Behavioral competencies are more important the functional job competencies. Organizations that leverage behavior competencies create cultures of performance and success.
And Peter Drucker is alleged to have said that culture eats strategy for lunch. This means the without the culture including vision, values, people who share those values and doing the right thing; then your strategy is not worth the paper it is printed on.
In Good to Great, Jim Collins explains that building a great organization is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” It may be simple but it’s not easy. You will need to change the way you hire people.
Unfortunately, all too often owners and hiring managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history. Significant time is spent looking at a candidate’s skills and knowledge before extending an employment offer.
While I am not discounting this the biggest problems that occur after a person is hired is not lack of skills or knowledge. More than likely, they were not a culture match for the company. They did not share the vision and values of the company. Also, the failure might have occurred because the employee did not display the knowledge that you thought they had. Before making the hiring decision the manager spent the majority of time determining skills and knowledge but the employee failed because of behaviors and attitudes.
A well-executed hiring process that balances skills and behaviors will result in more successful hires. Here are some suggested steps in developing and executing your plan.
1. Have a clear job description written before you begin. The job description should include job duties as well as requirements for the job. If you have never written a job description you should read a book on the topic or engage the services of a professional.
2. Ask open ended questions. The candidate should be doing most of the talking, not you.
3. Ask behavior-based questions. Behavior-based questions help you discover how the interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations. A person’s behaviors are based on past and finding out how the applicant behaved in the past will predict how the new hire will behave at your company. Past performance predicts future performance. One example of a behavior-based question would be, “Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it.”
4. Use assessment tools. You can use good behavior-based assessment such as the DISC profile. These tools help to validate finding in your interviews. Using assessment tools along with behavior-based interviewing is a cost-effective method of predicting how a person is likely to perform in a particular job.
Using predictive tools rather than time worn closed ended questions with help you make the correct hiring decisions the first time, reduce failure, and increase performance. You probably have a large opportunity to improve performance at your company.
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