What’s your favorite interview question? Maybe it’s: “What are your current job responsibilities?” What questions do you ask to help find that perfect employee? Your answers to these two questions are critical to the success of your business or organization.
Recruiting is one of your more important roles, because it is your opportunity to get the right people on the bus and in the right seats on the bus. (Check out Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great.)
48% success rate. Yes, that’s one estimate of the national average of success in selecting employees who will succeed in organizations. Slightly less than one of every two hires will be successful in his/her position – not an appealing number to most of us who depend on our employees to help us win the business battle.
Unsuccessful selections are expensive. Unsuccessful selections often are reflected in low productivity, customer dissatisfaction, absenteeism, turnover, or theft, all of which are costly to businesses. Did you know the national average cost for replacing an employee is 1.5 times the yearly income? The best way to avoid these problems, increase company profits, and make one’s company a great place to work, is to hire the right persons for the right positions in the first place.
Why are recruiting selections so problematic? There are at least five reasons we could think of offhand, but we wanted to address the one issue that must be corrected in order to improve your organization’s employee selection success rate: wrong interview focus.
Wrong focus in the interview. As most interviewers primarily focus on learning about the applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the technical aspects of the job (KSAs), the interview questions tend to relate to KSAs: “Do you know how to…? Can you fix…? How would you solve…?” Yes, KSAs are a valid concern, but not the most important one. Those who do studies on interviewing have concluded that the applicant’s KSAs are the least important issue in the selection process, because it is the only area of performance that can be fixed through training.
Here’s an example. We often ask business owners if they’ve ever hired a person with terrific KSAs and been disappointed. The answer is invariably “yes.” KSAs alone do not indicate an applicant will be a good match for your organization. More important indicators of a successful hire are drive, character and culture.
Drive is the number one predictor of success. It is followed by character and culture. Drive means the amount of energy and enthusiasm the person brings to the organization and speaks of his/her tenacity when faced with difficult problems. Character speaks of the applicant’s core values, and culture looks to see if the candidate will fit into your organization’s culture.
Focus on drive, character and culture first, and then on KSAs. Drive, character and culture are nearly impossible to change; therefore, it is imperative you ask questions which allow opportunity to assess these qualities.
Here are some sample questions to consider:
Drive – “What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your life? How did you respond to them?”
Character – “Some people have told me they must bend the truth a little from time-to-time in order to make it in this world. What do you think, and what is the farthest you’ve bent the truth in order to get a job done?”
Culture – “Do you enjoy focusing on one specific piece of the project, or do you prefer to be involved in all aspects of the project?”
Send us a note to share some of your recruitment challenges, or one of which you’re particularly proud.