How To Hire The Best People The First Time

Hiring the best people whose job behaviors most closely match those of the known, job success profile will consistently yield top-performing, long-lasting employees content in their careers.

Recruiters typically get very excited when an application comes across their desk from a candidate with lots of experience and the skills required to do the job. Well, if the candidate seems like a great fit, of course they do. But knowing how to hire the best people goes much deeper than just a simple cursory review of their skills and experience!

Testing For Job Skills vs. Human Factor Behaviors

What might not be as apparent on a resume or cover letter however are the candidate’s human factor behaviors. You know, the way people approach and perform certain tasks.

If you were hiring electricians that have the skills required to wire a 220 box, you would need to verify that they know how to do that. If you were hiring motor coach operators, you would need to know they have a CDL license. Makes sense, right?

Most Jobs Are 30% technical, 80% Human Factor Behaviors

However, did you know that even the most technical jobs, like an electrician or motor coach operator, are still only about 30% technical. That’s right – the majority (70-80%) of job performance is based on behaviors and not skills or knowledge.

And unless hiring managers and recruiters take these behaviors into consideration when selecting from a pool of candidates, there’s no guarantee that they will perform well on the job.

A lack of Job Skills Won’t Get People Fired, Their Low-performing Behaviors Will.

For instance, a licensed and skilled electrician who does not “think the job through before starting” as a part of his behavioral approach to the job, will spend way too much time backtracking and therefore lose productivity. Do you want a technician (albeit a skilled one) who spends twice the time on jobs as the rest of your employees?

Behaviors Are MORE Important

I once was asked to speak to a group of H.R. professionals in the refinery industry.  Their companies supplied skilled labor to big oil refineries and plants along the Gulf Coast. They were constantly being pressured to “prove up” the skill levels of the people they were placing in these plants.  It was all about skills for them.  

While skills are extremely important, especially in this case, the point is that no matter how important the skills are, the behaviors are still MORE important. Why? I asked the H.R. group to tell me the last time they had fired someone due to poor technical performance. In a room of thirty, not a single hand went up.

Hire for the behaviors, train for the skills.

Very few get fired for lack of skills. More often than not, turnover comes from having the wrong behaviors. Assessing high-performance behaviors is critical in selecting the best candidates for hire. which is one reason we say, hire for the behaviors, and train for the skills.

Need help defining what those behaviors might be? Reach out and we can help.