Almost everyone has heard of Michael Jordan. Not so many people have heard of Sam Bowie. In 1984, the Portland Trail Blazers, a team in the National Basketball Association (NBA), had an opportunity to sign Michael Jordan but passed to get a taller Sam Bowie. Jordan was selected instead by the Chicago Bulls. While the Portland Trail Blazers finished with multiple successful seasons, they have never won an NBA championship since Jordan entered the league. The Chicago Bulls went on to win 6 NBA Championships with Jordan, one of which, was against the Blazers. This illustrates the impact that one hiring decision can have on an organization. Jordan is an outlier and there are plenty of outliers on the high end of the performance spectrum in the organizational world outside of sports. Here are 6 tips that will help your organization find those outliers that will allow your company to “win championships”.
- Design an In-Depth Hiring Process
The first tip is to revisit your hiring process by taking a step back and check for holes. Are you currently getting all the pieces of information that you want from a candidate? In a book called Managing Selection in Changing Organizations, Jarard F. Kehoe provides key components in the entire hiring process:
- Recruiting and sourcing
- Initial screening
- Selection assessment
- Other organizational decision information
- Realistic job preview
- Other candidate decision information
- Organizational decision
- Offer, negotiation, acceptance
- Begin retention
Revisit your selection process to examine strengths and weaknesses in each of the above components. Use quantitative and qualitative metrics to discover, adjust, and update your process to make sure you are getting top talent that is a great fit for both the candidate and the organization.
- Analyze the Target Position Thoroughly
A job analysis is simply documenting the basic job elements, tasks, duties, etc. and can be done through observation of the job, focus groups with incumbents, supervisors, and/or subordinates, or any other way.
This process is very important for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons is for legal defensibility. A thorough job analysis that clearly outlines the important job duties and knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs). When a final hiring decision is made, and the losing candidate says he or she was not selected based on illegal discrimination, you must be able to prove that your hiring decision was based on measuring KSAOs that are related to job performance. Correct documentation utilizing a good job analysis can keep you out of hot water and major legal costs, not to mention the bad reputational implications that would surely follow.
Another reason to conduct a job analysis is to show that selection tools are valid. When you can provide a statistical link between the selection tool and performance on the job, you are showing the validity of the selection tool. A solid job analysis will give you a starting point for these selection tools. One selection tool is an employee assessment.
- Take a Multi-Method Approach to Employment Testing
Employment assessments are a great tool to use in the selection process as long as they are valid, reliable, and legally sound. Often times, companies will try a single method approach in employment testing. Unfortunately, this is a poor approach since any single method only captures a small part of the candidates’ potential to perform. Below is a chart from the British Psychological Society/Accord Group showing validity correlation values (0=low;1=high) between assessment method and job performance.
- Multi-Method Approach = .65
- Work-sample Tests = .54
- Ability Tests = .53
- Personality Tests = .39
- Biographical Data = .38
Clearly, the multi-method approach has proven to be the best predictor of future performance. Another advantage to a multi-method approach is that you can avoid potential adverse impact and legal issues that can arise if one of the method is showing large group differences, that is, one protected class seems to be scoring much better than others. The multi-method approach can dilute these scoring differences and make your employee assessment legally sound.
- Get Incumbents Involved
Employee referrals make up only 7% of all applicants. However, referrals are the number 1 source when it comes to hiring volume, hiring quality, and fastest time to fill a position (Staffing.org, 2011; Jobvite index, 2012; CareerXroads, 2011). I think these stats speak for themselves but suffice it to say that you want to have a strong employee referral program in place in your organization. This will give you an ideal edge on the competition having an additional angle on persuading industry rock stars to join your company.
- Understand the Millennials
Millennials may not know who MJ is, but they are coming into the workforce in great numbers. The newest generation is accepting jobs based on specific criteria. Data from CollegeFeed found that almost 80% of Millennials say that they want a good fit with people and organizational culture.
Having this knowledge, you can update job posting, career site, company website home page, and other information seen by applicants to brag about your company culture and potential for career growth. If your organization is currently lacking an attractive culture, this research might be something to bring up at the next executive meeting. Companies that want to hire the superstars of their industry need to adapt to this change.
- Be Mobile Friendly, Really Friendly
Kelton Research has found that 86% of candidates will actually use a mobile device to start searching for a job and 70% of people looking for a job would be willing to go through the application process on a mobile device but most companies do not make their application process mobile friendly. Being mobile friendly doesn’t have to be rocket science. A few things you can do to start are:
- Grab your phone and try to access your career site
- Find out how many applicants you get on a desktop and compare against mobile applicants
- Talk about what information to include on the mobile site. Remember there is less space so focus on what really matters and what will strike interest in applicants.
- Make sure you are getting feedback from candidates about their mobile experience.
Once you’ve found your Michael Jordan, remember, you need to retain him or her. Make sure to keep them engaged by providing opportunities for career growth, a healthy work/life balance, and surrounding them with great people. This will help you avoid a loss in free agency.
Author Bio: Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Analyst at Select International. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.