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  • Ms Elizabeth Norris

Smoke and Mirrors: Are you selecting new employees based on their capacity, or their self-promotion?

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

How many layers of assessment do you ask prospective employees to jump through to evaluate their merit for the job role? You may think we don't have the time or budget to spend too much on this exercise. We just need to fill that vacancy quickly.

Its true, recruiting and selection needs to be time sensitive. You don't want to lose the most talented prospects. You want them to be up to speed in the role, as soon as possible. It is really critical at this point however to take a breath. You don't want this time pressure to interfere, or drive the quality of your selection decision making.

Companies with the lowest staff turnover have usually invested in their culture to make it a great place to work, but they have also understood the value of having a well thought out selection strategy.

Employers see the job interview as the holy grail to direct their selection decision-making. Would it surprise you to know job interviews are usually only about 10% predictive of job success? Not all job interviews are well thought out. Even at it's best it is a blunt tool, which roughly gauges a prospect's technical skills based on their previous experience, and perhaps level of self-confidence, displayed by the candidate, at the time. In my experience it doesn't capture some-one's actual capacity to perform in the job, as much as their stated aspiration to fulfill the role.

The more assessment steps you include in your selection process, the more data points you can draw upon to fully evaluate a potential prospect. Imagine if you could measure and discern their capacity to fulfill the role, and grow your business, as opposed to guessing what they can do:- based on what they claim they have done, or who they know.

It can be a really important mindset change to consider harnessing outside expertise to increase the rigour and effectiveness of your recruiting & selection processes. Most Organisational Psychologists are skilled in undertaking job analysis of the job role, to guide you with selection steps. We custom build assessments and psychometric testing suites for our clients to assist them to assess candidates' capacities and job suitability. Once our clients understand the value added by creating a rigorous selection process, they rarely go back. They realise that hearing a well constructed and impressive spiel by a polished candidate, is no longer enough to make a well-informed hiring decision.

Elizabeth Norris is CEO and Founder of Attainable Solutions. As a senior Organisational Psychologist Elizabeth has more than two decades of experience delivering custom built Assessment Centres for diverse clients. She has achieved particularly high levels of predictive success guiding job selection of specialist operators working in a regulatory environment.

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