Employee Hiring Strategies - Essential Business Insurance for Small Businesses

Updated: May 18, 2010

So what are the critical components of a People Insurance Strategy?

The first is to have a clear understanding of what predicts success. What can we look for in the interview that will tell us how good that person will be?

Consider their appearance, their mannerisms, accent or ability to communicate during the interview. Interestingly, these factors rarely have any impact on a person's ability to do the job. Very few jobs require a person to look anything other than "normal" to be successful. Indeed, we have many remarkable examples of people with significant disabilities in these areas who have been very successful.

Yet, the majority of interviewers will allow themselves to be swayed by appearances. Research shows us that the decision to hire will on average be made between 1 and 4 minutes into the first encounter. Look at it this way, how much money will you pay this person over the next 5 years and how much will your business success depend on their ability to deliver. Does a snap decision make sense?

So if the hiring decision is already made, what happens during the next 35 to 40 minutes of this interview? Well, the interviewer needs to validate their emotional or gut feel decision with facts. So they will trawl through the Resume to find supporting evidence. Not very sensible, but if you have already made up your mind, why bother looking for negative points.

What Predicts Success?

Look at people you know who consistently deliver above average performance in their role. What is it that stands out about them? Is it their competitiveness, ability to get on with people, a sense of urgency and a decisiveness and persistence to get their own way, or perhaps it is their ability to work as part of a team, to pay attention to detail and analysis, be patient and dependable and staying within guidelines. These are behavioural traits or temperament factors.

These factors do not appear on their resume or Curriculum Vitae. Education and training & experience contribute only about 20% to a person's success. Most organisations can make up for a candidate's weakness in these areas within a few months of hiring them. However, it can take years to make up for deficiencies in the area of temperament.

So if the evidence is there, why don't we interview for Temperament?

These behavioural factors are extremely dfficult to assess and call for highly experienced and trained interviewers to get an effective fix on them. Most interviewers can only make a rough estimate of how the person stacks up on them.

Yet, the interviewer's assessment in these areas does have an impact on their decision. I call it "Gut Feel". Unfortunately if you don't have the skill to assess it, it is fairly close to useless as a decision making technique. Fortunately there is an insurance policy you can get to help you out.

Psychometric Assessment or Personality Profiling tools have become increasingly popular in recent years. With this increasing popularity we have also seen a rise in their complexity and a rise in poorly designed and validated tools. It can be a snake pit out there.

Pick a simple tool with easy to understand online assessments and reports. It should also be backed up by paper based assessments for those situations where online access is not an option, perhaps in a group assessment situation. The tools should also be well validated and your provider should be readily available to help you select the right approach to using them and answer any questions you may have when you get the reports back.

Some assessments have all that you need for hiring, including guideline interview questions that will enable you to complete a comprehensive assessment of the candidate. Some will also provides reports to assist in the day to day management and development of your new hire.

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