… not the solution.

Sadly, the issue of low employee engagement has become increasingly pervasive, affecting companies across all industries and all around the globe. According to research by Gallup, over the past two decades, the portion of fully engaged employees has consistently hovered around one-third of the workforce, with fluctuations largely attributed to economic conditions. This indicates a systemic issue that transcends individual organizational cultures or sectors, pointing to a deeper, more widespread problem.

Gallup’s extensive Q12 survey work has identified key drivers of employee engagement, emphasizing the importance of clear expectations, providing employees the needed resources to do the job properly, being assigned intrinsically motivating work and a hiring manager who coaches and develops the person.

However, a critical gap has been identified in the hiring process: these essential factors are often overlooked or inadequately assessed during interviews, only to be hastily covered during onboarding, if at all, which is too late to fix a problem that shouldn’t exist at all. This oversight represents a significant missed opportunity to address engagement as part of the pre-hire recruiting and assessment process where it belongs.

This one question asked before an offer is made to a candidate quickly reveals if this problem exists at your company:

On a scale of 1-10 how would you rank your understanding of the actual job you’re being hired for, some of the major projects and teams you’ll be working on, your hiring manager’s coaching style and our company culture?

This is a proxy for the entire Gallup Q12 and if the person’s answers are vague or their score is low DO NOT MAKE AN OFFER! The person likely will wind up in the two-thirds who are unengaged.

Performance-Based Hiring emerges as a compelling solution to this dilemma since it was developed by benchmarking how top performers looked for new jobs, why they looked and how they compared different job opportunities. Surpirsingly, their criteria closely mapped to the Q12 factors. That’s why embedding them into the pre-hire process as part of the job description makes perfect sense especially how work is defined as a series of performance objectives rather than a list of skills and experience.

This ChatGPT Performance-based Hiring botwill instantly convert your traditional skills-laden job descriptions into performance-based job descriptions to give you a sense of the difference between the approaches. You should also ask the bot to create a compelling job posting or email to quickly see how this approach can be used to attract stronger and more diverse candidates.

Another powerful feature of Performance-Based Hiring is its emphasis on long-term career growth and job satisfaction over the size of the starting date compensation package, the job title and the company brand. Candidates are encouraged to consider all aspects of the job and its alignment with their career aspirations, thereby fostering a deeper engagement from the start. In Performance-based Hiring terminology, this is call Win-Win Hiring: hiring for the long term, not the start date.

For new hires, the root cause of employee disengagement can often be traced back to a hiring process that focuses on metrics like time-to-fill and cost per hire and by box checking a person’s skills and experiences. These are too transactional to help predict post-hire performance and satisfaction. It’s also important to note that the current shift to towards skills-based hiring, without a parallel focus on how these skills will be applied and assessed in the context of actual job performance, is unlikely to yield improvements in engagement.

Performance-Based Hiring offers a practical and effective solution to this problem. By raising the talent bar with clear performance goals and focusing on long-term fit rather than short-term gains, it not only reduces turnover and dissatisfaction but also promotes a more engaged and productive workforce. It’s time for companies to move beyond the outdated practices of traditional hiring and embrace a more strategic, performance-based approach. This shift is not merely about improving hiring efficiency but about fundamentally transforming the workplace culture to foster higher levels of engagement and satisfaction.