Hiring and retaining top talent is the topic of the day. In keynote addresses, headlines, peer groups and conference rooms everyone wants to know, “How do we hire for long-term success?”
Much of our current hiring processes are designed around a candidate’s background. Does the person have N+ certification? Experience in business-to-business sales? Are they a college graduate?
Why then do some people with similar experience and education succeed and others fail? With all the talk of millennials you might think this is a new dilemma, but history shows us it is not. This was the basic question Walter V. Clarke, an accomplished organizational psychologist first asked himself in the 1940’s. He noted that in many cases while experience and education were similar, he reasoned the success or failure was due to the difference in the individual’s behaviors. A behavior is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself. An example of a behavior might include logical, methodical or calm.
Yet very little of our hiring process takes into account the behaviors needed to support the role in our company, our company culture and the interactions with our customers. Different natural behaviors are a better fit for different roles. For instance, do they like to multi-task and seek variety and change or are their behaviors more methodical and systematic?
There are a couple common methods for assessing behavior in candidates:
- Behavior-based interviewing is rooted in the belief that past performance predicts future performance. Basically, if they’ve been able to demonstrate that behavior in the past, they should be able to do so again in the future. It is a type of interview question that invites the candidate to tell us a story, give us a specific example of a time they did something. We listen for the application of their behaviors and how those relate to the role we have open.
- Behavioral assessments are tools, usually online, that identify strong behavior tendencies a candidate has. Walter Clarke reasoned that individual behaviors differed which were the key elements in predicting success. As a result, he went on to develop a behavioral measurement tool, the Activity Vector Analysis (AVA) through in-depth research, theories, studies and joint development with other prominent psychologists. His is just one tool designed to match the natural behaviors of the person with the behaviors needed for success in the role.
CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux noted in his keynote speech at the recent CompTIA ChannelCon event that, “We used to have an unlimited pipeline of talent, but today we have a talent gap and millions of IT workers are set to retire, which will raises the stakes here.” His thoughts are supported by CompTIA’s 5th Annual Trends in Managed Services Research Report which highlights both recruiting and employee retention a challenges for MSP’s.
Assessing behavior fit for the role and company culture can help you hire and retain top talent.
If your hiring process is not giving you the results you desire, consider adding a behavioral assessment component to your process. The addition of a benchmark for the behaviors needed for success in the role will help strengthen your ability to identify and hire for long-term success.
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