes a real difference in a measurable way.
In other words, his driving force, his real motivation, is about ensuring that there is a high ROI for the efforts they are making. In the model that we use when we're benchmarking jobs, this is the driving force, the motivator called Resourceful. In other words, he's someone who's driven by a need to maximize the return on investment.
And this is vital. Even if Bill had found himself in an organisation who didn't focus on the bottom line, but if he was in a role that did focus on the bottom-line, he could still thrive in that company. But if he was in a position, where the return on investment of his efforts didn't matter, he'd become demotivated and would probably leave.
So you need to have a good understanding of what inspires a person to get out of bed with a spring in their step. And whether the role you have an offer will light those buttons up for them.
Because what most organisations do is, they think about the skills and the capabilities, and a little bit perhaps around behaviours. But they don't dig deep into motivation and what drives a person.
There's no way Bill Gates could have been involved with charities for years on end as Bono did. Because while Bono has done great things, in the early years he didn't seem to be as focused on the bottom line of their interventions as Bill is. So does that make either of them right or wrong? No goodness, not.
It just that Bill Gates would have likely withered in an organisation run by Bono - even though their aims were both the same - unless he was able to work in an area where he could deliver results that matter. Because for Bill, that driving force ... that motivation for a higher return on investment... is a critical component to who he is and how he goes about his work. And understanding that about a candidate and what's needed in the job is critical to matching the right person to the role.
In our model there are 12 driving forces (or motivators). As a leader and a hiring manager, it is critical that you match the motivators of the role to the motivators (or driving forces) of the individual you are putting in the role.
And, although job benchmarking isn't designed to replace human judgment altogether, it does make what is a notoriously frustrating, time consuming, and expensive task considerably easier and smarter. Smarter hiring means better talent. And better talent mean better organisations.
The Benchmark isn't just a recruitment tool. It's the foundation of effective talent management. It provides a platform for training, coaching and succession planning, leadership development, and performance management.
Armed with an accurate benchmark for each role, executives now have a clear picture of what competencies need to be targeted, coached and developed in their team. Download a Sample Trimetrix DNA Coaching Report, that you could use with your new hire, to help drive their development agenda.
Once we benchmark the job, and we've got a great position description, we move into the actual recruitment process.
I'm going to bunch the next few steps together, because now that we are externally facing, what becomes critical is the story that you tell about your organisation.
Because rest assured, whether you do a lousy job or a great job you are telling a story of what it is like to work in your firm. And the people who interact with you will tell others that story. They can become ambassadors for your business or critics. What do you want them to become?
So what story do you tell about your company? It is essential that Believing and Belonging are at the forefront of your selection processes. Because that's where the magic lays. So how do you do that? Well...
You ensure that your Values, and the Outcomes you say you want to achieve as an organisation, are reflected in every piece of your selection system. Because let's underscore this. You are starting to onboard your prospective new team member right from the ad.
For example, if one of your core values is to "Make Moments That Matter" then how does that show up in your employee selection process?
Well, your ad, needs to entice people to dream big. To feel that this job is speaking to their heart. You need to ensure that at every touch point your candidates feel that they are experiencing a shift in themselves - regardless of whether they get a job offer or not.
Let me take you through a scenario you are probably all too familiar with.
How does your receptionist greet potential new hires?
You front up for an interview and say, "Hi, I'm Shelley Holmes and I'm here for an interview with John Jones." Now, what response do you expect from the receptionist?
Mostly, we expect the reception person to say, "Hi, take a seat and I'll let him know you're here." Then they ignore you for the next 20 minutes.
But if you put the first two Bs of high-performance (Believing and Belonging) and your values front and centre in your selection process ... here's how that exchange might sound.
As soon as you said, "Hi, I'm Shelley Holmes", the receptionist said: "Oh, Shelley, John told me you were coming today for an interview. So excited that you're thinking about joining our team. Just give me a moment, I'll let John know you're here. And then I'll come over, and you and I can have a quick chat while you're waiting. You can ask me any questions you want, about what it's like to work here and why it's a special and unique place to work."
Now, can you imagine if you'd written a really great ad that's already got the person inspired by your company. And then he or she was greeted this way, how strong becomes the sense of Believing and Belonging for that person? They're going to be thinking, "Oh, my goodness, I want to work in this organisation. The people here are so welcoming. They seem great and they're doing excellent work."
And that's what you want. You want to be deliberate about how you select and onboard people into your team. Because to get your receptionist responding in this way doesn't happen by chance. It happens through deliberate design.
Another piece of advice. Generally, most people's early interactions with your company is the interview. I don't recommend you do this.
Instead, bring your candidates together in groups and hold an Information Session.
The Information Session is about you revealing to the candidates what it is like to work in your company. You want to weave the story about your company's mission.
How what they do will make a difference.
What their role is all about and your expectations.
This is all about getting the Believing part of our 4Bs model front and centre. Getting them chomping at the bit to take a bite at what you have on offer.
