Why the Pre-Hire Process is Really About Planning

May 2, 2019

Think about the last time you ventured out to find a new job. Did you come across postings that seemed as though they were written a decade ago?

You know what we’re talking about, right? It’s not that the job descriptions are entirely out of date, though sometimes they are. It’s more that what was once an emerging skillset is now an accepted norm in the workplace. Yes, we do know how to use the Internet! Does that mean we get the job?!

Perhaps the company that posted the job descriptions from 10 years ago hasn’t given much recent thought into what they are now and who they want in the new role. And they really haven’t considered how the needs of the position have changed with time. For a prospective candidate, that would be a turn off. And if you’re the one doing the hiring it might just limit your pool of candidates.

To find the right person, you need to know what you’re looking for. To understand what you’re looking for, you need to know what the company needs, and have clear alignment on the core characteristics most important for someone to be successful in the role.

Put more simply, employers need a pre-hire plan. Robert Half, the founder of the first and largest accounting and finance staffing firm, once said, “The time spent on hiring is time well spent.” And that time starts well before the candidate comes in to interview.

Studies show that the lack of organizational alignment on expectations for success in a given job is just one reason that one-third of new hires quit their job after about six months. The exact same ratio of employees knew after the first week if they would stay at their new company for the long-term. These employees could see quickly that they weren’t the right fit. Why couldn’t the employer avoid that before they made the hire?

Think about how different your job is now compared to the one you did a few years ago. Even if it’s the same title, you’re probably learned or applied new skills. Even more, you’ve changed in how you learned to adjust to the changes.

Now think about the traits and behaviors in yourself that enabled you to make the changes, to get along with that new manager (accommodation!), to engage with your team (sociability!). Perhaps in some situations your innate behaviors needed to shift. And you handled it well.

Did your company use science and data to predict these innate traits and behaviors before they hired you? Or, did they use gut instinct and got lucky? Without the right tools making objective hiring and selection decisions can be risky, and expensive.

Mmanti Umoh, a renowned leadership and management consultant, said the optimal talent selection process comes down to planning and having stakeholder alignment early in the process.

By planning ahead with pre-employment due diligence, you can:
 
  • Reduce hiring mistakes
  • Accelerate the hiring process
  • Improve hiring precision
  • Minimize the costs of a bad hire
  • Save costs on recruiting
At PXT Select, we help hiring managers and recruiters align on the expectations of job requirements, by finding out what the behavioral and cognitive traits, and interests, are needed for someone to succeed in that role and at that organization. With this, they can develop a job description that clearly states what they are looking for from a prospective hire.

Candidate data sets from the assessment are compared against a Performance Model of the preferred traits for a given job. If the model suggests that an individual whose results fall in the higher range of the scale for a given trait tend to be most successful in the position, then organizations want to hire the people with those similar traits who fall on the higher end.

If the Performance Model calls for scores on the lower end of the scale for a given trait, a lower result is what an organization wants to see. No matter where the range falls, the more similar the candidate is to the performance model, the better the chance they will be successful on that role. PXT Select allows you to create custom models, replicate top performers, or use a performance model library so you can tailor your model to your needs at the time.

Whether you’re hiring from the outside, or selecting existing employees for new roles, a performance model helps you identify top candidates. When used with the rest of the PXT Select suite of reports, performance models can be used to help organizations build career paths for their employees, think about succession planning and build bench strength in their organization.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree,” Abraham Lincoln opined on the concept of planning and preparation. “And I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

How prepared is your organization? Do you have a plan in place? Is it adaptable? If you don’t know, maybe it’s time to invest in finding out. Start planning now.
 

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