Today, business success is measured in TALENT – the RIGHT talent for the RIGHT job. Jim Collins said in his book, From Good to Great, “People are not your most important asset. The right people are. Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” No matter what kind of business you are in, having the right people determines success or failure.
Having the wrong person is like putting a six hundred pound jockey on a racehorse. No matter how hard you push, you are not going to get that horse to go any faster. Consider the following story.
George was recruited from another company and just took over as your Sales Manager. He had never been a Sales Manager before, but he had impeccable credentials and his resume listed an impressive track record including great references. He was a likeable guy, sociable, and seemed like a perfect fit for the Sales Manager’s job.
However, after the first two months, sales started dropping. Two sales people whom George supervised quit. They complained he was not communicating and was slow in responding to their requests. George was the first one out the door each evening. Customers began complaining that no one was returning calls. What went wrong?
People are not cut out for every job. Past experience is not a predictor of future success. Putting the wrong person in a job is going to generate employee turnover, poor performance, missed business opportunities, lost sales, unhappy customers, and increased costs.
The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
Each job requires a unique set of motivations, competencies, and talents. To reiterate what Jim Collins said, “Get the right people in the right seat.” Obsolete hiring practices including poorly trained interviewers don’t help the situation. The reasons traditional hiring practices are not working include:
-Failure to detect motivational fit with job
-Applicants “exaggerate” to get a job
-Relying on past experience as an indicator of success
-Most interviewers are not properly trained to interview applicants
-Hiring decisions made by intuition, not fact
Each person brings their own set of unique skills, talents, and competencies to the job. The trouble is most organizations fall short in matching the job with the individual. Businesses have not analyzed what it takes to be successful in each job. Just like George, he may have been a good sales person, but was a failure as a Sales Managers.
Consider one financial institution that reduced turnover in their CSR positions by 32% by benchmarking the personality traits and motivations of their most successful CSR’s. This saved them millions of dollars in turnover costs each year.
So what is the answer?
Businesses today face a shrinking talent pool. Employers are seeking better ways to accurately assess, develop, and retain top talent. Most people realize resumes and job applications cannot be trusted. Job interviewing is important, but has its limitations. More and more organizations are taking the next step.
If traditional hiring practices are not producing winners, you might consider taking the next step. Back in the late ’90s, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies used some type of assessment. Today, that figure has climbed to 65 percent. A year 2000 study by the American Management Association showed nearly half of 1,085 employers polled use at least one assessment in their interviewing process.
Not all assessments are the same. There are a variety of assessments to choose from. Some measure the honesty and integrity of the applicant. Other assessments measure sales skills and determine if the candidate will make a good salesperson. Another measures the ability to communicate and how well the person can connect with their team.
Hiring consultants can advise you on the best assessment and strategy for your situation. By implementing a structured hiring process coupled with assessments or profiles will increase your chances of finding the RIGHT person for the RIGHT Job.
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Greg Smith is the CEO and founder of Chart Your Course International located in Atlanta, Georgia. He helps organizations recruit, hire, and retain talented people. As a business growth consultant, he has helped business owners reduce turnover, increase sales, deliver better customer service, and reach long-term prosperity. He is a former examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as well as being selected by the Human Resource Executive Magazine as one of the nation’s “Top-Ten Rising Stars” in Human Resource Management. He has authored eight books including Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High-Turnover to High-Retention. For more information, visit www.chartcourse.com or call (800) 821-2487 or (770) 860-9464.