I thought you'd like this article I wrote just published by Forbes.com:
How To Hire So You Won't Have To Fire - Forbes
Most leaders will tell you that hiring and retaining talent is one of the top three challenges today. As the economy has improved and unemployment has declined, the challenge has become greater.
Another challenge is the millennial workforce. They are looking for empowerment, purpose and are not as committed to staying in one company for long. But I believe this actually gives leaders the opportunity to hire better and keep talent longer.
Here are some suggestions and why they work.
1. Use psychometric tests and evaluations.
In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't, Jim Collins has a great saying: You need to make sure that you have the right people in the right seat on the right bus.
Resumes are important, and so are references, but they only tell part of the story. And interviews, though telling, are time-consuming, and often times, candidates freeze or give a bad impression because they are nervous.
Test and assessments help complete the picture and verify what you are or aren't hearing. There are many tests out there, and they can be confusing, but I recommend focusing on aptitude, attitude and what I call altitude.
Aptitude refers to our inborn personality traits, which don't necessarily change much over our lifetime. One example is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Others are Kolbe, The Big 5, Rockport's Pathfinder, etc.
Attitude is our learned behavior, such as culture. DiSC is a great tool, and it differs from MBTI in that it reveals a person's behavior. Both attitude and altitude can be learned and coached.
Altitude is my term for emotional intelligence (EQ). This is where the "tough" soft skills show up.
Make sure you're hiring people who are the best fit in terms of each of these three traits. Millennials especially will appreciate that you are valuing them individually and hiring them specifically where they can shine.
Nobody will be a "perfect" candidate. Even if they are on paper, once they start working, you will realize they need coaching. That's OK, as long as you share the plan with them up front. Done right, it really works. Besides, you want to make sure that they are coachable.
Another important aspect is training. A company should have a training program both for hard skills and soft skills. Does the employee know what your purpose, culture, mission and vision are all about? Is there an underlying theme that they should be aware of?
3. Offer feedback.
Feedback is critical to the success of any candidate. I recommend using DR GRAC, a process I mention in my book that's inspired by The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It stands for desired results, guidelines, resources, accountability and consequences.
Most companies compare a person's performance to a job description, but this usually falls short, as it only focuses on tasks. DR GRAC focuses on results. There's a huge difference.
The employee should have guidelines to refer to, such as rules, regulations, etc. (Boring, but necessary.) They should also be given the resources they need to do their job successfully. (Easy enough.)
Accountability is the most effective yet the most difficult. Most leaders have a hard time giving feedback and holding people accountable. Either they're too harsh or too soft. It's part science and part art!
In any case, make sure that you discuss upfront what key performance indicators you will be using and discussing. As important is how often — weekly, monthly, etc.
There are many techniques in feedback. My suggestion is to have a well-thought-out feedback methodology. Never shoot from the hit.
Finally, there are consequences, both good and bad. This is how you express to the employee what happens if all objectives are met and what happens if not.
These three steps will allow you to hire the best person for the job, coach them, and follow their success. Wishing you success in all your endeavors.