Good Data Missing When It Comes to Prediciting Hiring Succes

The truth be told, many companies that create sophisticated and rigorous employee screening and selection processes are based on gut, not facts, and the result is often a lot of theoretical and academic bull____. Bottom line: most managers have no clue what it really takes for an employee to be successful on the job and within a company.

Considering that payroll and associated employee costs make up the highest expense in almost all companies, it behooves every employer to track and analyze the data.

According to a recent article in Human Resources Executive Online, improved data analytics by human resources in the area of recruiting could have a tremendous impact on the bottom line.

United States employers collectively spend about $124 billion a year on recruiting, according to Bersin & Associates, and almost $6 trillion on payroll, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With that level of spending, small improvements in outcomes can easily be worth billions or tens of billions of dollars.

The processes used by companies to screen and select employees are highly questionable. Research shows again and again the fallibility of the interview and yet many organizations still rely in it as the sole screening method.

Research has consistently shown, however, that most interviewers aren’t skilled enough to really assess a candidate’s capabilities. One study found that interviews are substantially less predictive of candidate quality than simply looking at their resume or checking their references. Another study found that the even untrained observers can predict the outcome of most job interviews after watching the first 15 seconds.

The HRE article highlights several additional screening techniques that defy logic when you attempt to quantify results:

Job hoppers and the unemployed: Researchers at Evolv looked at the data and found no predictive value in looking at how many jobs a person recently held. “Candidates with five jobs in five years were no more of an attrition risk than candidates with only one. Candidates who had been unemployed were no more or less likely to quit or be terminated. Screening out job hoppers and the unemployed serves no purpose.”

Criminal background checks: 92 percent of SHRM member companies use criminal background checks as part of their standard hiring process. Despite the widespread usage,

Numerous studies have found that criminal convictions, especially old ones, aren’t predictive of any future bad behavior. One study, titled Predicting the Counterproductive Employee in a Child-to-Adult

Prospective Study, found that crimes committed before a person entered the workforce had no predictive value for any “counterproductive workplace behaviors.” Another study found that people with records who stay arrest-free for four to five years are only as likely as the average person to be arrested again. A third study found that, for people arrested when they’re 18, their risk of re-arrest drops to that of the normal population by around age 25.

Here’s another example. What about requirements to have a high school diploma vs. a 2- or 4-year college degree? How are these requirements determined? I have yet to find a single client who can validate that a 4 year degree is better than a 2 year degree compared to 10 years of experience is more predictive of success on the job. And yet, nearly every job description includes some minimum education or experience requirement. Who sets these limits? Often times, it is set at a notch below the minimum level of the manager. Others just claim rest their hiring decisions on the false sense of security that a 4 year degree is better than a 2 year degree….or none at all.

The quality of the workforce is becoming increasingly important as a differentiator and competitive advantage. The right approach to measuring quality of hire and using good data to guide decisions has a tremendous impact on hiring outcomes. A key objective of all human resource professionals must be to deliver to their employers the best workforce for the money. This is one of the key areas where HR can deliver true strategic value. Yet, for most recruiting organizations, “quality of hire” isn’t measured or tracked against a target.

This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation. Subscribe for FREE to The Total View by typing your e-mail address in the newsletter sign-up box on the right side of this page.

What DISC Can Tell You About Employees Who Bend the Rules vs. Live Life By The Book.

Hiring ManagerWhat makes some people slow down on yellow while others speed up? So why is it that so many people wait until the last minute when they know the deadline won’t pass and the penalties are stiff for ignoring it? And why do some people try to beat the red light while others cautiously slow down?

One answer lies in DISC behavioral styles. A very popular profile test uses the letters D-I-S-C to describe four different styles, or individual preferences. The “C” represents one style and it describes the behavior of people who are energized with “complying” by rules set by other people vs those who prefer to write their own rules.

As individuals energized by Compliance tend to file taxes early and slow down on yellow, low C individuals tend to demonstrate their independence by challenging the deadline (and the light) and testing the rules. The low “C” may file a tax extension even if they are owed money while the high “C” may file early when they owe the government money. Regardless if an individual is high “C” or low “C,” the job may get done – each individual will just do it differently according to their preferred DISC style.

How does the high C/low C scenario play out at work?

Let’s say an office meeting is scheduled for 8:00 AM. High C people set their alarm a few minutes early on the day of the meeting – just in case the traffic is bad. In fact, they may set two alarms. You never know when you might sleep through the first one. They arrive in the office fifteen minutes early. They are usually the first to arrive. They make the coffee and clean up the counter, fill their coffee cups and are in their seats waiting for the others to arrive at least five minutes before the top of the hour.

