Five Things Most Hiring Managers Don't Consider*

Five Things Most Hiring Managers Don't Consider*
Douglas Garner

For hundreds of years people responsible for selecting new employees have experimented with different evaluative sources for picking the best potential employee for their companies. Resumes, letters of reference, background checks, drug testing, college transcripts, panel interviews, behavioral based interviewing techniques, demonstration exercises and on and on, just to mention a few.

Survey a thousand hiring managers and you will get as many or more "proven" techniques for culling the masses of applicants and selecting only the best, predicted to be successful performers in their businesses.

What follows are the findings from a recent analysis of hundreds of statistical validation studies done over the past 20 years by the developers of our Smart Work Assessments.

When you consider the predictive strength of these various selection data sources, you may be surprised that companies get it right at all. Or, maybe, you begin to appreciate why they rarely do, costing their companies billions of dollars a year in lost productivity and turnover.

One - the chances that a candidate's interests (surveys, hobbies, etc.) or amount of education (Masters, 4 Year College, Associates Degree) predict successful performance on a given job are about 1 in a hundred. (.01 predictive strength*)

Do your hiring managers place a higher value on a person's completed degrees when selecting for a typical job assignment? Has their experience suggested that a smarter person, more dedicated to completing a project or more prideful in their accomplishments (as evidenced by degrees completed) predicts higher performance? You will admit that the odds of selecting the right employee based on degrees completed are better than of your odds of winning the lottery.

Two - the odds that a person's previous job experience similar to the job being considered predicts successful performance in a new job is about 3 in a hundred. (.03 predictive strength*)

I once had a client who swore that an applicant who had never done a certain job could not possibly be capable of out-performing a person who had previously done similar work, successfully. I never convinced him otherwise but I do know that he ended up paying a lot more for "has-beens" because other employers felt the same way and they found themselves "bidding" compensation higher and higher when candidates played them against one another. My actual experience suggests that the candidate that demonstrates the greatest "effort" history and "curiosity" will outperform an experienced candidate when given a small bit of training and experience. Work effort and analytical capabilities predicts a person who will do whatever is necessary to be successful.

Three - the grades outlined in a candidate's transcript of their scholastic results is no better at predicting successful performance in a given job than about 4 in a hundred (.04 predictive strength*)

Like the value of completed degrees, scholastic grade performance of candidates may appear to prove that they will work harder than those students who just barely "scraped" by to complete their studies. I am reminded often of my Father's suggestion (retired General Surgeon) when I reacted to my low grades preventing me from attending medical school.. "A students become the Researchers, B students become the Teachers and C students become the practicing doctors." Maybe when he was going to school but today … Hey, could the 6 decade shift to only A students being selected to Medical Schools be a causal factor to escalating healthcare expenses? (See number Two, above)

Four - almost everybody checks references on all their candidates for a given job assignment. References from previous employers predicting successful performance on a given job are about the same odds of my picking the winning horse in the Triple Crown of horse racing (The Kentucky Derby, The Belmont Stakes and The Preakness) by evaluating each horse's past winning records, 6 out of 100 in my particular experience. (.06 predictive strength*)

Actually, my experience picking winning horses in any horse race has been just barely better than the number of times I won the lottery.

Five - many companies are now employing validated psychometric assessments as part of their hiring processes. By using validated selection assessments as part of a standardized sourcing, interviewing and selection process, companies have found a better than one in four probability of predicting successful performance of their new hire employees. (.28 predictive strength*)

Well, this is the very point I am making. Using validated psychometric assessments as part of a company's standard hiring process, for all jobs, can improve the odds of picking winners dramatically but even then, there is still a chance that you'll get it wrong.

But think about it this way, if you improved your odds of picking the right employee by 400%, how much money would that be worth to you? Or looking at it from the other end, if you reduced your turnover by half, how much money would you save?

Many of our clients have witnessed just that.

Contact us to learn how you can improve your odds.

* Based on meta-analysis of hundreds of validity studies by the Self Management Group


Smart Tweets

Get Smarter, 140 characters at a time.