Archive for April 2017

Assessments Alone Should Not Be A Hire/No Hire Determinant

April 28, 2017

Recent advances in behavioral science have created many precise behavioral assessment instruments and the Internet has made administering these instruments easy for hiring managers.  Given the perceived accuracy of the results, hiring managers often let one assessment alone determine whether or not to hire a candidate.  Hiring managers should use a variety of assessment instruments to measure many different aspects of a candidate’s behavioral profile along with other screening approaches.  Using one assessment alone is to assume people are one-dimensional without having various skills, abilities, strengths and weaknesses not possibly evaluated through just one tool.

Regardless of the number of assessments and their validity, relying only on assessments to hire or not hire someone is committing leadership negligence.  Aside from compliance requirements (the US Department of Labor states assessments should not represent more than one-third of the hire/no hire decision and must be directly tied to success in the position), leaders must include other screening mechanisms with candidates.

Assessment results should generate more conversation with the candidates and/or references to verify how the individual performs in real life.  If a decision is made based solely on the assessment without follow-up, then the assessment has become a go/no-go decision point which is not only in direct violation of the EEOC guidelines, but just isn’t fair to the candidate.

Empowered hiring managers use sufficient tools and processes to make the right selection decisions for success.

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Have A Consistent Selection Approach In The Organization

April 21, 2017

Consider this:  One hiring manager believes they are a good read of people; knowing in their gut whether or not a candidate is right for the position/organization and their candidates breeze through the selection activities.  Another manager has a rugged, structured, and consistent selection process and their candidates respect the organization’s thoroughness.  Additionally, their peers have an increased respect for the new hires knowing what it took to get hired.  How are the two managers viewed throughout the organization?  How is the leader viewed throughout the organization?

Though we strongly recommend a formal selection process, it’s just as important to have all hiring managers following the same approach to hiring.  A consistent selection approach sends an important message to all candidates and new hires that the organization has structured people-processes and they take their talent seriously.  Inconsistent and haphazard approaches to talent within the same organization lead to bitterness and animosities within the ranks of the team.

Leaders should develop a structured, challenging approach to selection, empower hiring managers to consistently follow it and their organization will be more successful.

Make Sub-Goals When Setting Annual Goals

April 14, 2017

Psychologists who specialize in goal-setting theory advocate setting sub-goals that are of moderate difficulty in pursuit of much larger goals.  Setting smaller goals helps build confidence and creates success, momentum, and motivation towards achieving the ultimate goal.

As leaders layout their annual goals, they should break them down into smaller sub-goals.  The sub-goals must be measurable and time-based.  For example, if the annual goal is to read ten business books, the first sub-goal might be “read 100 pages by the end of this month.”  If the annual goal is to hire five new sales associates, the sub-goal might be “define the ideal sales associate profile by the end of the quarter.”

Effective annual goals should be difficult and meaningful.  The best way to achieve those goals is by mapping out the smaller sub-goals, accomplishing them, and celebrating the success.

Empowered teams break down their goals into sub-goals for a successful year.

Make Sure Direct Reports Know The Results Of Their Efforts

April 7, 2017

In 1976, J. Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham developed a key model of work design called the Job Characteristics Model. It has since become the basis for many job enrichment strategies and is still implemented today. Hackman and Oldham contend job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity result from the application of their model.

The core dimensions of the model are: job variety (ability to perform multiple job functions), job identity (how the job affects the organization), job significance (how the job helps society), autonomy (how much independence the job has), and feedback (what happens as a result of the job).

Leaders may not be able to influence their direct reports’ variety, identity, significance, and autonomy but they can easily impact the feedback dimension of their accomplishments.  Unfortunately, once the results of a job have been completed and delivered, they often forget about them and move on to the next task.  Communicating the outcome  of their efforts to direct reports will go a long way toward helping them embrace their jobs and be more productive.  Celebrate the positive outcomes and learn from the not so positive results; in either event, recount what happened (in most cases the outcome is positive).

Empowered leaders share the end product of their team’s efforts and their teams are more productive and successful.