Hire Right the First Time!

Hire Right the First Time! – by Doni Landefeld, Ph.D.

Most of us are familiar with the saying “Measure twice cut once.” Although there is a little more effort involved in the planning part of “measuring,” the long-term gain can reap numerous benefits and savings. A similar outcome is comparable to hiring. With a little more work on the front-end, a comprehensive system to hire the best employees can result in higher-performing employees, better cultural fit, better customer service, a boost to organizational morale, enhanced efficiency, reduced turnover and money saved!

In my former role, I had a staff of almost 60 and did my fair share of hiring and firing. My organization had a pretty decent hiring system in place involving a series of interviews, reference checking, verifying credentials, and a teaching demonstration (I was a Career College Dean). For me, like many, good old instinct was what I relied upon to make a hiring decision. About 80% of the time, my instinct served me well, but the balance of the time resulted in bad hires that manifested through student complaints, turnover, or the occasional zinger that any manager or leader is too busy to deal with and probably could have avoided, had they incorporated a more comprehensive and reliable hiring system.

I’ve realized now, that there were two steps missing in what I thought was a good hiring system:
• Using scientifically validated, reliable assessments to screen for skills
• Using structured behavioral questions to complement the “organic” conversation of an interview (avoid canned answers from applicants)

To grasp the entire profile of an applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities, it’s necessary to incorporate several steps that paint the complete picture. The steps may include verifying credentials (I have a great story about inheriting an employee where this was not done), one or more interviews that incorporate a combination of conversational and behavioral questions, use of assessments (emotional intelligence is my preferred as it measures 15 different skills and I’m certified to administer the EQi 2.0), ask questions to ascertain cultural fit, for employees who will be performing in some manner – ask for a demo, and check references.

It may seem overwhelming to create a system that incorporates all of these steps, especially the careful drafting of behavioral questions. And when it comes to administering assessments, there is a lot of caution to heed. There are many assessments out there, including numerous that are free and found from a simple google search. But like many things in life, you get what you pay for and taking a gamble on something as important as hiring should not be left to the free little quizzes that have no scientific backing whatsoever. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your organization is employing services that will help you to be more efficient and successful in your hiring, so you hire right the first time!

Metamorphosis Coaching and Consulting is now expanding offerings to include hiring/selection services to help Hiring Managers and Leaders. For more information, please contact Dr. Doni Landefeld, Ph.D. 239-540-1219 or donilandefeld@themetamorphosiscoach.com