Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fit, Potential, Coachability and Desire in Hiring Decisions

Frequently we are asked why resumes do not play a big role in our selection process. Let me say up front, it is not because we believe that resumes are embellished or false. We do not believe that at all.

With people, as with other things, past performance is not necessarily a guarantee of future success with new hires or promotions. 

The key is are they a fit for the position and your culture. We do not just look at what they know but how they learn and adapt to see if a candidate might be a fit for a particular position. This is key because the same position in different organizations may require a different set of work flows, systems and institutional knowledge to perform well. That benchmark of performance must be understood and the adaptability of candidates cognitive capacity in the context of the skills to do that job well, should be measured to closely match the benchmark. The key is to measure specific job skill aptitude, not general cognitive ability. We use custom built cognitive assessments for each job for this reason.

However, that is only one type of fit. The other is culture fit. Some Human Capital consultants think this is the more important element of fit. A skilled professional who does not fit culturally, or who cannot adapt culturally, either will not stay long or will become disruptive. While we can measure current behavioral tendencies and we do, we also want to look at coachability. Can they be assimilated into the culture and modify their behavior and become a high performer and team player.  

"Can They Become One of Us?"

Part of this is dependent upon your onboarding and training program but it is also incumbent upon hiring managers and HR to use a tool to measure cultural fit and adaptability, pre-hire. There are many tools to do this, we use the Hogan.

Another critical factor in any hire or promotion decision is potential. What is potential and how do you measure it? That depends on the position, the industry and the size of the company. All of those factors and more, need to be taken into consideration to set a benchmark of growth potential and adaptability in new hires. This takes skill and a methodical interview process of the hiring manager, HR and/or the board of directors for c-level positions. The position's requirement for an ability to adapt, create and inspire vision in others, analyze complex problems and/or handle a quickly changing macro environment needs to be assessed.

The last factor that should be considered is the candidate's desire to succeed. Some people call this motivation and that may be a more accurate term.  We prefer to find out what the candidate really desires to achieve in their career and through their career. Any assessment process should answer this question, "is the candidate's desire aligned with what the position and culture delivers?" This can be measured in many ways and financial success is only one determinant and in many cases not the most important one.

If a position and culture only deliver extrinsic rewards such as financial incentives, hiring managers need to be honest about that while looking at cultural fit. Conversely if a culture is based on the intrinsic rewards of purpose and cause for example, candidates must be assessed for this type of desire or motivation.

Happy to talk more by phone, skype or google hangouts to fill in the details.

  (877) 873-9299