No one has ever purposely hired a poor performer, and yet about 25% of all employees are considered as not-yet-competent by their managers. You would think that these same managers would then look at how the hiring process went wrong and investigate how they could improve the outcome in the future. Because surely everyone would love to only hire top performers. Apparently not.
For most hiring managers, “99.4% of an interview is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first 10 seconds of the interview”. This is then exacerbated further by asking worthless questions like “What is your greatest weakness?” or “What is your greatest strength?”. Which only really confirms that the hiring managers greatest weakness is effective interviewing.
Then we have the crazy situation where hiring managers will invest more time into researching the purchase of a $900 television than they do preparing for interviews for a $70,000 role. Unprepared and unstructured interviews are very poor at predicting how someone will perform if hired, in fact they only deliver 14% of the relevant information about a person in a particular role.
So how do you easily add structure to your interview process?
Well, what does Laszlo Bock (ex Google) say:
- Use a Structured Interview Process: consistent list of standard questions asked at first interview stage for all roles (example questions)
- Use Work Sample Tests: skills & knowledge testing (sample list)
- Measure Cognitive Ability & Capacity to Learn: learning index, verbal & numerical (example report)
- Psychometric Assessments: interview guide using behavioural interview questions (sample report)
- Generic Questions, Brilliant Answers: “superb candidates will have much, much better examples and reasons for making the choices they did. You’ll see a clear line between the great and the average”
- Don’t Leave the Interviewing to the Bosses: include peers and direct reports in the interview process
When you consider that a high performer is two to three times more productive than a poor performer (yet you pay them the same salary) and managers generally spend more than 40% of their time attending to the issues created by poor performers (instead of allocating this time to their top performers, clients and strategy), surely the early investment of time to prepare adequately for interviews and investment in skills testing and JobFit assessments has to be one of the best uses of an organisation’s resources.
Imagine having a selection process that rarely resulted in a future not-yet-competent employee, imagine having substantially more high performers and substantially less poor performers than you currently do. It is not a dream, it is achievable – all you need to do is fix your selection process.
There is a better way to attract, select and retain high performers ! !