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November 1, 2013
4 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged



Here’s some truth you might not want to hear: Your recruitment and selection process is broken and inefficient. Before you get defensive, think critically about how you isolate, screen, and select the employees who will add value to your company. Can you really say there are no inefficiencies in the process?

Your company isn’t the only organization struggling with how to improve the recruitment and selection of the right people. In fact, 46 percent of small business new hires fail within the first 18 months, and 89 percent of the time this is due to poor company culture fit. But the numbers don’t get much better for larger organizations.

Big businesses might have more formal recruitment and selection structures in place, but this is no balm for the cost-sucking power of a bad hire. In the United States, 66 percent of employers have admitted to encountering a bad hire in the last calendar year. These mis-hires can be expensive, with some studies pegging the cost of a bad hire at more than $50,000. And high-profile bad hires, like the Yahoo! CEO caught with a fib on his resume, can reflect poorly on the organization, costing more than just money.

So what’s the solution? The best way to improve all aspects of your recruitment and selection process is to consider your organizational goals before picking up the phone to speak to candidates. Keeping your hiring goal-based will improve your recruitment process, helping you hire the best employees faster than your competition.

Why Does Goal-Based Screening Matter?

Goal-based recruitment and selection matters because employees need to understand their contributions to your organization and employers need workers who can see the big picture. Keeping your recruitment process goal-based means hiring more strategically and paying attention to what positions are actually needed so you aren't onboarding the wrong people.

As we've shown, a bad hire can be very costly. By using a goal-based recruitment process, you're hiring employees who understand their role in the company goal structure. From day one, they will have the knowledge to help the organization succeed in its strategic vision.

Why is a goal-centric recruitment process necessary? First, by focusing on goals before onboarding a new employee, you're more likely to find someone who can actually perform the work functions required by the position.

More importantly, however, adding a goal-centric viewpoint to your recruitment process can help you avoid the employee engagement crisis. According a recent survey by Gallup on the subject of employee engagement, only 30 percent of American workers are actively engaged in their jobs.

This is terrible news for companies, since employee engagement affects not just company culture but also overall productivity. If you can align your goals and your hiring, you're more likely to select a candidate with sincere passion to join your company and add value.

How to Ask Better Questions

So how do you align your recruitment and selection process with company goals? The first step is to ask better questions in the interview stage.

So many of the questions asked in interviews are not only general but hopelessly by-the-book. "Tell me about yourself." or "Why should we hire you?" are both questions candidates already know to expect. Anyone who has an Internet connection or has been on an interview before knows how to prepare answers to these questions.

Instead, you need to make your questions goal-based and specific to the needs of the company and job. Ask how familiar a candidate is with the company goals and mission statement. Get specific with your questions to ensure the candidate has the right skills, including asking about experience with relevant technology.

Employing goal-based interview questions will allow you to see which candidates really know what they’re talking about and who will actually fit into the company, so you're not onboarding the wrong talent.

How to Stop Wasting Time

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the typical time-to-hire is between 29 to 43 days for businesses both large and small. This is a massive wait time before you're onboarding the talent you need. Aligning your recruitment and selection process with organizational goals gives you the ability to cut down on time waste.

After all, if your questions are goal-specific and tell you more about a candidate’s practical experience, you’re less likely to waste time connecting with candidates who are all wrong for the job. You won't waste time talking to people who won’t be able to contribute in a meaningful way to the organization. Keeping everything, from the job description to the interview questions, goal-specific means you'll be able to focus on the right candidates with laser-sharp focus.

By using a goal-based recruitment and selection process, you'll be rewarded with employees who are motivated, engaged, and ready to tackle the goals they need to achieve to add value to your company.

What do you think? Do you use goal-based interview questions when connecting with candidates? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr user clemsonunivlibrary

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