Tag Archives: people problems

The Costliest People Mistakes We Make

For as long as I can remember, executives and HR department administrators alike have struggled with the problem of turnover and the associated costs. For some companies, turnover is merely an annoyance, but for others, it’s a huge and costly problem. Whereas turnover is currently the headline grabber, a far more consequential issue involves poor people decisions, which never show up in the turnover metrics.

How Many Bad Apples Are in Your Barrel?

Many, if not most, organizations employ marginal performers in critical positions when they shouldn’t be there! Like the proverbial bad apple in a barrel, the entire organization pays the price when this happens. Understandably, the ramifications vary given the variety of different contexts in which they may occur, but the ensuing consequences dramatically outweigh the more clearly measurable costs of turnover. As immense as turnover costs are, the damage is minor when compared to the implications of keeping underperformers in place, a problem that undercuts revenues, growth, and profits today and tomorrow and can even challenge an organization’s business stability.

It’s not surprising at all that business and government organizations make questionable people decisions and, for a variety of reasons, continue to live with them. Sometimes underperformers are skilled politicians with well-honed survival talents; in other instances, there are blind –spots – performance and relationship issues that are plainly visible to subordinates but don’t show up on the radar of managers. The halo effect can also be a factor when reputation or past performance tend to color what the boss and others choose to see. Or, as behavioral experts tell us, many people simply cannot admit to themselves that they made a mistake, and they will stick with their choice, irrespective of the facts. Peter Drucker best summed up the pervasiveness of the problem in an article in the July-August 1985 issue of Harvard Business Review:

Executives spend more time on managing people and making people decisions than on anything else – and they should. No other decisions are so long lasting in their consequences or so difficult to unmake. And yet, by and large, executives make poor promotion and staffing decisions. By all accounts, their batting average is no better than .333: at most one-third of such decisions turn out right; one third are minimally effective; and one third are outright failures.

In no other area of management would we put up with such miserable performance.

We Have People Problems

To play with Drucker’s analogy for a moment… In baseball, a .333 average is pretty darn good, but a .200 hitter, a reliever with a 5.2 ERA, or a starting pitcher with a 3 and 9 won-lost record are not going to propel the team into the playoffs at season’s end. If the manager can replace any weak link to strengthen the team, he won’t hesitate for a moment. But with many jobs in business, it’s not nearly so obvious when someone may be a .200 hitter, or even if the person’s hitting ability should be suspect. Interdependent relationships mean that we operate with much less personal visibility than the players on a baseball team, and consequentially with less individual accountability. In business, there are more places to hide than there are on a baseball field.

Quite apart from the issues of why and how, dubious people decisions occur more frequently than we may be willing to admit, and that’s why so many things don’t work and we encounter so much apparent dysfunction in every aspect of business and life. My sense is that the ratio of these “minimally effective” decisions is even greater now than when Drucker made his famous remarks 30 years ago, and for predictable reasons… A dearth of qualified people (demand greatly exceeds supply), inadequate and misdirected candidate assessment, shortened tenure (read experience and knowledge), and insufficient management training likely account for most of these occurrences.

It is interesting to note that only one of the reasons above is primarily outside the control of the organization: the supply-demand problem, which is a huge issue. Organizations like to think that they hire the best people out there, but in fact, in some areas, managers often settle for the best they can find at that time. There are limits to how long they feel they can leave a key function unattended, so increasingly, employees are being hired out of exasperation rather than exuberance. Sometimes, just to move forward, it’s even a matter of settling for the best of the worst.

Causes and Solutions

If it weren’t enough of a challenge just finding quality people, hiring problems are compounded by the fact that a great many managers muddle around with their people decisions. Certainly, some are very perceptive and astute in reading people, and others have occasional insights, but across the board, most managers aren’t particularly knowledgeable about that which is at the core of their jobs: human behavior, motivation, traits, and how they affect job performance. For years, employee surveys examining satisfaction and engagement have made that very clear. These managers don’t really know why people are or are not successful, or what they should be looking for when they need to replace people or fill new jobs. What happens is that they simplify what they cannot understand, they seek quick, easy answers, and they generalize about and stereotype their job requirements.

