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Hiring the Right Talent

If you find the right person to fill a key executive role, things generally go smoothly. People issues, turnover and conflicts with peers are rare and the business will grow and run without much intervention.

On the other hand, make a hiring mistake and you will be forced to spend time, energy, and money to fix a multitude of people and business issues. Executive level hiring mistakes cost between two and four times their annual salary. In addition to money, when senior leaders can’t count on the team below them, they are forced to reallocate time to play defense. This means that their business objectives and performance will likely be negatively impacted.

Assessment and selection success or failure in hiring the right person depends primarily on two things:

  1. The filter you use in the selection process and
  2. The amount of rigor you apply to the interviewing process

It’s important to begin with a clear understanding of what the role requires for optimum performance. By using the correct filter you increase your probability for hiring a top performer. Secondly, your interview process should be rigorous. As well as looking at a candidate’s skills and experience, the interview should focus on the behavioral, motivator and attribute aspects of the job. Skills and experience are only part of the picture. We find that the majority of hiring mistakes are related to being a poor cultural fit. Cultural fit has to do with the invisible soft skills. These include the candidate’s behavioral profile, what they are motivated by and how they view themselves and relate to the people and world around them.

Online candidate assessment tools are a proven, effective way to eliminate the guesswork in the selection and hiring process. Given that two out of every three resumes are embellished, having a process and tools that can cut through the fog of over-hyped candidate skills and experience greatly increases your probability of hiring a top performer.

Odyssey’s assessment and selection process increases our client’s predictability of hiring success.

Through our candidate assessment tool, we provide our clients with an accurate picture of the job, how the candidates compare to the job and data to support the best hiring decision given those two inputs. For example:

Hiring a CIO

Our client needs to hire a CIO. Naturally, they want to hire an individual who is the best possible fit for the role and their organizational culture.

Step One:  Let the job talk

We help them identify (through our job benchmarking process) what the job needs for superior performance. This process is unique because we benchmark the job, not the people in the job. It allows the job to “talk.” Using people from your organization who know the job demands and the cultural requirements identify the key accountabilities in the job and then respond to the customized assessment that reveals what the job needs. The result? A report that tells the client what the CIO role needs to be successful in their culture in terms of:

  • Top 7 Attributes
  • Bottom 4 Attributes (these are important because if someone has mastered something that isn’t required of the job, then they may spend more time on it then necessary.)
  • Top 3 Motivators
  • Top 3 Behaviors

Step Two: Interview the candidates

Now that we have a benchmark of the jobs behavioral, motivational and attribute aspects, we can use this tool to interview candidates. The tool even provides behavioral interviewing questions based on the benchmark. This allows the interview to be targeted and aligned with the requirements of the role as defined in the benchmark.

Step Three: Profile the top candidates

Now our client has interviewed based on the role benchmark and has selected two or three top candidates. Next we profile the top two or three candidates. This tells us what their individual behavioral style, motivators and attributes are. Now we’ve got a picture of the CIO role and a picture of the top candidates. We work with our client to interpret the data we’ve collected so that they can make the best selection. They have just significantly increased their probability of success in hiring the CIO.

Step Four: Coaching for integration and performance

The process isn’t over because we want to retain this CIO now. Fortunately since we already have a picture of the role and the candidate we selected, we now know exactly what his or her development areas and motivators are. This allows the CIO’s leader to begin working with the new CIO to acclimate them and ensure a smooth and effective transition. In some cases, our client asks us to coach the individual for the first 6-12 months to further increase the predictability of success. Click here for more on executive coaching.

If you’d like to talk with us about our candidate assessment tool process or receive a sample report, please call Tim Allard at 434-984-0425 or email tim@odysseyhps.com

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