Recruit Better.

July 19, 2019


It is not difficult to learn how to recruit better and improve your recruitment decisions.  It is self-evident that the people you hire will have a significant impact on the success, or failure, of your enterprise.  Good staff are more productive than average or mediocre staff, and conversely, a poor hiring decision will cost a lot of money; with the losses being a function of the role and how long it takes to solve the issue.  Some sources estimate that the cost of hiring the wrong person can be equivalent to one-year salary, but again, it depends on the role and the time taken to resolve the issue.  Equally, hiring a good person and then losing them through poor management also has a costly outcome.

The traditional recruitment method is flawed as it ignores some of the core findings of industrial and organisational psychology on how to screen candidates.  Take IQ for example.  IQ, or general intelligence, has been shown to be the most consistent predictor of performance across a variety of jobs because it indicates a candidate’s ability to learn and thus reflects how quickly a person can be trained: it can be regarded as a proxy for learning potential.

Another effective predictor of career success, the personality test, or more accurately, personality profile, is an essential tool if you want to improve your recruitment decisions.  Hundreds of independent research studies have demonstrated that these profiles are better indicators of future career success than letters of recommendation, interviews and educational credentials.

The personality profiles that have been shown to forecast performance are based on the ‘five-factor model’, a well-supported and thoroughly researched framework for understanding how our personalities differ.  According to it, we can be analysed along five continuous, non-overlapping dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and emotional stability.  Conscientiousness, and to a lesser extent, high emotional stability are the most common consistent predictors of success across jobs and criteria.  (Although the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the best-known personality test, very few peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that its results accurately predict a job candidate’s performance.)

The benefits of avoiding one or more mis-hires cannot be over-stated.  Aside from saving money by reducing the frequency at which you recruit, you also increase productivity and profits by improving the quality of your staff.

The good news is that mis-hires can be avoided; recruitment doesn’t have to be a “hit and miss” affair.  It isn’t a difficult problem to fix and it might not be any more time consuming than your current method; but it does take an open-mind, some self-discipline, and some money, albeit a fraction of the cost of a mis-hire.

 If you would like to learn how to recruit better, avoid a mis-hire and select good staff and keep them, please contact Fermion.