Several years ago, I asked five sales managers in completely different industries to describe for me what they were seeking in their sales candidates. Among them, one of the businesses was technical sales, another an outbound call center, and a third involved financial services. I asked for as much detail as they could provide, but what came back were brief, remarkably similar general descriptions. Their responses indicated that they were seeking the same type of candidate, despite all the great differences in their products and services, the nature of their jobs, the sales processes and job activities, their buyers, their selling cycles, and their reward structure. The sales managers were experienced, yet they could only express generalized notions like “strong communication skills” and “closing ability,” apparently failing to see and articulate the behavioral subtleties and nuances of their sales roles.

The solution to this knowledge gap is training – giving managers a more scientific understanding of workplace behavior. In particular, managers need to learn how to understand the motivational and behavioral differences among individuals and how these differences affect job behaviors and performance. Such training can enable more accurate performance predictions. That’s what we offer with ourMaximizing Human Performance training. It’s not theory, it’s not about abstractions such as leadership. It’s empirical, it’s working knowledge about what makes people tick and why they do what they do.

Using the Right Tools to Get Better People and Productivity

Even if we arm managers with the knowledge that they need to better understand individual behavior, they still need the right tools to assess job candidates. Rigorous job analysis, to identify performance-relevant behaviors, is at least 50 percent of the hiring process and is an absolute must for identifying those behaviors that will likely improve job performance, and those behaviors that will prove to be counterproductive. But generating this level of specificity and detail for all jobs requires more time and collaborative effort than most time-pressed managers want to invest. This is why organizations resort to:

  1. simple functional descriptions, which are valueless in hiring
  2. lists of competencies that are too long and too vague
  3. behavioral profiles that are so superficial and general that everyone can fit in somewhere

As the phrase goes, the devil is in the details, and there is no substitute for having a clear picture of what’s important in a job, and how much is necessary.

Interviews Alone Won’t Tell You the Whole Story

Unfortunately, interviews just don’t help much when it comes to matching candidates to job requirements. They are useful for certain purposes, but we must understand their practical limitations. No matter how structured interviews are, or whether individuals or panels are involved, they are still subjective and open to the variances of personal interpretation. The interview atmosphere is often artificial and not necessarily job-relevant. Candidates play roles, and many are often very good at selling themselves; a smart candidate is generally more than a match for a smart interviewer. Responses, then, are often times embellished and can always be fabricated, with little opportunity for verification. An all-too-common outcome is that interviewers with only their general perceptions of what a job requires know to look for only a narrow range of attributes, and they make up their minds when they believe those attributes are or are not present. This is a variation of the halo effect, and it is a major factor in bad decisions. I am still looking, but I have yet to find any bona fide study showing meaningful correlations between interviews and subsequent job performance.

Somewhere around 40 percent of organizations augment their interviews with behavioral testing, but for various reasons, the testing process is hit and miss. Having some objective means of measuring and calibrating candidate behaviors is very beneficial, so long as the instrument is valid and reliable, can be linked to job analysis tools for job-relevancy, and has been developed for decision-making applications. This generally requires a normative design, as opposed to the ipsative personal assessment tools, such as Myers-Briggs or DISC or even simple raw score tools.

To avoid mistakes, combining quality behavioral assessments with job-relevant and appropriately administered simulation exercises is a particularly powerful one-two punch. Combining the two means that the assessor’s observation of behavioral skills and talents can either verify what the test predicts or show how the candidate’s experience and cognitive abilities augment performance potential. Going through the candidate evaluation process and being able to generate this type of insight is pure gold, and goes a long way toward eliminating mis-hires.

