Chose the Right Test

One of my clients recently told me that running his business is so much easier with the right people. Hiring the right people (and helping the wrong ones become “available to industry”) has fundamentally unstuck his company. Now he faces the prospect of hiring to fill for the blank spots.

Let’s be clear: hiring the wrong person can put your company under. The cost of making a mistake is enormous. Not only the cost of that salary, but your time, the impact to other people in your company, your clients, lost opportunities, having to go through the hiring process over again, and others impacts.

Checking for training, experience and knowledge is easy. Either they have it or they don’t. Hiring for character, attitude, and fit are harder. One arrow in our quiver are personality tests, but not all personality tests are created equal.

The Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), for example, is a fairly well-known and widely used profile tool. It’s used by everybody except psychologists. That’s because it gives inconsistent results. This means if you take the test more than once you’ll likely get a different outcome. It is also uses only positive language so that you don’t get any insight into weaknesses and blind-spots in your own behaviour you might need to manage.

If you use a profiling tool, make sure the tool you are using is research-based and validated. The kind that will hold up in court validation, and you can’t *just* rely on profiling tools. Having a disciplined process and HR strategy is critical to your company. Remember the cost of hiring the wrong person?

A disciplined hiring process includes using other tools, such as phone screening, career histories, two-person in-depth interviews, learning how to ask behavioural interview questions properly, actually interviewing references, and having an on-boarding process for new hires.

An HR strategy includes regularly reviewing staff performance, using the same hiring process for selecting for promotion, and  documenting your expectations from staff both in terms of performance *and* behaviour. By behaviour I mean is your receptionist friendly and organized? Does your engineer pay attention to details? Does your salesperson know how to build relationships with a variety of personalities?

If you’ve ever been promoted into a job where you don’t know the people who are working for your, have you ever considered interviewing your staff to get to know them better? Have you ever considered putting a team through a facilitated behaviour profile workshop so that they learn more about themselves and each other? It’s much more effective than an afternoon of paint-ball as a team building exercise.

So when you

1) understand your company’s values and how what makes a good ‘fit” for your company

2) understand the behaviours needed for the job you’re hiring for

3) use tools validated by research

4) consistently use a disciplined hiring process

you’ll make better hires and fewer mistakes. How much is that worth to your company?

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