Middle or situational Cs also may set their alarms early. But hitting the snooze button one time won’t hurt. In fact, they might have even set the clock a few minutes fast just to fake themselves out. They leave their home fifteen minutes before 8:00 AM. Of course it takes twelve minutes on a good day to get to work on time. On this day, they arrive just a minute or two early but stop off in the break room to re-fill their coffee cups before joining the meeting. They enter the meeting room “around 8” to the chagrin of the high Cs who were ready to begin promptly at eight.

The meeting begins. Noticeably missing are a few key employees. These empty seats of course belong to low Cs. These individuals had all intentions of leaving home early and being on time. Unfortunately, they woke up just a few minutes late after hitting the snooze one too many times. Then they forgot it was garbage day. The dog needed to be walked – and of course, Fido decided to take a long walk this day. And where oh where did those car keys go? Finally they arrive at the meeting at 8:23. Hey, what’s twenty minutes or so when the real discussion doesn’t ever start right away. “Sorry I’m late”, they say and then go on to describe why they are late this time. You can just picture the glares and disgust directed at them from the high Cs.

Each style can write its own workplace scenario. By understanding the DISC model employers and employees alike can understand how different approaches to solving problems, interacting with people, responding to the pace of the environment, and complying with procedures impact individual and team performance. CriteriaOne DISC is a simple tool that gets big results.

This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation. Subscribe for FREE to The Total View by typing your e-mail address in the newsletter sign-up box on the right side of this page.

4 Lessons Employers Can Learn From The Hiring and Firing of Ann Curry

DISC Personality and Behavior Assessment ProfileAnn Curry’s dismissal from the “Today” show epitomizes what goes wrong when an employer hires or promotes the wrong person into a job.

Curry was co-host with Matt Lauer for the past year. Formerly she was the show’s news anchor. Her parting words were “I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line but, man, did I try.”

And that football analogy, along the lines of “get one for the Gipper” attitude, is the first mistake many managers make in recommending a hard-working, personable, dedicated employee for a job he or she is not suited.

What management failed to recognize or give enough credence to was team chemistry. With her recent predecessors Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira, the show rose to be number one in its class. Couric and Vieira had great chemistry with Lauer and supporting cast members like Curry. But being the catalyst for great chemistry and being an ingredient are worlds apart in the world of employee selection. It’s the difference between inspirational leaders and cheerleaders. Many leaders are great cheerleaders but the same can’t be said for the reverse.

It wasn’t that Curry lacked the skills for the job. She’s smart, empathetic, and likeable. In fact, her credentials from “60 Minutes” and “The View” deemed her worthy of promotion after Couric left several years ago. She was passed over for Vieira. But Vieira’s departure opened the door again and management apparently felt Curry deserved a chance.

But good job fit isn’t something employers want to leave to chance. Hiring or promoting the right employee entails so much more than just the ability and knowledge to do the job. Hiring the right employee requires fit with the team and culture too.

I’ll guess and give Curry an “A” for culture fit. But her team fit was just ok – maybe a C+/B-. It wasn’t that she wasn’t a good team player – from all accounts she was. But the chemistry between her and Lauer was never the same as her predecessors. Ignoring that chemistry during the employee selection process – or thinking time would allow it to work out – doomed Curry and knocked the “Today” show out of the number one slot after 852 weeks of beating “Good Morning America.”

Taking good team fit to greatness is what the “Today” show needed to stay on top. Management erred in thinking that Vieira’s departure left just another slot to fill. Curry ably filled the slot but the chemistry her predecessors developed was lost. Going back to Curry’s football analogy, one super-star doesn’t make a great team unless there is chemistry. That’s why an average player on one team becomes the standout on another. And the arrogant superstar who jumps ship for more money may languish in mediocrity on another team.

Don’t forget timing and the competition too. Just a few years ago, NBC might have retained its number one position compared to what was happening on the rival networks. But Good Morning America stepped up its game and was in the right position at the right time.

In hindsight, promoting Curry into the co-host position wasn’t a terrible decision. It is repeated many thousands of times each day in companies around the country – reward and promote the most deserving employee from within the company without giving good team chemistry the priority it deserves. The decision just wasn’t the right one and could have been avoided.

What lessons can employers learn from Curry’s rise and fall:

1. Longevity and loyalty and even individual skills are not a guarantee for success in future roles.

2. Team fit is more than filling a slot with a qualified worker; it is chemistry among and between each team member that converts a team from good to great.

3. Don’t rest on your laurels. What got you to number one and worked in the past might not be good enough as markets and competitors constantly change.

