“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
This adage can be applied to many aspects of life, but it’s particularly relevant for talent acquisition and management, especially in today’s business climate.
Quality of hire, put another way, refers to “the measure of success in acquiring, placing, maintaining, and retaining the right employee in the right position.” This can be calculated in different ways, depending on the nature of the business and what an organization deems essential traits in a potential employee. Nevertheless, companies need to maximize each employee’s contribution, and quality of hire is strongly linked across the board to financial performance. Hiring the right talent can absolutely fuel the business.
By introducing a combination of sourcing and interview refinement with effective performance evaluation, you can ensure that each new hire will positively impact productivity, fit well in the position and fuel your business.
A performance-based approach to determining and maintaining quality of hire will allow you to use the talent you employ, where you are, to grow the business, increase profit, and do the best you can. This process consists of the “three M’s”: Measure, Monitor and Maximize.
First, you’ll need to define the essential qualities and the means you’ll use to monitor effectiveness and provide immediate feedback in your particular company. Here are examples of questions you might want answered:
- How do the candidate’s past accomplishments compare to what needs to be done on the job?
- How well does the candidate meet the skill set and performance needs of the job?
- Was candidate hired for the right job, under the right manager, in the right department, under right circumstances?
- Does the candidate fit the company’s unique culture?
- Are they timely?
- Are they effective?
- Do they have technical competency, motivation to do the required work, and team skills?
- Can they plan, organize, and execute the work?
These are just a start. You may have other specific measurements you’d like to track.
Once you’ve determined your measurement parameters, you’ll want to determine how well your hiring process is working by tracking the sourcing and recruiting process. Are you really getting the best talent possible? Ensure that the hiring team is coordinated and well-orchestrated. Survey hiring managers in order to expedite feedback about any issues, related to hiring, that need to be addressed.
Monitor the quality and competency of the candidate consistently and at each step of the hiring process. When sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and assessing, keep track of the perceived skills and abilities of the candidate, and form an idea of how the candidate will fit in the position.
Then compare pre- and post-hire performance evaluations of the candidate, in order to determine the predictive value of the assessment process. This will allow you to determine the best employed quality of hire and, with sufficient data, the rates of employee retention and turnover.
After a candidate is selected to fill a position, administer your performance evaluations. The quality of hire of a candidate is often measured by the first post-hire assessment.
Compare capabilities at interview and on hiring, then after several months and then several years. Here’s a key question you’ll want to address: Are new hires increasing their skill sets and sustaining high levels of performance within the company?
Our final step in this process is to define and refine a talent acquisition strategy. Implement it consistently. First of all, you’ll want to examine your sourcing strategy to improve the quality of potential candidates. Also, how do you market your firm, and encourage the best talent to want to come and work with you?
Improve hiring managers’ interviewing and selection capabilities, so you can get the best possible candidate available. Look for a pattern of top performance and achievement in work similar to that laid out in the expectations for the job at hand. The ideal qualities for recruitment include not only knowledge, skills, and ability, but also attitude, motivation, and culture fit within the company and within the department.
During the hiring process, using traditional job descriptions can be problematic, because they emphasize skills rather than performance. Instead, identify the unique technical and interpersonal requirements of the position to be filled. The more specific the job’s criteria, the better your chances of finding a candidate with the best match.
A talented person in a job that doesn’t suit them is a major cause of underperformance.
Therefore, clarify all expectations of the job up front, train employees adequately for the tasks they need to perform, and provide appropriate tools and resources. By understanding what drives performance and what causes underperformance, you can more effectively assign employees the right kinds of work, which they will be motivated to accomplish.
While a typical interview can differentiate between above and below average performance, it will not do enough to determine true quality of hire. Base the interview on real job needs and circumstances, and ask the most effective questions to make hiring decisions. Evaluate based on asking candidates to provide detailed examples of accomplishments that best relate to the actual performance objectives of the position.
Improving the quality of your hires may seem difficult, but establishing an easy but workable process can ensure that your business makes the most of the talent it acquires. First, develop a direct assessment of job fit, including the ability and motivation to exceed performance requirements. Then measure team and leadership skills by examining the employee’s prior experience. Finally, hire the most promising candidate, evaluate them rigorously, and provide the opportunity for them to succeed in honing their skills and exceed the performance requirements of their position.