Will beefing up assessment procedures completely prevent the problem of hiring marginal performers? No, but it’s a start. At a minimum, there are two other areas to investigate and self-check:

  • Assuming that employees with sound-byte résumés have really gained the experience and know-how you are seeking
  • Assuming that candidates coming from a managerial background have the management skills necessary to be effective people managers

Job-hopping seems to be the new normal, especially with Millennials. According to the BLS, their job tenure averages 3.1 years as opposed to 4.6 for all employees, and over 5 years for Boomers. A quick look at the 500 largest public companies shows that about 100 have average employee tenure of 2 years or less! The issue here is knowledge and competence. Other than exposure to more people, how much do people really learn about industries, problems, solutions, carrying projects through to completion, living with the consequences of their actions and decisions, and developing their replacements, when they ride the bus for just one stop? Not much, I contend, and certainly not enough to be strong contributors in the brief interval they plan to remain with your organization.

What managers know today about management pales in comparison to what managers used to know, and this is not simply a maudlin look back to a bygone time. When people used to remain with companies for many years, employers invested significantly more time and resources in developing their managers, and they got payback. Today there is added emphasis on skill and technology training, and on such areas as managing change, critical thinking, and innovation, but the fundamental management skills like goal setting, coaching, performance management, and developing people seem to be assumed or taken for granted. Some people I have encountered actually believe that, in this supposedly more sophisticated era, such training is unnecessary.

There are two messages here: Look at your own management training (not leadership training!), if it exists at all, and see if you are really teaching your managers the fundamentals that are so vital to their effectiveness. Just remember, people leave managers, not companies. A sampling of articles from those who write about their work experiences carries the common theme of poor managers who don’t really understand what managers should do and how they should handle and communicate with their people. The results are employees who feel devalued, mistreated, and unrecognized. Bad people drive good people out the door.

We all like it when things work as they should, especially our own businesses and those organizations upon which we are so dependent – government, airlines, home builders, and manufacturers, to name just a few. But things don’t happen the right way when incompetent people avoid discovery and occupy important positions.

It was almost 50 years ago when Dr. Lawrence Peter wrote his famous “The Peter Principle,” which explained why people were promoted to their levels of incompetence and remained there. Back then, they tried to bury the problem and turn it over to someone else by bumping people upstairs. Today we allow marginal performers to walk through the front door, and increasingly, the consequences affect our customers. That’s hardly progress!

How to Calculate the Real Cost of Turnover

What do your employee recruitment selection mistakes cost your business? In the course of my business, I have frequently asked this question of managers about specific positions for which they were hiring; for example, sales. Given the wide variety of jobs and industries, the considerable variance in the answers I have received regarding the costs associated with such hiring mistakes has not been surprising. What has been the real eye-opener, however, is my realization that the responses are most always conjecture!

Virtually everyone admits that turnover costs are exceptionally high, but the reactions I see tend to be more blasé and reflect little if any shock. In fact, I get the impression from many managers that they accept this as a cost of doing business and would rather not know just how expensive their turnover has become.

There are the simple cost guesstimates of which we have all heard; for instance, that turnover costs one times an employee’s annual salary, or something approximate. The DOL, obviously averaging all jobs, has said that it costs one-third of an employee’s annual salary or wages. Others make the claim that turnover costs 25 percent of the combined annual salary and benefits.

These estimates are probably not even close to the truth. Depending upon a number of variables, we can generalize for some jobs that turnover costs vary between 100 percent and 150 percent of the annual salary. From a slightly different perspective, an HR publication noted a while back that a major technology company calculated a minimum cost of $600,000 when an upper-level manager died, a number that would be many times higher today considering current compensation levels. The point I want to emphasize is that, although we can catalog some of the obvious line items, what is far more consequential is that turnover is a significant constraint on organizational performance, and merits priority attention.

If you really want to drill down and lay bare all your costs associated with turnover in your business, take into account this surprisingly long list of the cost factors.

You have costs associated with an employee departing or being terminated.

