Leaders don’t always hire the right people. In fact, research suggests that only 50% of hires are successful.
Recruiting advice for leaders trying to hire top performers tends to hit the same necessary beats. It includes some form of the following; writing a job description, posting the job, interviewing top candidates, extending a job offer, and onboarding. While these are critical steps in the hiring process, it increases the chances of a warm body, but not a high performer.
Before you go any further or pass judgment that this isn’t your job, you must know every leader, at minimum, is responsible for two things, recruiting and coaching. Whether your organization has recruiters or not, taking ownership of the talent on your team is critical because the better the talent, the easier it is to lead.
The better the talent, the easier it is to lead.
Talent is the capacity for achievement or success. When team members have talent, a willingness to work to realize their capacity, and they receive great leadership, success is imminent.
Now that we’re on the same page about the important of talent, let’s look at the three levels of what most leaders look for when evaluating talent.
Three Levels of Talent Evaluation
LearnLoft, has assessed thousands of leaders and has had the privilege of working with hundreds of organizations. We have found three distinct levels leaders’ leverage when evaluating talent.
Level 1: Basic Measurements
Basic measurements is the level at which the non-negotiables are met. That the prospective candidate has the basic skills, experience, degrees, or past track record to take the job. The more mature the industry and complex the role, the longer this list can be.
I liken this level to a simple sports analogy: Do they belong on the court?
Level 2: Culture Fit
The Culture Fit level is used to evaluate the values and beliefs that guide the candidate’s thinking and behaviors. Said differently, will the way the candidate looks, acts, and behaves align with the culture of the team or organization?
I liken this level to a simple question: Would I want to play with them?
Level 3: Interpersonal Alignment
The Interpersonal Alignment level is used to evaluate who the candidate is on the inside. For example, what their genetic and developed makeup is, and what attributes guide their success. The use of various assessments and interview techniques is expected at this level.
I liken this level to a simple question: Would I want this person to be on my team daily, and would their effort be a catalyst for success?
Unfortunately, most leaders and organizations leverage Level 1 when making hiring decisions. Whether it be because of time, money, business need, or just laziness, the likelihood of lazy hiring has significant business implications.
Lazy Hiring = Business Problems
The talent shortage in many organizations is real, particularly in roles and industries where specialized skills with specialized degrees are required. However, when leaders get into the business of hiring warm bodies for the sake of being able to drive more revenue, the short-term gain has long-term consequences.
When leaders hire warm bodies to drive more revenue, the short-term gain has long-term consequences.
Here is a few examples of the impact on a business:
- High Turnover – Research suggests that the cost of employee turnover is 1.5X to 2X the amount of the existing employee’s salary. That doesn’t even include the hidden costs like the decrease in employee engagement and morale of the team members staying.
- Wasted Time – The hard truth is when companies make lazy hires, the responsibility of growing and developing them falls directly on front-line managers. The time, energy, effort, and administration are a heavy lift. This isn’t a bad thing, however, if a leader is investing that kind of coaching effort into someone that doesn’t want to be there, it’s a waste.
- Low Performance – High performance has many factors. Talent and patience are undoubtedly at the center of it. There is a compelling body of research that has explored the factors that underpin successful performance that is best explained in a simple equation: Ability x Persistence = Performance. Lazy hiring doesn’t do a good enough job of evaluating true potential, ability, and whether the person will persevere when things get tough.
I don’t know one leader or company that would say they want high turnover, wasted time, or low performance. However, they make votes every day in the way they hire that would say otherwise.
No company would say they want high turnover, wasted time, or low performance. However, they make votes every day in the way they hire that would say otherwise.
Successfully moving to level 2 or 3 in talent evaluation isn’t easy, but it is worth it. It often requires outside help or training to make it happen. But like most things in life, things worth it aren’t easy, which is why most people don’t do them.
So now is the time to take your talent evaluation to the next level.
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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company helping executives and managers to lead their best. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. You can follow him on Instagram @johngeades.