Hannibal Lecter is Coming to the Company PicnicBy: Gregory P. Smith
“Life has been pretty tough lately at the company. Good employees have been really hard to find, but since the economy has slowed things are starting to improve . . .so you think. Your phone rings and Harry, your sales manager excitedly tells you about this great employee he hired today.
“Let me tell you about this great guy I hired! He is a little older, but he passed the interview with flying colors and best yet . . .he loves to work with people. He is fascinating and has great ‘soft skills,’ just what we need around here. I have a gut feeling he is going to be the best sales person we've ever hired.”Finding and placing the right person for the right job is critical to business success. Because of the labor shortage, many businesses feel like they need to lower their standards and hire the first living body that walks through the door- bad strategy.
Job interviewing alone is unreliable in today’s market. Many people with hiring responsibilities are not aware how one bad choice can damage or in this case “kill” healthy organizations. Shortsighted decisions often lead to disastrous results.
One reason interviewing by itself is unreliable is because most of today’s job seekers are proficient at interviewing they already know what to say. They can put on a good “presentation” and bluff their way through. Even the best interview doesn't give an accurate clue on their reliability and how they interact with their co-workers. Furthermore, job resumes are often exaggerated and unreliable.
A better approach in needed. Many organizations are turning to behavior assessments and personality trait testing for both hourly workers and managers. Back in the late ‘90s, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies used some type of assessment. Today, that figure is climbing to 65 percent. A year 2000 study by American Management Association showed nearly half of 1,085 employers polled use at least one assessment in their interviewing process.
Javier Lozano, SPHR, an organizational capability coordinator for Chevron USA recently told HR News that, “A validated pre-employment test can be a strong predictor of future performance and whether an applicant is a good fit for the job. If used correctly, a validated test can be one of the best retention tools available to the employer.”
For example, companies like The Plotkin Group created an integrity survey that measures an individual’s honesty. It identifies applicants who may steal merchandise or money, misuse sick days, give unauthorized discounts and other counter-productive behaviors. QWIZ Inc. has several automated tests that help measure basic job skills such as word processing, computer skills and basic reading and mathematics. They also have a product that can help select better applicants to work in call centers. One bank using assessments selected people who sold $60,000 more services and products annually. A manufacturing company hired people who generated $21,600 more per year than the company average and $42,000 more than those who received failing scores with the assessment. By using behavioral interviewing process and assessments, Ritz-Carlton hotels was able to reduce their turnover from over 100% to less than 30%.
It is bad enough to hire Hannibal Lecter as an employee and much worse to have Hannibal Lecter as a boss. Soft skills or manager’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a key factor in creating high retention. Many times people get promoted for the wrong reasons or good technically skilled people can't make the leap to become good supervisors.
To help develop soft skills hundreds of companies are using a special version of the DISC assessment. The reason this is far superior to other assessments is its simplicity, accuracy and availability on the Internet 24 hours a day. It takes only 10 minutes to complete, score and E-mailed to anyone in the world within minutes.
Individuals receive a personalized 26-page report that helps them see themselves as other people see them. Furthermore, this report helps facilitate a positive dialogue between the manager, the team and his or her boss. The personalized report includes beneficial information as to:
© Copyright 2001 Gregory P. Smith
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