by Helen Whelan
Hiring the right person for a job can be difficult at best. Managers often hire people like themselves or focus too much on past experience. Lou Adler, a former executive search recruiter and author of “The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired”, counsels talent managers and job seekers to focus on the behavior that is needed to make a job successful. That way, you get at hidden motivations and the right attitude to succeed. Adler says, for example, instead of focusing on past skills, focus on the goals of the job: “It’s better to say ‘upgrade the customer billing and reporting system’ rather than have a BS in Accounting, 2-3 years Accounts Receivable (AR) experience with in-depth exposure to Great Plains billing software.”
Adler is definitely on to something.
We all know the stats aren’t in favor of keeping the status quo for talent acquisition. 46% of rookies wash out in the first 18 months, according to Leadership IQ. Managers in much less time. Either they are pushed out or leave a job or culture that isn’t want they signed up for. The cost in lost productivity and recruiting a replacement can be as much as twice that person’s salary.
Now, with the proliferation of data, more startups are looking at how to mine that data to change the model for hiring someone. It’s like behavioral interviewing on steroids. This video explains EmployInsights attempt to get at an employee’s motivation and character strengths to find the right person for a job:
I actually took a test they offer through Job Compass and found it to be spot on. Similar to Gallup’s Strength Finders, Job Compass helps anyone to become more self-aware of what they value and the roles that will make them happiest. You’ll find your three strongest character strengths out of the universe of 24.
If you’re a manager, this behavioral testing helps to give you insight in how to motivate people with different strengths. For instance, if you know a team member rates high in Appreciation of beauty or creativity, it might be wise to allow them to be part of a group hiring a web designer. We could argue whether someone has the skills to do this but what is fascinating is how data is helpful to find motivations that might not show up on a resume.
Now the trick will be to get the data on whether this type of behavioral targeting works? Will we find more engaged employees through these types of behavioral tests? Let’s hope so.