How to Hire High Performers
The universal question appears to be “How Do I Find High Performers for My Company?” And it seems to get more focus and debate everyday.
First let’s deal with a myth that Hiring High Performers is impossible. The reason is, there are so few – by some estimates less than 1% of the population. Well, while I don’t want to debate the issue of just how many high performers are there in your market. The real issue is “Can you Top Grade Your Staff?” Can you find the best fit for a position at this moment in time.
The answer is Yes you can. However, to do this you must know exactly what traits a job needs to be successful. Notice I did not say the person – I said the job. The job is the important part of the equation. What traits are necessary for the job to be success is the most overlooked and undervalued piece of the puzzle. I hear things like – Well, I just know what it takes; or I’ll know when I meet the right person; or the worst statement – If the person I select doesn’t work out – I’ll fire them and get a new one!”
High Performers are people rather than machine parts. In order to hire them, you need to know exactly what traits are needed. Assess for those traits and Interview the person while learning about the depth of experience using those traits a candidate has at this time.
Second, mismatching people to jobs is a major mistake. Yet, it is committed every day by good HR people and hiring managers. Why? Usually due to three reasons:
- Don’t know what traits are needed for the position or job to be successful.
- Like the person because they are friendly or just like me. (Again, no match to the job)
- Were referred by a friend or higher ranking person in the company. While this could be a good situation you still need to check. Some of the worst hiring mistakes I made was due to being told someone was an excellent worker and I didn’t verify it!
Mismatching of people to jobs places major stress on an individual. The reason for the stress is people want to perform well at their job. However, when mismatched, these same people are expected to perform well using their natural WEAKNESSES rather than their strengths. This is totally unfair to the employee. The usual outcome is low performance and short duration of employment.
Finally, while the top 1% of people may be difficult to find, the fact that we could know what that level looks, sounds and acts like allows us to make educated decisions rather than Guessing. To find the top 20% relative to a job position can make a material difference in your organization. Knowing what the job needs and matching the talent allows for high levels of performance.
So Hiring High Performers can be your normal operating process – if you learn how it works. Learn the process and find the tools that will give you the edge. Having the edge in hiring better people allows you to win more often and actually create a competitive edge in the marketplace.
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