Does a Candidate’s Interviewing Skills Dictate the Hiring Decision?

May 30th, 2013

Graph Image Credit: Lou Adler

The chart above highlights the reason that most companies do not hire above average to top performing talent consistently! The bottom line is easily explained by this graphic. Companies mistake data supported performance for strong/good interviewing skills/behavior. In reality, the two are not related.

Categories Leads to Inconsistent Hiring

Almost every employer will hire the candidate in the top right quadrant. Companies hire candidates in the top 2 quadrants on a consistent basis and this is the major reason hiring is inconsistent.  Many hiring managers subconsciously make the assumption that if a candidate is a good interviewer, then they will be a good performer. Being a good interviewer has nothing to do with performance and is a dated belief from sometime long ago in Corporate America’s legacy.

A paradigm shift has to happen.  Hiring managers need to be able to

  • Segregate the poor performer who is a good interviewer from the good performer who is a good interviewer.
  • Recognize the poor interviewer who is a top performer.

Training is the Cure for Inconsistent Hiring

The only way to do either of these is by gathering “proven performance” data during the interview, and to do this, the staff doing the interviewing need to become better interviewers. In today’s marketplace,with a scarcity of readily available talent,  the onus is on the interviewers to extract the data from the candidate, and be able to decipher that data – not based on the person’s interviewing skills, but on the proof of performance data acquired during the interview. An opinion based on first impression can never be consistent, especially when compared to one supported by personally acquired data.

Asking general or specific questions about what one or many skills a candidate has will not help gauge a candidate’s track record of success, depth of experience, competencies related to the job, etc. This simply highlights a candidate’s storytelling abilities, speaks to skills they have, but doesn’t even touch on past performcnace.

Everything comes down to training – behavorial interviewing for one. Also, how to assess a candidate’s track record, depth of experience and caliber. Suspending first impressions, knowing what questions to ask, taking pertinent factual interviewing notes, and learning to drill down to the next level to gain candidate insight.

Developing the interviewing abilities of the talent selection team provides the difference between hiring a top or a mediocre peformer consistently (regardless of their interviewing skills).

Peeling the Onion

The key to effective interviewing is knowing how to peel the onion.  The goal is not to find the candidate with the best interviewing skills…it is to find the best performers. At Honer & Associates, we know how to peel the onion.  We have specialized in talent acquisition for over 30 years, having interviewed more than 10,000 candidates and filled over 1,000 IT positions.  To discuss this topic or others, please contact us at your convenience.

Increase Organizational Performance through Proactive Hiring

May 15th, 2013

When companies across American desire to accomplish anything, the process is fairly consistent. Vision, mission, goal, plan, tactics, and metrics are terms ensuring the right things are targeted, worked on, and managed. Funding an initiative, function, or organization doesn’t happen in successful U.S. companies without these components.

However, in the world of talent acquisition this is many times not the case.  How can an organization hope to be successful in attracting, recruiting and hiring high-caliber, top performers without setting vision, mission, plan, tactics, and metrics rolled up into an effective “Talent Acquisition Strategy”.  However, for many companies, the strategy is spending as little as possible, with “cost per hire” as the only KPI.

One of a well-managed company’s main goals has to be to continuously acquire and retain high caliber, top-performing talent (even if all positions are filled and your budget is stretched).   Focus on continuously hiring top talent intentionally, even if they are hired to the bench (as part of the “talent acquisition strategy”) and allocate additional budget dollars to accomplish this goal.

This is advantageous to companies because top candidates – full of potential, motivation, and ambition will make a positive contribution no matter the role, far exceeding their compensation and be available, ready to go when future opportunities present themselves (as it always does in growing companies).   Transition becomes a no brainer, as now the organization can move a proven talent (who understands the business) into keys roles, instead of reactively doing critical external searches and hiring a candidate that knows nothing of the company’s business or unique characteristics.

Regardless of structure or what hiring to the “bench” is called – leadership program, rotational staff, special projects  – hiring high caliber candidates, bringing them into the organization, providing top drawer training, allowing them to acclimate to the culture, strategy and process  – is profitably beneficial to the overall organization.

As the company begins the process of proactive hiring – and (unless intentional) foregoes reactive hiring, the overall company’s growth and profitability is enhanced. All companies desire growth (and must grow to survive), but as they grow, they require more skilled employees.  In today’s business environment, turnover will occur – especially in the talent competitive, rapidly changing corporate marketplace of today. Having open positions in the future is a “given”, not a “maybe”.

As the “War for Talent” continues, “talent acquisition” needs to be a focused, continuous, planned process with a recruiting engine that never turns off. Once a motivated, high-caliber candidate is identified, determine their fit, sell them on the organization, hire them, and create a position and growth plan mutually beneficial to them and the organization.

Honer & Associates

At Honer & Associates, we have specialized in IT talent acquisition for over 30 years.  Assisting companies in acquiring top talent that will fuel innovation and growth is our trademark.  To discuss this topic or other necessary to hiring quality talent, feel free to contact us at your convenience.