A regular feature of my blog centres around hiring for experience and firing for attitude. I have also reflected on the lack of planning that goes in to hiring, how often recruitment is a knee jerk reaction to circumstances (usually the result of a “can I have a word meeting”) and therefore lets just go out and get someone. Hiring is often very hit and miss with too much left to chance. Some you get right, some you don’t. The cost to business is huge.
So what can you do to improve your chances of getting it right? How can you apply a little more science to what is an instinctive, intuitive, gut feel decision? I have always maintained with clients and indeed with my own hiring decisions that you should trust your instincts. However process and procedure dictates that we must be ever more considered in our choices and feedback.
Psychometrics is defined by Wikipedia, as “the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits”. Online research suggests that approximately 70% of Employers are using Psychometric Tests in their recruitment process and undeniably they have a place. I have long-held the view that what psychometrics give you are the questions to ask, not the answers. If they are the only tool by which you make your hiring decision they can be flawed. If however they are the basis for really searching interview questions they can be invaluable and as such a great tool to improve the effectiveness of the hiring process and as a consequence impact on retention and performance.
Increasingly pressure is placed on Recruiting Managers to evidence their ability to identify top talent, in particular in the Executive and leadership space. The cost of hire is high, the cost of failure is even higher. There is much research in this regard, but on average the true cost of replacing a Professional or Manager in an organization is equivalent to 12 months pay and benefits. Take in to account the cost of termination, the recruitment cost of the replacement, the cost of the vacancy (in terms of loss of revenue or the cost of covering the post whilst it remains empty) and perhaps the most costly of all the learning curve productivity loss. Psychometrics do not guarantee success in the recruitment process, but then can be an invaluable tool and should be used as part of a wholly rigorous recruitment process (more about that another day).
Increasingly as businesses becomes ever more global and crosses cultures I am struck by the part the Emotional Intelligence plays as a Recruitment Tool. The consultants Haygroup describe emotional intelligence as “the ability to bring out the best in ourselves and others” and as “a crucial part of a leaders repertoire”. The following is a quote from EI Pioneer Richard Boyatzis in 2008 –
“We find that most of the characteristics that differentiate the outstanding performers are these things that we call social and emotional competencies”.
Emotional Intelligence can be the difference between average and exceptional performance. As Recruiters are placed under ever-increasing pressure to add value, the ability to identify and recruit exceptional talent and retain that talent to deliver exceptional performance will be critical. The ability to measure and understand emotional intelligence gives a significant edge in ensuring best fit and there are some incredible tools in the market place. My sense is that the future of profiling will become ever more focused on the measurement and understanding of emotional intelligence and I for one am a huge advocate. It is the future of recruitment.