4. Assessing good team chemistry is an art and science. The art aspect inherently throws accurate assessment a curve ball. But an integrated approach to employment testing can help remove a lot of the guesswork and provide employers a much better chance of hiring employees who can do the job and elevate the team.

This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation. Subscribe for FREE to The Total View by typing your e-mail address in the newsletter sign-up box on the right side of this page.

Rapid Change Fatigues Many Boomers

Entry-Level Pre-Employment TestsIf you’re over 50 and feel like you’re running a losing battle trying to keep up, you might be right.

Consider these trends:

It took nearly 38 years to get 50 million people to tune into the radio. But it took only 13 years to get 50 million people to watch TV. Copy of June 6, 2012Then along came the Internet and 50 million people logged on in less than 5 years. That adoption rate was exceeded quickly by the iPod. Fifty million people had one in 3 years. Those numbers seem quaint when one considers Facebook who acquired 50 million subscribers in 2 years and then nearly 200 additional subscribers in less than 1 year.

What does this mean? The adoption of new technology is increasing at a dizzying pace. Acceptance of the radio spanned 2, maybe even 3 generations if you consider the introduction of FM. The transition from the radio to TV occurred in one-third the time, equivalent to the growing up years of Baby Boomers. Generation X witnessed the move from TV to the World Wide Web in less time than it takes to complete elementary school. Within one decade we have seen the fall of Napster and the rise of the iPod, the fall of AOL and the rise of Facebook and Twitter. Life altering and revolutionary innovation that destroys entire industries and creates new ones now arise within a few years, not decades. Not generations.

All this change is bad news for Boomers who resist adoption and adaptation. Thirty years of experience in a career that earned them significant respect, considerable responsibility, and middle class wages are less relevant in today’s job market. Often times the skills that just a few years ago earned them high middle income wages are now obsolete. Now left without a relevant skill, past experience becomes a footnote on a resume, not a ticket for a job.

And that’s a problem. For the past decade, Boomers were told the decision to keep working longer was at their discretion. Moving forward they may be disappointed. The brain drain is becoming less relevant as old jobs go away thanks to automation, technology, or outsourcing. Short of working as greeters at Wal-Mart, Baby Boomers equipped with an industrial age mindset are becoming dinosaurs in the job market.

This article originally appeared in The Total View, a weekly online newsletter that focuses on hiring, management and retention strategies. The Total View is written and published by Ira S. Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions and is distributed with permission by The Chrysalis Corporation. Subscribe for FREE to The Total View by typing your e-mail address in the newsletter sign-up box on the right side of this page.

How to “Read” an Applicant’s Resume – Instant Hiring Video Tip

Discover how to get the most information from an applicant’s resume.

How to Read a Resume to Find Better Quality Candidates

Read any resumes lately? Chances are you’ve seen resumes ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other… Resumes that looked like pieces of art, resumes that went way over the top trying to gain your attention and resumes that a toddler probably could’ve done a better job on!  Let’s face it, it’s getting more and more difficult to derive any benefit from resumes these days.

But that’s not to say there isn’t important information that CAN be gleaned from a resume to the trained eye. The challenge with sorting through and reviewing a lot of resumes is you begin to zero in on and focus on exactly what you’re looking for which is typically the content (employee work history, work dates, progression, etc.). Everything else becomes background noise… including some things that you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss.

For instance, if you’re hiring for a position where attention to detail is a necessary trait for the incoming employee, you should pay close attention to how the resume is presented. An astute applicant with a high attention to detail will not only use a pleasing font but the layout and structure of the resume will also be flawless. Are the indentations on the resume all lined up? Does the format look clean and crisp? Is the information presented in a manner where it’s easy to follow and understand?

In addition, look for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Written and verbal communication is a huge aspect of most managerial and higher level positions today so spelling and grammatical mistakes should not be overlooked. If you find a lot of spelling or grammatical errors, either you have an applicant who’s too lazy to spell check or they’re just incompetent. In either case, they’re probably not someone you want working for your organization.

How an applicant puts together and organizes information on their resume can be a huge indicator of the type of work they will produce if you decide to hire them. If an applicant turns in a sloppy resume you can probably bank on the fact that their quality of work will be sloppy as well.

Focusing on the structure, design and grammatical errors of a resume can be a great way to weed out unworthy applicants if the position you’re hiring for requires a high attention to detail and any sort of writing skill what-so-ever. So the next time you’re checking out resumes, don’t just focus on the content  but take a look at the overall presentation and quality of the resume because it will lead to a higher caliber applicant making his or her way through your hiring process.