Managers Need to be Assessed and Accountable for the Quality of Candidates They Hire and Improving Quality of Staff – Year Over Year

July 30th, 2013

Most organizations hold VPs, directors and managers accountable for business objectives and performance, but few hold these same leaders accountable for the individual caliber and individual performance of the staff they lead.

Management drives candidate/staff quality by setting standards and publically announcing those standards. However, it is very rare any follow-up or accountability accompanies these standards. To effectively deliver improved performance and staff quality, organizations must make this follow-up a significant part of leadership’s performance criteria. This includes both the quality of new staff hired (both internal and external hires) and the improvement of individual staff performance.

Change requires C-level executive sponsorship and will not be successful if only sponsored by middle management, this creates too much inconsistency.  It has to be made publically important and has to be constantly reinforced by the highest reaches of management.

Senior leadership plays the key role in creating a culture that rewards hiring high-caliber, top-performers and eliminates incompetent, unmotivated staff. No strategy (or change in strategy) depending on increased staff quality year over year can be effective without this culture change and public senior leadership support.

Performance management system

Beyond a public call for change from C-level executives, managers need to be accountable for the quality of both their hires and their staff.  Therefore, staff quality needs to be a large part of the VP, director, and manager-level performance evaluation.  This is done by establishing staff improvement as a performance metric.

Implementing an effective performance management program is required for success.  This program must consist of three components:

  1. Non-political – Any performance evaluation program must be non-political (and more importantly viewed as non-political). Processes must be put in place to keep politics out of the performance calibration. It is also important to use a 360-degree review for everyone in the organization at a minimum of once per year. With a 360-degree review, accurate feedback is provided from all staff levels, thus creating an accurate picture.
  2. Effective – Forced rankings are not necessary.  Simply instituting an ABC plan, where candidates are ranked either A, B, or C, or an MBO plan (based on performance) is more effective and less divisive. Theoretically, a leader to could have all of his staff be A players or C’s for that matter.
  3. Performance timeline – A performance timeline needs to be implemented.  Each year, managers are given a goal (measured by metrics) to produce incremental improvement in the quality of staff they have, either by hiring high-caliber staff, managing out incompetency, or both.

The need is critical.  Staff quality impacts almost every organizational aspect – culture, recruiting, employer brand, etc. By making staff quality a key component of a leadership evaluation, attention is placed on a high-impact issue.  Management understands that staff quality is important, and that they will be evaluated and incented to change and focus their efforts to hiring selectively and improving staff quality.

Honer and Associates understands this.  If you are looking to put together a customized Talent Acquisition Strategy – one that is designed to help you build a quality team, contact Honer and Associates today.  We are glad to help.

Talent Acquisition Strategy: The Path to Hiring the Best

March 29th, 2013

In the current corporate culture, nothing will affect the bottom line more than hiring the best talent in the marketplace. And nothing will enable hiring the best than identifying and interviewing the best. And nothing will impact identifying and interviewing the best more than a robust Talent Acquisition Strategy. When hiring “A” players becomes a priority, current employees will bring their game to the next level and more “A” players will populate the organization. Why? When organizations commit themselves to excellence in hiring, success follows. “A” players want to work with “A” players not with “C ” players, is the premise Steve Jobs built Apple on not so many years ago.

Talent acquisition requires top-down vision and decisions, either enterprise-wide or organizationally, with a common goal of increasing the level of talent hired.  “A” players:  high-quality, top-talent, and high-performance people. To have consistent results in attracting “A” players, develop a plan and proactive strategy, a Talent Acquisition Strategy.

  • First step is to predetermine how positions will be filled. The age old strategy of “seeing who we can hire on our own first” through internal talent acquisition/job board postings/social media advertising etc., does not fit in today’s progressive, talent-hungry organizations. What happens if a hire is made without proactively evaluating the “passive candidate” market. Interviewers are trusted to hire the best of the candidate pool identified, but even if they do, they end up hiring the best that applied, not the best in the market. Proactive planning and increasing the recruiting net will produce both the quantity and quality of candidates identified and at the same time, the speed of coverage.  Implementing a “Quality-of-Hire”-driven Talent Acquisition Strategy will remove the sins of the past and serve the needs of the company.
  • The key to driving a strong candidate selection process is organizing the selection, screening and interviewing process. The whole process requires planned interviewing: deciding who is interviewed,  how many interviews in each round, how many rounds, what is covered and by whom, who participates in first round, second round, etc. (using the same interviewers with each candidate required to ensure consistency) and this planned interviewing process must be executed by trained interviewers.
  • Finally, implementation of KPIs and metrics are required to determine if the Talent Acquisition Strategy is working . The most important KPI is “Quality of Hire.”  Other important metrics include: source of candidate, resumes put in the system (#s), interviews generated, candidates hired, cultural fit, yearly performance, promotions, and retention (how long were they there).  These key success factors need to be measured for 3-5 years to determine what is working and what is not.

Yes, years. Part of creating a high-talent team is focusing on where the top candidates come from, cultural fit, performance, promotions and retention.

If your “Quality of Hire” KPI is high, success will feed on itself. It will become a key motivator in investing more money and effort in a talent acquisition strategy; caliber of hires will be higher, and employee branding will be enhanced.

Many companies are still old school, using “Cost of Hire” or “Speed of Hire” as their key KPIs. Using these KPIs adds risk to Talent Acquisition by potentially rushing the hiring process or selecting lower-performing candidates to save money or time.

A well-planned talent acquisition strategy is well worth creating, implementing and executing.  The bottom-line effect over time will both avoid cost (through efficiency) and generate revenue/profits by identifying, attracting, hiring and retaining the best candidates in the market. If you’re looking for assistance in putting a customized Talent Acquisition Strategy together, contact Honer and Associates. We’d be glad to help.