How often have you heard owners and managers of staffing firms say:
“Why is it that we can be so successful in finding top performers for our clients’ organizations, yet so inept at finding them for our own?”
The answer to this question lies not in the finding. Rather, it lies in the ability to evaluate. Fact be known, the majority of recruiting solutions providers are well equipped to be effective with the process of finding (recruiting). After all, this is primarily a sales function and most industry specific training focuses on the development of sales skills. Still, as important as this may be, you must develop a completely different set of skills in order to be truly effective at evaluation.
Remember: Evaluation is about predicting behavior!
Recruitment evaluation: three important questions
In order to help insure the long-term success of the firm, the selection step of your recruiting process must be a reliable predictor of behavior, must identify for you potentially top performers and provide you with answers to three very important questions:
- Can the candidate effectively execute the essential job functions at or above the established performance standards for the position (can do)?
- Is the candidate properly motivated to execute the essential job functions (will do)?
- Will the candidate’s job related functional preferences properly interface with the primary operating/management styles of the employment environment (fit)?
As stated in my previous blog post, the staffing industry as a whole is lacking in its ability to properly evaluate talent, creating an environment where many hiring decisions become nothing more than an educated guess. A reliable basis for predicting behavior is absent. It’s important to use your recruiting software to help identify qualified candidates, but your selection should not be entirely dependent on it. If you have any doubts about this statement, take a look at industry performance ratios in three key areas: order to fill ratio, candidate presentation to interview ratio, and candidate interview to fill ratio.
After working on-site with hundreds of staffing firms, it is obvious to me that as a general rule, the firms that consistently produce the best performance ratios, employ the highest producers with the greatest tenure. Although there are many factors that contribute to this success, the most obvious factor is the owner/manager’s ability to reliably predict behavior. Through their selection process, these managers have learned to properly evaluate for their companies, as well as for their clients, the “can do,” “will do,” and “fit” of potential employees.
Recruitment evaluation: the behavioral interview
At the heart of this effective selection process is the structured, behaviorally-based, evaluation interview. However, few practitioners in the staffing industry, and even fewer of their clients, have mastered the skill sets necessary to conduct this type of interview.
The structured, behaviorally-based, evaluation interview combines various interviewing techniques and questioning styles that allow the interviewer to evaluate not only “can do,” but also behavior patterns, personality traits, emotional maturity, creativity, reliability, integrity, drive, ability to learn, adaptability, responsiveness, functional preferences, work ethic, poise, self- esteem, and very importantly, motivation. Properly conducted, the interviewer will receive honest, accurate, and timely information on which to predict behavior and evaluate the candidate’s “can do,” “will do,” and “fit.”
In no other area can you make a greater contribution to the long-term growth and prosperity of your organization than through your staff selection process. Include in your process structured, behaviorally based, evaluation interviews, and you will greatly increase your ability to predict the behavior of potentially top performers, as well as identifying their “can do,” “will do,” and “fit” for your firm. Additionally, if your objective is to differentiate your services on a qualitative basis, while building stronger, long-term client relationships, include structured, behaviorally based, evaluation interviews in the service delivery processes for your clients.
— — —
Terry Petra is one of the recruiting industry’s leading trainers and business consultants. A Certified Personnel Consultant since 1975 and a Certified International Personnel Consultant since 1989, Petra has extensive experience as a producer, manager, and trainer in all areas of professional search, including retainer, contingency, and contract, as well as clerical/office support and temporary. For more information about his services, visit his website or call 651.738.8561.