I really like him! Let’s hire him!

on August 22, 2012
Manager Development

There are few things in business more important than having the right people in your company and ensuring that those people are set up for success – not just for individual success, but to help your company achieve its strategic goals. All too often, we hire new people with great excitement and anticipation only to see our hopes for success fade away with a resignation, dismissal or, even worse, lingering under performance.

I was speaking with a prospective client the other day who asked me if I had any best practices for selecting and onboarding new talent.  When I inquired how his organization was handling that process today and their current results were, he shared this:

  • We’re wrong about who we hire more often than we’re right.
  • We’re hiring based on likeability and instinct versus quantitative decision making capabilities.  “I even find myself saying, ‘I really like him!  Let’s hire him!’”
  • We can’t afford to be wrong any more.  Bad hires and misguided onboarding are costing us a lot in lack of productivity and poor performance.
  • We don’t have a process in place for onboarding, so even if we hire the right person, we often lose them in the first 90 days because we’re not appropriately supporting their success.

Do any of these comments sound familiar to you?

I’ve worked for companies that have experienced all of the same issues. I believe that these are fairly common practices, and yet they result in undesirable outcomes. I explained to my prospective client that I’m not an expert in talent selection or onboarding specifically.  However, based on my knowledge of what makes successful strategy execution through people possible, together we outlined a framework for changes that would need to occur to improve his company’s success rate.

This is what we came up with:

  • Attract the right candidates who match the organization’s brand and culture, and effectively screen out the wrong ones.
  • Gain capability in behavioral interviewing techniques.
  • Create assessments to measure skills and capabilities.
  • Align compensation with skills, capabilities, and experience.
  • Begin onboarding by engaging new hires in the organization’s strategy, values, and culture and connecting their role in supporting it.
  • Provide strategic and skill-based training upon hiring and throughout an employee’s career.
  • Engage and educate managers in their role in supporting the success of new hires, especially during the first 90 days.
  • Identify a career path that will connect a new employee with future growth opportunities.
  • Provide feedback on performance early and often.

I’m asking for your help in creating a list of best practices that all of our organizations may benefit from.

  • What have been your most effective hiring practices?
  • What have been your most effective onboarding practices?
  • What selection or assessment partners have you used?
  • What results have you had from your current hiring and onboarding practices?
  • Where do you see an opportunity for improvement in your organization?

We all wrestle with this area, and my hope is that we can use this forum to make better hiring selections within our companies and better retain and grow the talent we hire.  Let’s hear from you!

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