BEYOND THE RESUME
Steve Trover – Better Talent
As a business owner or hiring manager, one of the most critical decisions you can make for your organization is who you bring on board and essentially add to your “family.” Yet, I still see many companies approach the hiring process without a clear strategy in place – essentially, hiring blind. This approach can lead to poor hires, higher turnover rates (which is a huge hit to your bottom line), and a disengaged workforce, which also affects productivity, time management, and wasted money.
These reasons alone warrant taking the time to examine, review, and develop a comprehensive hiring strategy that covers everything from defining the role you’re hiring for to screening candidates and interviewing techniques. Doing this will make you more confident that your new hires will be an asset to your organization and contribute to your long-term success.
So what should we be doing to make the right hire?
In this article, we’ll discuss 3 key areas to building your dream team:
- Reconsider traditional hiring methods
- Place newfound importance on personality and cognitive ability
- Revolutionize your hiring process
Let’s get into it, shall we?
#1 Why the resume isn’t enough
Let’s face it; a resume can only tell you so much. You may get a good idea of someone’s background by looking at their past jobs and educational credentials, but that only tells part of the story. When reading a resume, it’s impossible to know whether someone was a good fit for each role listed, whether they were just going through the motions or if they collaborated effectively with colleagues across departments.
And if we’re being honest, we know that resumes can have a little “sparkle” added to make things sound more impressive.
Secondarily, a case can be made for the idea that formal education doesn’t always translate to success on the job. I know firsthand that many entrepreneurs in the vacation rental industry didn’t start with a formal education. But, with a lot of heart and hustle, they were able to massively succeed, and those with a formal education, while very knowledgeable, struggled to apply that knowledge in real-world work environments. For this reason, and as someone who has spent 30 years building and growing teams, I can tell you that basing decisions solely on a list of experiences and education is risky business.
But what about reference checks?
I still stand by checking references as a good hiring practice, but always caution against hanging your hat on them as a determining factor in whether to bring someone on the team because, by nature, they’ve been curated only to give you an overly positive one-sided view.
What should you do instead?
You have my permission to free yourself from the old-school cookie-cutter approach of hiring and the classic myth that experience, education, and a “gut feeling” are the determining factors to rely on. Instead, I suggest you take a more comprehensive approach by looking at the applicant’s core competencies in things like empathy, what drives them, their orientation toward serving others, as well as what motivates them personally to strive for development.
In short, figure out :
a) Who they are
b) What makes them get out of bed in the morning
c) Why they do what they do, aka their core values
This approach is definitely more extensive but worth it in the long run.
#2 The importance of personality and cognitive ability
Whether you were “designed” for a role is a great predictor of your success and longevity in a position. While it may sound a little woo-woo, the more aligned you are with your role, the more successful you will be. This alignment translates to the people on your team as well. In hiring, it is crucial to take a deeper look at who your candidates are and their natural aptitudes – factors that employers have long overlooked. In addition, cognitive ability plays a huge role in determining how quickly someone can learn new things and adapt to new situations. When you choose to implement personality and cognitive testing, you can increase your chances of finding the “perfect fit” for every role within your organization.
There’s also an ease that comes along with onboarding a new employee who is not only equipped but has a natural inclination to excel at the tasks they’re responsible for. Remember, the best candidates don’t just want a job – they want a career they can excel in. It’s up to you to identify and hire those future all-stars for your team.
#3 Revolutionize your hiring process
Chances are you may not have a set hiring process, or you do, and it looks a lot like “following your gut” after reading over the resume, then a traditional interview process and calling a couple of reference checks.
As I mentioned before, this can be very risky. A quick Google search will show that study after study has proven “gut instinct” to be one of the most unreliable indicators. We are all prone to interviewer bias and can easily convince ourselves that someone will be a good fit without any actual data to support it. Things like needing to fill the position quickly and just wanting the process over, connecting on a personal level over your favorite band or having a shared affinity for wearing a white ball cap every day (if you know, you know) can make someone feel like a good idea. Conversely, someone who is very different from you or less outgoing in an interview might not feel like the right choice but could be absolutely perfect for the role and, upon a deeper look, could be more aligned with your company’s values.
Personality and cognitive testing, when combined with a structured interview process, will significantly improve your ability to identify and hire the best candidates for every role within your organization.
Here are 3 quick tips to help overhaul your hiring process:
Observe candidates in different settings: A multi-step interview approach could include meeting a potential hire at a local restaurant or coffee shop. In a relaxed atmosphere where they aren’t sitting across from you at a desk or a talking head in a video conference interview, you’ll get a picture of the person’s personality and most likely have the opportunity for a more casual conversation.
Include value-based questions in your interview process: Examples of value-based questions would be “Describe a time when your work ethic was challenged and how you responded” or “What does integrity mean to you in the context of your work?”
Pair assessments with behavioral interviews: Use the results from personality assessments to inform a behavioral interview. This technique involves asking candidates to describe past job experiences to understand their behaviors in various professional circumstances.
Ditch the blinders and hire in high definition.
I know it’s easier to hire without a strategy so you can get the job filled and keep moving along, but we both know that quick fixes usually end up costing more in the long run. Developing a comprehensive, intentional plan is essential if you want to benefit from all the advantages of having a strategic focus and laying out a blueprint that takes into consideration personality and cognitive abilities that will only serve to make your team stronger.
Over the years, I’ve learned that traditional elements such as resumes, education, and references might not be the trusted elements we once thought would help us find “the right hire.” In fact, they could be leading you in the wrong direction.
Ready to revolutionize your hiring process?
Let’s talk hiring strategy! 👋
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