These include:

  • Temporary replacement costs, which may involve employing temporary personnel, or enlisting present employees to perform tasks of the vacant job as well as their own, and which may include overtime (less the salary and benefits that would have been paid to the departing employee).
  • Lost opportunities and lost productivity, as a result of either replacement personnel, or if the job remains vacant for more than a short period of time. This might vary from a 50-percent loss, with fill-ins to 100 percent for a vacant position. For sales territories that are vacant, multiply the quota gross margin by the number of weeks the job remains unfilled.
  • Administrative costs, including the costs of conducting an exit interview and terminating payroll, benefit deductions, benefit enrollments, handling government and legal compliance notifications and administration, and simply processing the paperwork for a resigning employee.
  • Additional management costs associated with the necessary work-arounds.
  • The cost of the training and education and even certifications, which are lost along with the departing employee.
  • The impact of the event on the entire department’s performance and productivity. A lot of wasted time and downtime often accompanies terminations and unexpected departures (this is very difficult to measure but is particularly expensive in more senior roles).
  • Severance costs and the continuation of benefits provided to employees who remain eligible for coverage under these programs.
  • The substantial costs of lost knowledge and skill sets. This might be the most significant cost of all, considering the impact on the company’s operations if there is no immediate way to fill this void.
  • The costs of unemployment insurance – a rise in premiums and/or time spent preparing for an unemployment hearing, or the costs paid to others who may handle the unemployment claim process on your behalf.
  • The costs associated with losing customers or clients that the employee may take with him or her, or the extra costs you will have to assume to retain those customers (another significant cost consideration that needs to be taken into account, yet one that you may only be able to estimate).

Then you have recruiting expenses…

  • Direct costs such as agency fees (15 to 30 percent of the annual salary), advertising, referral fees, job-board costs, and the like.
  • Pro-rated costs for the recruiting process, including the recruiter, clerical assistance, management and supervision in the department, which might require from one to two weeks per hire, given all the tasks associated with the process. Also include the time needed for résumé review and processing along with possible candidate travel expenses.
  • Costs related to interviewing internal candidates, along with the fiscal and opportunity costs associated with preparing for those internal candidate interviews.
  • The costs of conducting background checks, drug screens, reference checks, and employment testing for the short-listed 2, 3, or 5 candidates.

And now you have to train your new hires again…

These costs include:

  • All orientation expenses.
  • All training and certification costs, including time off the job, and associated costs, materials, programs, any related travel expenses, and instructor expenses. These costs generally run much higher in sales organizations and contact-management centers.
  • Take into account an expense factor for instructional equipment and materials needed, including company or product manuals, computers, or other equipment used in the delivery of training.
  • Supervisory or management costs linked to training, learning, review, etc. This can add up to the better part of a full day every week for the manager, for a number of weeks.

Of course, with new employees you will always have ramp-up costs, which include:

The new employee learning the job, the company policies and practices, etc.; the new employee is, as a consequence, not fully productive. Use the following guidelines to calculate the cost of this lost productivity:

  • Low productivity – the new employee is performing at maybe 25 percent for several weeks or a month, so the cost is 75 percent of the new employee’s full salary for that period.
  • For month two and possibly month three the employee is performing at a 50-percent productivity level. The cost is calculated at 50 percent of the full salary for that time.
  • During months four and five the employee is contributing at a 75-percent productivity level, resulting in a cost of 25 percent of the full salary.
  • The cost of coworkers’ and supervisors’ lost productivity due to their time spent on bringing the new employee up to speed.
  • The cost of mistakes the new employee makes during this elongated indoctrination period.
  • The cost, if relevant, of lost department productivity caused by a departing manager who is no longer available to guide and direct the remaining staff.
  • The cost impact, if relevant, associated with the completion or delivery of a critical project in which the departing employee was a key participant.
  • The cost of reduced productivity during a transition period for a manager or director who loses a key staff member or an assistant.

Don’t forget to account for your physical and materials costs too…

These can include:

  • the cost of putting the new employee on the payroll
  • establishing computer and security passwords
  • issuing identification cards and business cards
  • releasing internal and external publicity announcements
  • establishing voice and email accounts
  • other costs such as credit card accounts
  • leasing other equipment such as automobiles, cell phones, and pagers

Small wonder many managers don’t want to to know what employee turnover is costing their business! The costs generally add up to a lot more than what simple estimation methods suggest, and when revealed, would likely warrant moving the issue to the front burner, where there are already so many problems competing for management attention.

