Are You Using Your Gut to Hire?

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Many Business Owners are so desperate to find a body to fill a slot that gut feel in an interview is what they use to hire.  Does the person walk like a duck, talk like a duck? We need a duck so let’s hire them.

This rapid decision based on gut feel has been proven not to be predictive of great results through multiple studies, so what is a decisive business owner to do?  I was recently given a calendar saying that really sums it up: “The Prize is in the Process.” If you have a process that includes assessing things about your candidate, you will be ahead in the game. Use your gut - but only for one third of the decision.

Candidates are hired for skills and fired for attitude.  You can either hire someone and go through the pain of training them and then when their guard is down and you see the real person and then fire them, or you can use pre-hire assessments.

We like using a cognitive test that is an assessment of how quickly they can learn as the first screen.  I don’t know about you but there is nothing that drives me crazier than someone I need to teach over and over because they just DON’T GET IT.  We then look at their motivators. Are they motivated by money? If not maybe they would not be a good sales person. Are they motivated to help people?  If not maybe they may not be a good customer service person. You see the pattern.

The next thing we assess is their behaviors.  We use job benchmarks to help us evaluate the job fit.  Behaviors are something you can see in an interview. Beware of interviewing an accountant or engineer and not getting the best “connection” with them.  You want detail people, not people people. The next thing we look at is their soft skills: goal orientation, resiliency, planning and organizing are some of the 25 we review.

Are we all done?  Usually I say if they are a good to great fit so far, interview them.  Now is the time. Once you have and have fallen in love in the interview, don’t forget to look at their hard skills.  I once had an admin candidate who made it all the way through the process and then was in the 1st percentile for using MS Word.  We want someone at 75th or better because while we don’t mind teaching, this is not what we want to teach.

If you do all this and your duck still feels like a duck, you have a winner.