I have people ask from time to time why I work with companies and individuals. Perhaps they think I cannot make up my mind, but the real reason is that I am committed to bridging the gap between companies and employees. Improving the employer, employee, and candidate experience has been a driver of mine for over twenty years! Companies want the best employees, yet few have mastered the science behind using data and people analytics to find them and assemble a dream team. Most candidates are willing to participate in *reasonable assessment processes because they too want the fit to be just right. The Predictive Index estimates that a wrong hiring decision costs about 30% of that individual's first-year salary. Have you ever been on a team when someone was added who was less than optimal? If so, you know there are additional costs to team dynamics and productivity that cannot be quantified.
Companies can take these steps to help identify better candidate fit.
- Gain internal alignment on what success looks like on the team. Different stakeholders will have different views of what they want out of this individual. Gain agreement in advance of hiring.
- Benchmark success. Identify current and past superstars in this role. How can we replicate what they did and HOW they worked?
- Write an accurate job description. Translate the different expectations into a comprehensive job description that consists of behavioral expectations, experiences, knowledge, skills, abilities, and cognitive requirements.
- Interview better. Ensure that interviews are tied to the success factors identified earlier in the process. Sometimes we connect with candidates well personally, even if they are not a good job fit. Consider pre-hire assessments for objective candidate screenings.
- Ensure the candidate's personal goals and aspirations are realistically aligned with this role and how it may evolve over the coming years. Someone may be perfectly capable of doing the job and have been successful in the past, but still not fit based on what they want to do next in their career.
- Coach and lead well. Ongoing developmental coaching and feedback are critical to all employees' success, even more so for new hires to course-correct early when necessary.
Employees can take these steps to help identify better job fit.
- Carefully read the job description and only apply when you a) are confident you can do the job well and b) would actually enjoy doing that work.
- Develop self-awareness about work preferences, leadership preferences, your own leadership style, learning style, and more. Several assessments help you form a better picture of who you are, how you work, and what motivates you.
- Research the company vision, mission, and values to ensure they align with your own.
- Research the company's reviews on social media platforms and prepare (diplomatic) questions for the interview related to your findings.
- Network to learn as much as you can about the company culture, your potential new boss, and why this position is vacant.
- Remember that the interview is a two-way street. Ensure the role is the right next move for your career.
- If you accept the role, work closely with your new manager to develop a 30-60-90-day plan for success.
- Engage in mentoring, coaching, and feedback sessions. Be open to constructive feedback about your performance and fit within the team.
At Deep End Talent Strategies, we have tools for leaders and companies to use people data to help hire and inspire. We also coach job seekers and administer assessments to build self-awareness. Contact us today.
*I had an individual client in 2020 who was asked to take a battery of assessments and cognitive tests. He was told to allow for 5 hours. His reply is not appropriate for print.