Turnover is most often expressed as an expense factor; for example, “It adds this percentage to our costs…” But what is a more dramatic statement of the costs of turnover and a real attention-getter is to express turnover costs as a percentage of profits. When it’s understood just how much of the bottom line turnover chews up, there’s a lot more incentive to address the problem.

If you want to reduce some of the calculation work, or even play around with the numbers, to estimate what your costs might be, we can help you. On our website, one of the tools we offer is a turnover calculator.

Go to http://2oms.com/2011/12/how-much-does-turnover-cost-your-organization/

_________________

For more than forty years, Frank Gump has been helping corporations become more productive and profitable by helping management teams identify and hire top performers and manage them most effectively. Developed and refined through extensive experience in more than 1200 organizations in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia, ADGI’s Organizational Management System (OMS) is a finely calibrated, technologically advanced decision-making process offering the potential for enormous payback. Contact ADGI for more insight and connect with Frank on LinkedIn. Follow ADGI on Twitter @ADGIGroup. Like ADGI on Facebook and follow us on Google+.

 

De-Linking Call Center Performance and Turnover

Originally published on LinkedIn

Call centers, especially outbound sales centers, pose one of the most frustrating recruiting challenges in business today. Many variables account for the high turnover of staff, and not all of them are within your control. In order to tackle the turnover problem more successfully, a smart first step is to distinguish between those problems you can do something about and those you can’t.

Unless your organization is prepared to make wholesale structural changes to the call center role, which is unlikely for most established businesses, the predominant causal factor driving high turnover is the job itself.

What It Means When a Job is Just a Job

Sit down and talk with a group of engineers about why they wanted to get into their field, and you will hear a variety of reasons:

  • It’s a professional job with good career opportunities
  • The pay is good and competition for graduates drives higher pay
  • They want to build things
  • They want to make a greener, more energy-efficient world

The list goes on. When we ask people in both education and healthcare why they wanted their chosen professions, we will hear altruistic motives – the expression of a personal need to care for others and help others, as well as expressed security needs met through either growing demand or tenure. What jobs like these have in common is that they require career forethought along with serious education – careers in these and similar fields don’t just happen.

Now, take time to discuss jobs and motives with a group working in call centers, and it becomes very clear why staffing a call center is like trying to bail out a badly leaking boat with a small bucket. It does not take long to realize that the best you can hope for is simply to keep the craft afloat. Systemic factors make call center jobs inherently unattractive, and there is little that even the most skilled recruitment team can do to address this turnover cause in a sustainable way.

Consider that people do not set out at the start of their working lives with the goal of working in call centers. Those who seek careers need not apply.

Continue reading De-Linking Call Center Performance and Turnover

How to Use Personality Tests for Employee Selection and Rejection

rejectedIn my experience, most users of personality tests aren’t aware of the practical distinction between using these tests to select candidates and using tests to reject them. In fact, selection and rejection are very different testing stratagems and, for both decision-making and legal reasons, users need to be quite clear on what those differences are.

Candidate selection is what most people associate with testing, but the reality is that tests do a better job of signaling who is unlikely to perform well in a job than they do of predicting who will likely succeed. Even one behavioral factor, by its presence or absence, might greatly increase the odds of job failure, but it rarely works the other way around. Complex roles are dependent upon so many diverse variables that no one test can accurately predict high-level performance on a sustained basis.

Using a test as a method of rejection means employing it in a frontline screening role where a cut-off score of some type determines who gets weeded out and who continues through the evaluation process. This is ideal for high-volume hiring situations where speed is essential. To some people, this seems terribly unfair or, at the very least, impersonal. Quite to the contrary, so long as the organization undertakes an objective, statistically based study of the job, preferably one in compliance with EEOC guidelines for such studies, it is very fair. Personality tests have not been found to produce an adverse impact on any protected group, so tests do not cull out candidates in any disproportionate way, and they provide an objective, as opposed to a subjective, means of differentiating job-performance potential.

