I’ve just wrapped up recording a new course for LinkedIn Learning (available in Q2, 2023). The core theme of this new program is that by embedding post-hire success into the pre-hire sourcing and interviewing process it’s possible to attract and hire a different type of candidate. These are people who are more diverse, who have less traditional backgrounds, who are more focused on learning and development and who are more interested in long-term vs. gig employment. Achieving this goal requires a different process at every step from how jobs are defined to how candidates are onboarded and managed.
The "Win-Win" Performance-based Hiring Articles, Insights and Podcasts
The other day someone asked me if she should quit her job. I handed her the graphic shown above and told her to rank the six factors on a 1-5 scale from terrible to outstanding.
I was a guest on Simon Fagg’s excellent After Dinner Leadership podcast last week. Simon brings an oldie with a newbie to discuss how business ideas of the past might still be useful today. Simon’s first question to me was to highlight some early leadership lessons that I felt were still relevant. Here’s what I came up with from the early 1970s.
You might recall that this was formerly known as the most important interview question of all time.
As an old manufacturing guy it’s pretty obvious that when a machine is producing scrap you stop the machine and fix the problem before turning it back on.
I think too many people including those in HR, OD experts, hiring managers and recruiters, believe being a good interviewer requires some remarkable insight into human behavior. I think they’re mistaken. There is an alternate path: being a good detective.
Having tracked the performance of thousands of senior professional staff and managers over the past 50 years it turns out it’s not hard to predict who will be successful. All you need to do is ask candidates to describe their major accomplishments most comparable to the key performance objectives (KPOs) of the open job. As long as you dig deep enough the factors shown below will pop out. Consistency is what matters, though, not one-time occurrences. This preview of the Sherlock Holmes deductive interview describes the probing needed to gather this information.
It turns out hiring people who will be in the top half is pretty easy. You just have to stop making hiring mistakes.
The other day a candidate asked me how to figure out if he was qualified for a new role given 15 years of experience with the same company.
It turns out that anyone can be in the top 25% with the right job, the right company, and the right hiring manager. But this is a rare event despite having spent $400-500 billion in job postings and HR tech in the past 25 years in the hope of matching the perfect job with the perfect candidate.
It turns out that hiring outstanding talent on a consistent basis has little to do with your ATS, which job boards you use or the quality of your competency model. The process shown in the image below (PDF version) will give you consistent great results as long as you do these four things first:
The traditional interview process has been shown to be unreliable in predicting job performance, often due to bias, lack of training and a focus on surface-level characteristics. The Performance-based Interview (PBI) is a natural language approach that seeks to assess an individual’s competency, fit and motivation by asking them to describe their past performance in specific situations. Studies have shown that the PBI is a more accurate predictor of job performance than other interview methods, making it a valuable tool for organizations seeking to hire the best candidates. Moreover, the PBI can be used to assess candidates at all levels of experience, making it an ideal method for career development and succession planning.
If you want to hire a great person, you need to offer a great job, not a laundry-list of skills, experiences and competencies that at best is no more than an ill-defined lateral transfer surrounded by some generic boilerplate. This is even more important today with candidates leaving within 90 days after starting if the new job turns out to be more promise than substance (Fortune, May 2022).
The worst question about career goals is something like, “What’s your major career goal for the next five years?”
While it’s hard to believe that a single hiring mistake could cost a company $400 thousand, it’s not so hard to believe when looking at this table showing the incremental profit contribution of employees at these well-known companies. The idea behind this table is that it shows the full financial and business impact a person has on a company, rather than just considering the person’s compensation package.
Few companies calculate the ROI of the effectiveness of their different sourcing channels but those that do discover referrals are the best with job boards generating more mistakes. And the cost of these mistakes is staggering wiping away the benefits of lower cost and speedier hiring.
Leverage: Getting more output with less input.
Leaders are force multipliers who get more done with and through people using some type of magical leverage.
As you’ve discovered if you’d tried to hire any senior level person, the process for hiring leaders for these critical spots is much different than hiring everyone else for this one simple reason: