HR Forum

Stop the recruiting roulette!

Did you know that:

• 95% of applicants will exaggerate their credentials to get a job?

• 2/3 of new hires will be a disappointment in the first year?

• 2/3 of employees would rather work somewhere else?

• The average cost of recruiting, selecting, orienting and training an employee who earns S$40,000 (RM96,000) a year is S$50,000 (RM120,000)?

• A 1% reduction in employee turnover for a 100-employee organisation yields S$50,000?

• And, most importantly, that 80% of employee turnover is avoidable?

There are only three places in the employment cycle where you can fix your people problems:

Selecting (prevention), Training (correction)and Replacing (termination).

Which one do you think has the most potential for improvement and highest return on investment? That’s right ... selection!

But where do most companies throw most of their time, money and effort? You guessed it again — trying to change the person (i.e., training), after hiring them and eventually losing and replacing them anyway!

If you hire misfits and train them, all you end up with is a bunch of trained misfits! You can’t teach a rock to swim. But you can find out who the rocks are before you hire them.

Russian Roulette

Tired of playing Russian Roulette recruiting?

Most organisations rely almost exclusively on resumés, applications and interviews to make their hiring decisions. Given the facts, you would have the same success (or failure) rate by just flipping a coin!

The candidate crafts the resumé. The candidate fakes the interview. The candidate provides the references. Where do you take control of the process? A lot has changed in the world of employment screening and selection, but relatively few employers have updated or enhanced their toolkits. They spend more time and effort researching the purchase of a copying machine than the people they hire!

Would you spend S$100 (RM240) to take control of the screening and selection process? Would you spend S$100 to stop the revolving door of hiring and firing and increase productivity, customer satisfaction and retention?

Believe it or not, with today’s sophisticated, web-based instruments and tools, that’s about all it costs to screen for the basic, but most important success factors.

The best companies in the world (Disney, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Southwest Airlines) have known for years that the most important predictor of job success is not degrees, not experience, not even training. It’s job-person match! These companies share philosophies such as:

• Hire hard! Manage easy!

• Hire slow! Fire fast!

• Hire for style! Train for skills!

You can train someone on your company’s processes, policies and procedures, but you can’t train someone to change their personality. You can’t train someone to enjoy solving people problems. How many times have you heard a job applicant say, “I love to work with people!” Then you hire him, and find out he or she is Attila the Hun! No eye contact. No warmth. No empathy. The most important success factors cannot be determined from a resumé, an interview or even a reference check! But now they can be measured with proven, valid, reliable and legally defensible instruments.

With today’s technology and tools, anyone can easily and inexpensively identify the ideal profile for any job, then screen candidates based on that profile. It’s not only legal; it’s smart!

Role Behaviour Analysis

For example, one of the systems uses something called a Role Behaviour Analysis (RBA) that asks you to force-rank a series of questions about a job, such as:

How important is it for this person to:

• Choose carefully among alternatives before acting?

• Interact frequently with new people?

• Stay at the same physical location much of the time?

• Make unpopular decisions to complete a task or activity?

Then your candidates complete a questionnaire, either online or in your office that identifies their behavioural tendencies, traits, strengths and weaknesses, in areas such as problem-solving, communicating, conflict-resolution and customer service.

The computer then compares the job profile to the candidate profile and tells you exactly how closely their traits match the traits required of the job. It even gives you sample interview questions to zero in on areas of concern. Now you have control.

Another plus is that you only have to profile the position once. Unless the job changes dramatically, its profile doesn’t change, so you just store it in your computer and merely compare it to future candidates’ profiles. Sound too easy? It’s a little more work than flipping a coin, but look how much time and money we waste playing recruiting roulette!

Today, there is no reason to hire misfits. And continuing to do so is a disservice to everyone. The employee loses, the customer loses and so does the organisation. So stop the roulette wheel, put away your coin, and prepare to build a high-performance organisation! - Singapore Straits Times/Asia News Network

•Article by John Putzier, an international speaker and best-selling author with Training Edge International. He is the president of Firstep Inc and appears regularly in the media including CNN and The Wall Street Journal.