The critical consideration for a rejection process to work is the quality of the job analysis. Sometimes less formal, but statistically sound methods work.  For example, accomplishing an indiscriminate group analysis of top and bottom performers in a job, but only where clear behavioral or trait differences exist between the two groups, can be an effective means of measuring candidate potential. Better still is an in-depth statistical study that generates at least one or more statistically significant correlations between the test measures and actual job performance outcomes. Such a study might show that sales revenues increase in unison with increases in assertiveness or initiative, in which case, candidates with more of those qualities will be more likely to generate higher sales.

Without rigorous job analysis, even ignoring possible legal concerns, the screening process could produce false positives, filtering out potentially higher performers in lieu of those with less likelihood to succeed. As implied above, when used in isolation, tests can only in the broadest way predict performance. In reality, no tool or process unilaterally has that type of predictive capability.

Alternatively, employing valid personality tests at the selection stage in conjunction with job benchmarks should enable users to objectively extract talents, motivational factors, as well as job-related behaviors that can only be inferred from interviews, yet with more precise calibration. One of the nuances of understanding personality is that the degree of various traits a candidate possesses is as crucial a consideration as the traits themselves! In some jobs, this gradation can be the one differentiating variable between top and middling performance.

At the selection stage, tests should also help validate and amplify what is learned from other tools and procedures, such as simulations, reference checks, résumés, and interviews. Effective assessment should leave no loose ends, so tests should either confirm insights from these sources or raise red flags where inconsistencies are evident.

Hiring is much like gambling: It’s always a game of odds. The issue is how to shift those odds more consistently in your favor. Tests can do that, but you have to be realistic in your expectations and know what you want testing to contribute to the overall assessment process. Even shifting those odds a couple points can have a tremendous accumulative effect on improving hiring success and job performance, and minimizing hiring and onboarding costs.

__________________________________________________________________________13259f4For more than forty years, Frank Gump has been helping corporations become more productive and profitable by helping management teams identify and hire top performers and manage them most effectively. Developed and refined through extensive experience in more than 1200 organizations in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia, ADGI’s Organizational Management System (OMS) is a finely calibrated, technologically advanced decision-making process offering the potential for enormous payback. Contact ADGI for more insight and connect with Frank on LinkedIn. Follow ADGI on Twitter @ADGIGroup. Like ADGI on Facebook and follow us on Google+.

Hiring for Cultural Fit… One More Nonsensical Idea

Businessman escapes from the crisis on a paper boatWe all know that human resource departments are fertile ground for fads and notions that sound much better than they actually are. Much of this irrational exuberance is due to the fact that HR managers, constantly in search of new silver bullets, are overly quick to embrace ideas that excite the imagination in the abstract but turn out to be speculative, overly simple, not really measurable in terms of what they contribute to the organization, and whose failure or lack of impact is relatively easy to rationalize after the fact.

Once such idea is called hiring for cultural fit. Implementation of this strategy means evaluating candidates against some broad (read ill-defined) statement of cultural attributes first and then, for those who pass that threshold, assessing skills or competencies. Some bloggers seem to endorse the idea, and there are consultants who now claim to be able to help companies hire precisely in this way. Who doesn’t love American opportunism?

The belief that culture is the principal driver of corporate greatness effectively took root with Tom Peters’ publication of In Search of Excellence in 1982. He argued very persuasively that he had discovered eight common practices that produced high performance cultures and led to exceptional performance. In 1994, with Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras followed suit with their own list of eighteen visionary companies whose “enduring greatness” features (consciously driven cultural characteristics) could also be synthesized and replicated.

Other writers have also promoted these simple cultural formulae, but the point to be made is that in all of these cases, their research was dubious and their conclusions were based upon selective, subjective observations. For the full explanation and proof of this, read The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig (Free Press, 2007). It is one of the most insightful business books ever written.

Rosenzweig’s research offers evidence that instead of cultures seeding high performance, the reverse is true: A highly performing organization spawns the cultural attributes that Peters and Collins saw as causal. Although these characteristics may be common in many highly performing organizations, they do not coalesce into some universal formula that explains success. In fact, a large percentage of those companies with “high performance” cultures – today’s heroes – eventually become tomorrow’s dogs!

