TSB 010: Stop Hiring Headless Monsters & Start Hiring the Whole Person

November 5, 2022

Read Time: 4 minutes

This week's tip: Start Hiring With Certainty

Most leaders have no idea who the real person is behind the compelling resume and polished interviewee they just hired.  

The mistake they made was relying on a resume and a few interviews while completely ignoring what was going on in the mind of the candidate.  Essentially treating the applicant like a headless monster.

There is a better way. . .

The Head, the Heart, and the Briefcase

When we look at hiring the whole person, the briefcase represents the knowledge, skills, and experiences a person has when they come to us. It’s all described in the resume, which is helpful but doesn't tell us the whole story of the candidate.

Some people will interview for the heart, to understand the individual's values and interests.

This is helpful, but there's a lot of bias in it. Candidates might share what they think we want to hear based on their research on the interviewer, the organization, and the leadership.

What we really want to know is what's going on in a job candidate's head, because it allows us to make a more informed decision.

When we hire based on briefcase and heart only, we end up firing people because of what’s in their heads.

Screen Shot 2022-11-04 at 10.33.49 PM

What’s the solution?

Don’t start with a description of the skills, attributes, and education of an ideal candidate, the way we typically do in a job description.

Start with the needs, drives, and behaviors required by the job and gain internal agreement on those requirements, then create your job description and interview guide to assess candidates and determine the right fit for the whole person.

I’ll be honest, there have been times when I put too much emphasis on what the candidate has to offer and neglected the requirements of the job and organizational alignment.

Have you ever been in a situation where the hiring manager, the person who wants to fill the position, has one idea of what is needed, but you, as the executive leader, have a completely different idea? I’ve been there. This scenario rarely leads to a positive outcome or the right fit.

When I talk with leaders like you, the number one concern is hiring the wrong person for a critical job. You just can’t afford to make a bad hire.

But it’s easy to make a mistake because, on the one hand, candidates come in and interview well, saying all the right things. They've curated their resumes, and some have hired a professional to choose all the right words and make a solid first impression with perfect fonts with graphics.

On the other hand, our hiring managers may be overly impressed with someone who dresses the part, acts the part, and communicates the part. Or leaders may be feeling so much pressure to fill the position that they just want to hire the first reasonable person they find.

Then the new hire starts and it’s immediately obvious to everyone that it's not a good fit.

But if you start by using Talent Optimization software you can:
  1. Create behavioral (orange rectangles) and cognitive (orange briefcase) targets for the roleScreen Shot 2022-11-04 at 9.34.53 PM

  2. Assessing and ranking each candidate's fit against those targetsScreen Shot 2022-11-04 at 9.54.28 PM

  3. Digging into areas that matter with software-generated interview questions directed to areas of misalignment with the behavioral targetsScreen Shot 2022-11-04 at 9.57.46 PM

You can feel confident that you are not creating headless monsters, but are addressing the head, the heart, and the briefcase.

The software that makes this easy, and generated the images above is called the Predictive Index (PI).

It facilitates the work of your hiring team to set targets, evaluate and rank candidates using the targets, and prioritizes behavioral interview questions that address areas where the targets and applicant behaviors do not align.

When we look at George's assessment above, we see George is an Altruist. He's congenial and cooperative with an efficient, precise work ethic. His strengths include the need for structure and adherence to rules. But a cautionary area is that he may seem too cautious and not strategic enough.

When George applies for this job, we see his A, B and C don't fit squarely within the targets for this position, but his D does.

We may decide to interview him since his A is relatively close and his B isn't that far off. During the interview, we can use the priority interview questions to address C, because it shows a big difference between where he is on the patience versus driving (pushing for results) scale. The AI system within the Predictive Index will generate priority questions to address every instance where the behaviors of the person you're interviewing do not fit within the target range.

It prioritizes those questions and gives you a behavioral interview guide to use, which is a really powerful and exciting innovation.

Assessing the strengths of current and future hires, and making sure they are in the right role improves engagement, helps with retention and is key to avoiding the trauma associated with new hire ghosting and turnover due to misdirected hiring.

In summary, there are four ways the Predictive Index helps you:

  1. Make sure you've got job alignment
  2. Ensuring job fit
  3. Using data to avoid the natural bias of gut decisions
  4. Support from consultants like Prevention Advisory Group to build your confidence and empower your organization

See you again next Saturday!

Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Leadership coaching and nonprofit operations support by booking a session.
  2. Build your dream team using behavioral insights and validated techniques by booking a free People Strategy call here.
  3. Book a team-building workshop here.



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