This is a two-part article on improving quality-of-hire:







Part 1:

Are you an interviewer? If so, how did you learn how to do it? If you're like most managers or recruiters, you were thrown to the wolves. Your first interview came with little-to-no training. As for me, my first one involved interviewing a seasoned manager who knew a whole lot more about the job he was applying for than I did. I just wanted to get through it without him knowing he was my first. I hear similar stories all the time. One guy sought advice from Joe, an experienced interviewer in his organization, in hopes of garnering some words of wisdom. Joe's response to him was “When it comes to interviewing, I don't know what I'm doing now any more than I did 20 years ago when I first started.”  What I have come to realize is that years of interviewing experience doesn’t typically lead to a greater understanding of how to do it well. Instead, more often it just cements bad habits and a false sense of confidence. In fact, a tenured partner at a law firm recently shared with me that he was so bad at picking assistants, he was told he should select any candidate except the one he wanted to hire.  

Let’s be fair, most interviewers certainly have their share of hiring success stories. The problem is they also have some not-so-successful stories, the ones they would like to forget. So here's the question that begs to be asked: If we can hire someone great one time, why can't we do it more consistently? The answer is we can…but we must use an interviewing method that more accurately predicts future job performance and success. That means doing something different than we're currently doing. Here’s the big issue – skill level is not an accurate predictor of future performance. We know the High Performer, the one we want to hire, has the necessary skill to go above and beyond. But isn't it also true that someone with great skills could just be an average job performer? Absolutely. Could someone with great job skills be a poor performer or a bad hire? Again, yes. You could easily hire someone who ‘can do the job’ but lacks a high degree of self-motivation to do it exceptionally well. The fact of the matter is most companies have some of each of these job performance levels and now you know how they got there. It was hiring decisions based on skill level alone.

We know it takes more than just skill to succeed, yet when it comes to hiring, we naively act like that's all it takes. If it were just about skill, we could hire anyone, teach them the needed skills and everyone would be performing at peak level. But we know it doesn’t work that way. Skills are ever-changing and ever-evolving. Old technology falls by the wayside and the associated skills become obsolete. New jobs and evolving technology requires us to constantly learn new skills. Strangely enough, we have this misguided belief that if a job candidate doesn't have the perfect skill set, at the exact time of our job opening, then they couldn't possibly be a High Performer so we eliminate them from consideration. We’re not only hiring some of the wrong people, we’re turning away some of the right ones.

Research has found that there are three components common to all higher achievers.  Skill is one of the three and it happens to be the only one that can be added or changed AFTER someone is hired. The other two components, attitude and passion, are the driving forces behind self-motivation. If one or both of these are missing, then you don't have a High Performer…period. The reason why is because you cannot alter them in another human being. We waste a lot of time, energy and money trying however. Doesn’t it make more sense to correctly identify and hire self-motivated people from the start rather than hiring people who aren’t and then try to get them to be who you meant to hire? Isn’t that what we call “employee engagement”?

One reason why bad hires are happening is because untrained or inadequately trained interviewers are allowed to interview job candidates and make hiring decisions. It’s rather stunning when you think about it, that in 2016 we still allow people who have never been formally or adequately trained to interview job candidates and make hiring decisions that will ultimately make or break the success of their organization. We all have our stories of businesses we no longer frequent after encountering someone else's bad hire. Interviewers certainly are not idiots and don't have ill-intent. They simply have never been taught how to be an effective interviewer, how to correctly assess self-motivation, and most importantly, how hire the High Performers. For organizations to improve their quality-of-hire, training their interviewers is step one.

For the best interviewer training, take a look at motivation-based interviewing (MBI). It's the only one that teaches interviewers how to assess the 3 components that all top performers share. Full MBI training includes three sections that build upon each other. Section One is about understanding High Performers. Once you know why some people go above and beyond while others stop at average, you can better distinguish between performance levels. And here's a clue; it's not their skill that makes the difference. Section Two is all about how to gather the information that is a reliable predictor of success. The last section is where the rubber hits the road. It includes assessing a job candidate (via video), making a hiring decision, then getting feedback on how well you did. It’s an interactive, fast-paced training that will benefit you for the rest of your career.

Motivation-based interviewing training is offered onsite as a one-day workshop, and available throughout the year as a one or two-day training open-to-the-public. Click HERE to learn more, to download a detailed 5-page brochure, or to register.


This article was written by Hiring Expert, Carol Quin. 

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