Not convinced?

Just take a look at the lists compiled by Peters and Collins. A great many variables affect a company’s performance, most of them related to the marketplace and their competitors, which are beyond the control of a company’s management. Guess what happens to the cultures of those once high flyers when their performance begins to tank?

So, how does this relate to hiring for cultural fit? It’s a chicken and egg thing. Hire for the culture (most often a list of vague notions without an iota of supporting evidence) and you’re likely to overlook the exceptional performance skills and talents that fostered the “culture” in the first place! You may acquire some “good” team players and people who appear to meet some nebulous definition of leadership potential, but that’s shooting at the wrong target and is likely to exclude those rare, incredibly talented individualists who make the difference, but who don’t conform to stereotypes.

Cultures change as players come and go, starburst products flame out, strategies evolve leaving things behind and requiring a journey in a new direction, and the marketplace and competitors exert new and unexpected forms of pressure. What types of problems will you exacerbate by hiring people who are aligned, loosely at best, to a culture that will inevitably change?

Unless you have an HR mandate to experiment for the sake of experimenting, it makes more sense, financially and with respect to shareholder value, to look for exceptional talent in every role and let the culture take care of itself.

__________________________________________________________________________13259f4For more than forty years, Frank Gump has been helping corporations become more productive and profitable by helping management teams identify and hire top performers and manage them most effectively. Developed and refined through extensive experience in more than 1200 organizations in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia, ADGI’s Organizational Management System (OMS) is a finely calibrated, technologically advanced decision-making process offering the potential for enormous payback. Contact ADGI for more insight and connect with Frank on LinkedIn. Follow ADGI on Twitter @ADGIGroup. Like ADGI on Facebook and follow us on Google+.

Finding Candidates: It’s More than CAN Do; It’s WILL Do

hiring - mrgOnce candidates get by the can do hurdle, an effective selection process needs to target two considerations: their ability to do the job, and, if they are productive, their ability to remain motivated to stay in the job. This means that there must be some method of measuring candidate expectations and matching them to the reality of the job and, more broadly, matching these expectations to what the organization is likely to deliver. Reducing turnover that is attributable to mismatched expectations can have great impact upon a business and offer substantial cost savings, because these employees are, in all likelihood, the higher performers the organization least wants to lose.

The most prevalent and critical mismatches occur because candidates  a) want to use their talents, b) want to be managed in a certain way, and c) want the job and work environment to meet their personal needs.

People want to do what they perceive themselves to be good at – they want to use their talents. So even if they can do a job competently, feeling under-utilized is a self-esteem issue, and employees won’t stay if they feel their talents are being wasted.

Similarly, people want to be managed in a way that enables them to perform to their maximum potential in an environment that matches their personality type. For example, some people require structure and explicit rules whereas others enjoy the thrill of ambiguity and an environment with minimal structure. Whatever those personal preferences are, if they are not being met, dissatisfaction is inevitable.

Lastly, success in any given job is a matter of intrinsic motivation. Everyone likes to run on some track that’s taking him or her where they want to go. Unless they perceive that their career aspirations, developmental and growth needs can be advanced, and unless they enjoy what they actually do every day, in a reasonably mobile job market, they won’t put up with frustration for long.

Hiring the wrong person is expensive, but hiring the right person only to watch him or her leave is even more expensive – and demoralizing. With more predictive assessment tools that measure will do, you have the opportunity to better engage these high performers and retain them longer.

__________________________________________________________________________13259f4For more than forty years, Frank Gump has been helping corporations become more productive and profitable by helping management teams identify and hire top performers and manage them most effectively. Developed and refined through extensive experience in more than 1200 organizations in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia, ADGI’s Organizational Management System (OMS) is a finely calibrated, technologically advanced decision-making process offering the potential for enormous payback. Contact ADGI for more insight and connect with Frank on LinkedIn. Follow ADGI on Twitter @ADGIGroup. Like ADGI on Facebook and follow us on Google+.