Most CEOs and business owners would agree that their most important assets are the people in their organizations – their human capital.
With that said, I find it intriguing that these same executives often don’t put enough effort into the employee hiring process. I understand this – there are many competing priorities every day as you manage and grow a business, and many times the hiring process falls victim to those. It is unfair to leave HR out there on an island waving the flag about being diligent. In order to attract and retain the best employees, companies need to have a top down commitment that the selection process is done with purpose and is a priority. Investing the time on the front will often save a lot of time and pain on the back end.
• Before interviews even begin, companies should be clear about the strengths they are looking for in a candidate. Executives, hiring managers and other company leaders should discuss what the required strengths and behaviors are for each position. Then, in the interview process, candidates should be assessed for their ability to provide examples of using those strengths to solve their employer’s problems and add value to the company.
• Companies also need to understand what is motivating the candidate to seek a position with their firm. What do they believe makes a good fit? It is important to understand what they’ve worked on in the past that has made them excited to go to work each day. Does what they are seeking align with what your position offers them?
• Companies also need to ensure that the candidate will fit into their company culture. A candidate can have great skills, but if the “fit” with the company isn’t right, the risk for turnover is high. Recent research has demonstrated that 80%-90% of all turnover that occurs in the first 18 months of employment is due to attitude and fit vs. skills. More frequently, I am hearing from clients that are interested in evaluating personality profiling as a tool to mitigate this type of turnover.
• Finally, be honest with candidates. There are great things about your company, but no organization is a utopia. Be forthright about the challenges, too. If you are, you are more likely to get someone who can handle and even improve those challenges.
This purposeful process will help you make more informed and confident decisions about the people you hire into your company. Remember, if an organization’s most important asset is their human capital, it is worth the investment of time.