How To Hire Right The First Time

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 they are trying to fill. Well, of course they do – if the candidate seems like a great fit!

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?

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 most 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.

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?

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.

Very few get fired for lack of skills. More often than not, turnover comes from having the wrong behaviors. 

Hire for the behaviors, train for the skills.

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

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