4 Steps to Successful Hires

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Business woman high fiving colleague during meetingTraditionally, the success of the hiring process has been based on more transactional factors such as cost to hire and time to hire, but research from FutureStep, in the form of their Global Talent Impact Study, reveals that hiring success metrics are shifting to more sophisticated measures such as: performance level of the new hire, line manager satisfaction and new hire retention.

The study took into account the views of 1,589 recruitment and talent professionals in the US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil, China, Hong Kong and Australia. The survey itself showed unanimously that ‘performance of the individual’ was deemed the most important criteria to assess the success of hiring, with 67 percent of those surveyed citing it as most/second most important criteria. Retention came next, with 35 percent of those surveyed saying it was the most/second most important research criteria. It was telling that both cost of hire and time to hire were of diminishing importance, being rated as important/second most important by just 27 percent of and 18 percent of respondents, respectively.

Performance is King

For me, the message is clear: Hiring teams are shifting their success metrics to more long-term criteria, such as performance, and away from short-term measures like cost and speed – and presumably seeing more success as a result. I would urge hiring managers who aren’t already doing it to consider doing the same.

It can be difficult to move to a long term hiring for performance strategy as opposed to a short term speed/cost strategy when you are facing empty desks, slowing productivity and frustrated hiring managers. But, as hiring professionals, you may need to encourage reluctant hiring managers to take their medicine even if it does taste awful – which may need some persuasion, influencing and placation in order create the room to deliver your long term, performance based hiring strategy

However, speed/cost and quality don’t have to be mutually exclusive and you can introduce or place greater emphasis on performance with only minimal impact on short-term speed/cost of hire. Below, are several ideas and approaches that you can adopt to modernize your hiring process and place a greater emphasis on the long-term performance of the candidate to measure success.

1. Start tracking the performance level of each new hire after six months and one year based on their appraisals and manager reviews. This will give you an idea of the impact they have made on the organization, that is the performance level of the new hire.

2. Begin using a success profile as the basis for your job description and as a benchmark by to assess candidates. This involves identifying the key skills and qualities possessed by the ideal top performing candidates in key roles within your business. Then hire people who meet or exceed these criteria, which means you should be raising the bar of your hiring. It could, of course, cost more or take a little longer to find someone with these skills.

3. Monitor each aspect of your attraction and selection process and assess quality of hire based on sourcing channel, job board, interview process, recruiter used, hiring manager etc… This enables you to see which processes are working better than others to produce high performing recruits, and you can adjust your hiring process accordingly.

4. Look at the accuracy of your assessment processes. For example, monitor which assessment processes are used for each candidate, role, and department. See if certain processes are better at delivering high performing hires or if other processes have lower predictive accuracy. For example, department “A” may be using more cultural fit assessments and department “B” may not be using so many, and you could find that first-year performance levels are higher in A. This means that in order to create a greater focus on quality you might persuade department B to start using cultural assessments.

I am not attempting to write the guide book to hiring for quality, just merely opening the door to the concept (which seems to be becoming the norm) and providing some pointers to firms who are looking for new ideas on how to increase their emphasis on quality of hire.

I’d be keen to hear your views on other methods you have used to track and enhance your quality of hire.

By Kazim Ladimeji