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Would you back a hiring process that has a 14 percent chance of success?

Renowned American businessman and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, has a huge legacy. Although you’d expect we can learn from him when it comes to computers and technology, he is also known for his shrewd insights into how to hire the right people.

In his documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, he says: “I consider the most important job of someone like myself as recruiting.” When CNN interviewed him after he left Apple, he famously said of this painful experience: “I hired the wrong guy and he destroyed everything I’d spent ten years working for.”

History is full of similar cases; where the hiring of the wrong person led to great cost to a business. As human beings, we use our intuition to make judgement calls every day and don’t think anything of it. However, we often overvalue our skills in this area and we’re not great at making objective decisions without our unconscious bias and opinions influencing us.

How to tell if you’re making bad recruitment calls

This is equally true when it comes to hiring staff. A good way to test if this is true of your business is to check if any of the following questions apply:

  • Do you have high staff turnover, caused by poor staff selection?
  • Do some new hires not last long in their role, or fail to fit into your team?
  • Have the wrong people been promoted?
  • Do your hiring managers sometimes disagree on the right candidate?
  • Do you sometimes doubt you’ve chosen the right candidate?

If you answered yes to any of these, it could be because you relied on an interview and reference check to confirm your candidate choice. The first relies on gut feel and the second on historical behaviour; on their own these can be dangerous options.

According to a Harvard University study, 80 percent of turnover is due to mistakes made during the employee selection process. And Michigan State University research indicates that traditional hiring techniques – resume reviews, interviews and reference checks – only provide a 14 percent chance of a successful hire.

So, how do we make sure we hire the best? Best practice is to ensure that you employ the right candidates up front, using the latest techniques to screen your potential hires. One often-neglected tool is psychometric testing, which can help you make objective decisions and identify the best performers.

Five good reasons to use assessments when hiring

  1. Reduced costs

Assessments will help eliminate the costs associated with high turnover of staff who are a poor fit. HR consulting firm, Mercer, calculates that replacing an employee can cost up to 150 percent of their annual salary. And Gallup estimates that disengaged employees in America cost their firms a combined $350 billion a year. They also negatively affect the rest of the workforce; exposure to the poor workplace behaviour of even one employee can reduce a team’s productivity by 30 to 40 percent.

  1. Get the full picture

Interviews, resume reviews and reference checks will only tell you so much about a candidate. All good candidates today have studied interview techniques, researched your organisation and probably you too! They have rehearsed their performance to the point that it can sometimes be hard to choose between what seems to be equally good candidates. This is where assessments can help you choose between top candidates.

  1. Compare candidates equally

When you’re down to your final candidates it can be hard trying to make a decision. Don’t fall back on your judgement. Normative assessments, like those used by Zeker, help you identify that ‘missing something’ that identifies the truly great candidate. To be successful, you must compare apples with apples.

  1. Get the right fit

Here at Zeker, we believe there’s no such thing as a ‘bad candidate’, it’s simply about matching the right person to the right job, at the right company. By using objective assessments, both the candidates and the business end up with the fit that’s right for them.

  1. It’s surprisingly affordable

You might be thinking ‘Yes, that all sounds good, but I’m not a large company with a big recruitment budget’. Zeker help small to medium organisations, like yours, get the full picture of a candidate for a surprisingly small investment. When you consider the cost of replacing a poorly recruited team member, it pays for itself many times over.

 Psychometric tests are our speciality and we use them to get a deeper understanding of what makes an individual tick and how this may predict future behaviour. More and more businesses are turning to assessments like Prevue to help them with their hiring decisions. The Harvard Business Review, for example, reports that currently around 18 percent of companies use psychometric testing in their hiring process. This number is predicted to grow at around 10-15 percent each year.

How Zeker can help you pick the best person for the job

Zeker’s pre-employment Prevue assessments help remove the guesswork from recruitment. They also speed up the process by giving you insights into a candidate’s traits, behaviours, skills, goals, preferences and more.

 When a candidate completes an assessment, you’ll receive comprehensive reports with easy-to-read results, as well as suggested questions to use in interviews and during reference checks.

 Just get in touch to find out more about trialling our assessments on your next candidate.