Why an information session, rather than just do tell them about your company at the front or end of an interview?
Well, it enables your senior leaders to get in front of the potential new hires (without necessarily being involved in the selection process). AND it tells your story: giving you the opportunity to have more people advocating for your company in the marketplace (and they will do this, even if you don't make a job offer, if you get the content of your message right).
AND it gives candidates the chance to say, "You know, after hearing this, I'm not sure this is the right opportunity for me." A candidate deselecting, this early in the process, is a good thing! It frees up your time and energy to focus on the people who are champing at the bit to get this role and work within the company.
You need to ensure that what you share during the Information Session reveals enough about the role and your team to enable people to make informed decisions.
As well, if you get the content right, your candidate has fewer questions about the role and the organisation during the rest of the selection process. This means you can focus on extracting from them as many details as you can about how they'll perform in the role.
After the Information Session, you get down into the nitty gritty of employee selection: The interview and assessment centre stages.
Now, most organisations stop at the interview.
Unfortunately, interviews aren't a good way to recruit people. Because here's the thing, if you only undertake interviews, you're going to run into trouble. The research is unequivocal. Most people fudge their resumes or fudge their answers in interviews.
In fact some of the most senior people in the world have been caught out lying on the resumes AFTER the recruitment process. For example, Albert Dunlap, who was the CEO of Sunbeam, failed to declare two previous positions from his resume. Positions that had ended poorly because of his poor performance. He was fired from Sunbeam in 1998, accused of accounting fraud.
And what about Andrew Flanagan, who was the GM for Myer for a day! He said on his resume that he had worked for Inditex, who owned the network of Zara stores. He'd actually never worked for them.
But it's not just CEOs who fake it.
If you do a quick search on YouTube for behaviour-based interviewing you'll find plenty of examples of people who lie through their interview. Here's just one example.
I made up a story. And I use the same one each time. Put on a big fake ass smile and tell them what they want to hear.
This is what people are saying in public forums!
Youtubers sharing stories on how to fake your way through behaviour-based interviews
So we know that if you only use an interview, you are setting yourself up for not getting the best candidate.
To get higher success in your employee selection process, you need to use Assessment Centres.
What you want to do, is train your team to execute Assessment Centres competently. In the Assessment Centre you should bring candidates in groups of 4-6.
During the Assessment Centre we get candidates to undertake activities like group discussions, role plays, inbox exercises, presentations, maybe some testing, maybe even social events.
Your assessment centre activities enable you to gather information that can be difficult to get an interview.
It allows you to look at the characteristics that you've identified in the Benchmark. To see people performing them in real time. It's hard to fake in a role play competence at managing an under-performing team member. It is far easier to fake a story about how they'd handle an under-performer when answering an interview question.
Even the social events, when you witness how they interact during morning tea or lunch can tell you volumes about an individual.
As an example, one time we were running an assessment centre. One of our assessors came up to a candidate and said, "I'm ready for you now." The candidate turned to her and said, "I'm meant to have a 15-minute break, between the last activity and this interview. There's still two minutes to go. So can you come back in two minutes."
We couldn't believe it. How rigid was this person, that they would say, "I want my extra two minutes of break before I come and have my interview with you."
Small things like that. But it can tell you volumes about what you can expect from somebody in the future.
Look, the benefits of assessment centres are enormous. Because they help you see people's behaviours real time. You can better predict how they are going to perform in their job.
Your assessment centre also forms part of your onboarding process. You are saying to people look: this is what we expect you to do on the job. For example, you could have a role play where they are calming a ruffled customer, planning and leading up a group discussion, doing a presentation.
Candidate reports are favourable after experiencing an Assessment Centre
Also, candidates report that once they've been through an assessment centre, they think it's been a professional and rewarding experience. And, to be fair it's a little bit daunting. But they also feel that they've had a fair go. That you have really had a good hard look at them. And that you and they are both able to assess whether or not this is going to be a good fit.
It certainly takes a bit of time for your team members to be involved in an Assessment Centre selection process.
However, there's a couple of significant side benefits to this investment in time.
Firstly, they become more committed to your new hire's success. This is because they've been a big part of bringing the candidate on board to the team.
Secondly, as they're assessing candidates in role plays, group discussions or presentations etc, it's reminding them of the skill-sets, the behaviours, the mindsets that you want them to use in their own roles.
You get to gather a lot more information about your potential new team member. And, it reinforces with your current team members the behaviours you want them to use.
Because if they're assessing a candidate in a role play about something, and they aren't doing so in their daily work, the cognitive dissonance can be a prompt to them stepping up and developing their skill set in that area.
Well, there's a whole bunch of ways we could support you. It all depends on your budget and the degree to which you believe hiring people into your team is an integral part of your business success.
So if you feel that your selection process is really only that flip of a coin, you're only getting 50% of the time, the right people in the right role, it's time to change that. It'll be great for you to get the tools that will raise your probability of getting the right person in the job so that they can thrive and your organisation thrives.