Solution # 1 – Can you do this to avoid Bad Hires?
If you’ve been following my posts on why companies hire bad employees, you will be most interested in today’s submission. We know from over 28 years of working with hiring managers, recruiters, and entrepreneurs who try to do it themselves that most people responsible for hiring simply do not know how to properly profile candidate’s traits, motivations, behavioral orientations and cognitive functioning and relate it to job performance so as to avoid the bad hire. Worse, many fool themselves into thinking some generic interview questions found online will solve their problem of hiring bad employees. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news – it won’t! This is just a reality. You can argue if you like but stay with me to the end. I want to pose a couple questions to you and be honest with your answers. Doing otherwise will only stop you from taking productive action to fix the problem of hiring bad employees.
Now, as most of you following me know, I am a fanatical advocate of deploying targeted assessments to strategically access specific information about candidates in a timely and cost-effective manner. I’ve been fortunate to have built my whole career around this and I know from the research and my own front-line experiences, that objective information can be accessed with more detail and precision, and on things that are essential about candidates, in a quicker and more cost-effective manner than simply trying to wing it interviewing a candidate.
As an example, after spending an extended period interviewing a candidate could you answer the following questions with any level of detail and accuracy, AND relate your findings to job performance and ability to contribute? Read on and learn if you can.
What is the candidate’s Interpersonal Style? This is an easy one, isn’t it? What do they lead with naturally? What happens under duress? Do they function to their capability occasionally or regularly? Are they able to think on their feet and adapt as situation change? How does that impact their interpersonal style or does it? What about their temperament? How does that play out… normally and under stress? Okay, that was the warm-up question series, let’s really dig into this.
Would you be comfortable making judgements about the candidate’s Thinking Style? Would you be accurate in identifying the way they think through problems or how they process data about work issues that come up daily? Could you accurately comment on whether the candidate was analytical, logical, systematic, or non-linear in their thinking approach? What is their default thinking style regardless of the situation presented? Would you know how their thinking style would impact your business or the role you were considering them for? Let’s say you felt pretty confident about these two conditions, would you be able to articulate their coping style? How they normally deal with situations and people and how their style changes under stress and pressure? If you are still with me, great. These were the easy questions.
Now, let’s look at some of the more difficult and complex issues related to avoiding bad hires. For instance, how does the candidate function as part of a team? Could you articulate if they were: a co-ordinator, or shaper/driver, or evaluator and critic? Would you know if they were an implementer? Or team-builder or resource provider or inspector or innovator? What about their leadership style? Could you identify them as: directive? delegative? participative? consultative? or a negotiator? Could you really be able to discern between any of these leadership styles? Would you be able to understand how they might impact your business? Your team? Your culture?… let’s move on.
Now what about when the candidate must defer to others. Regardless of the role or level there are going to be times even leaders become followers. Would you be able to identify the candidates subordinate style? Would you be able to identify if they were open and receptive? Self-reliant? Collaborative? or reciprocating?
Finally, for our purposes today, what about their ability to sell? And I don’t mean selling a widget. I am talking about how they exist in space, how they present and process and engage others. We all “sell”, all the time. Would you be able to determine if the candidate was a confident communicator or rapport builder? Are they a culture fitter or builder? Are they an enthusiast? A persuader? A supporter or driver? All these facets make up their ability to sell – not directly or explicitly, but in their every day interactions internally and externally and their style will either help or hinder performance in your organization.
So how did you do? Were you able to provide answers to this series of prompts? If you are like most of my clients, the honest answer will be no. And that is okay. It really isn’t fair for you to be expected to be able to do all this when interviewing candidates. It’s not your expertise. It’s not really your skill base. It’s not what you do day-in, day-out. However, if you want to avoid bad hires, this is just some of what you need to understand and gain access to.