How effective is your recruitment process?

How effective is your recruitment process?

To be effective, recruitment must comprehensively assess both eligibility and suitability, and provide an overall measurement from that assessment. Experience shows that the traditional HR approach tends to deal with the ‘eligibility’ factor effectively, but little, if any, thought is given to the issue of ‘suitability’.

This is a serious weakness.

A recent study of 20,000 new hires over a three-year period showed that within their first 18 months, 46 per cent of them failed to achieve their expected potential.

What is disturbing, though, is why those people failed.

The top five reasons why the new hires failed were:

  1. Coachability(26%): The ability to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers and others.
  2. Emotional Intelligence(23%): The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions and accurately assess others’ emotions.
  3. Motivation(17%): Sufficient drive to achieve one’s full potential and excel in the job.
  4. Temperament(15%): Attitude and personality suited to the particular job and work environment.
  5. Technical Competence(11%): Functional or technical skills required to do the job.

 

The above figures show that a lack of skills or technical competence only accounted for 11 per cent of new hire failures.

When a new hire was wrong for a company it was due to attitude (suitability), not a lack of skills. Suitability was a much more significant factor than eligibility.

While the failure rate for new hires is frustrating, it should not be surprising: 82% of managers reported that, in hindsight, their selection process with these employees elicited subtle clues that they would be headed for trouble.

A Harvard Business Review study has concluded that 80% of staff turnover can be attributed to mistakes made during the employee selection and recruitment process. The study also showed that the level of staff turnover almost doubles when no “job suitability match” has been undertaken by the employer.

If you were told your next major investment had a one-in-ten chance of succeeding, you would probably turn it down. If you were offered four-in-ten odds for the success of a significant capital outlay, you would probably say “no”. And yet, a range of academic studies have shown that those are exactly the odds for success you may be playing with when you use the traditional methods of recruiting people.

Many recruiters admit that they base a significant part of their recruitment decisions on interviews, yet in a University of Michigan study titled ‘The Validity and Utility of Alternative Predictors of Job Performance’, researchers analysed how well job interviews accurately predict success on the job. They concluded:

“Most people are still hired on the basis of an interview alone. Statistics prove that decisions based on interviews alone are accurate only 14% of the time. That means we have the chance to be wrong 86% of the time in the hiring of top performing individuals.”

In other words, the interview process alone only gets the recruitment recommendation right one out of seven times – not a great average!

By Debbie Robinson

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