Can they do the job? Will they do the job?

Struggling with clearly identifying what makes a star in your business?

Career boredom

The age old problem with organisations is how do you make sure your people are skilled enough to work for you.  Or is it more about are they the right person?  With the often lauded skill shortages, hiring managers along with HR and recruitment professionals use a myriad of systems, tools and methodologies to try and ascertain who will fit in the roles they are hiring. Some methods are hit and miss, and some provide a little more structure. Studies show that in general results correlate strongly to methodology.  Let look at a few methods businesses typically used.

Method one: Do I like you

This method typically involves the hiring manager reviewing CV’s for key words, interviewing a lot of candidates and basically eye balling them.  Occasionally they might ask a few questions, but mostly they talk about themselves or things other than the job.  They may be ‘doing a coffee’ or even a beer and checking with their mates to see who knows who.  By the way, reference checking without your candidates permission is illegal. (just sayin!)

This method is largely used in small businesses who are usually resource strapped, and struggling to get through a busy day. Results of this method are generally very poor. (and yes this does happen)

Method Two:  Gathering some information about skill ability.  (Largely a focus in technical roles)

This hiring methodology might be a focus on skill, interviewing, reference checking and then appointing and hoping for the best.  While slightly more effective than the previous method, it provides the hiring manager with valuable information about skill fit, but does not go into how the person works, how they are likely to perform in a team setting and what goes on in stress situations.  It requires a little more understanding from both hiring managers and the candidate about the people side of the job, but results of this method are a little one sided, favouring skill over fit.  I have had someone say to me, “ok no one likes the guy but he codes like a pro!! ”

Method Three:  Skills with behavioural interviewing
Skilled recruitment professionals are highly adept in “reading” people.  They can take a brief from you, and dive right into the bigger picture as well as under the surface.  Knowing how your workforce operates, what the culture is like, what type of person is right for the role and what their drivers are like is bread and butter to internal and external recruitment professionals.

You markedly improve your chances of decreasing your staff turnover, increasing your engagement and retention and having a happy and productive workforce with this methodology.

Understanding what questions to ask can be a challenge for some hiring managers as getting the right information depends on the right enquiry.  Research shows results raise markedly with this method and it has a direct link to productivity and retention.  In addition some businesses adopt a range of psychometric and cognitive tools to back up their findings, along with the traditional reference checks.

Method Four:  Systemising and measuring for eligibility and suitability

By measuring eligibility (can they do the job) with suitability (will they do the job), and systemising a behaviour profile, you markedly increase your chances of success.  This is where the world is starting to move.  A focus on fit is recognised as a make or break issue for retention and it has businesses working hard to articulate.

Organisations globally use this methodology to benchmark their top performers and create hiring profiles based on both these criteria together, so they know exactly why these people are so successful, and only hire in that profile range.  Small companies are also doing the same on a smaller scale.  Adding any third party technical testing, and also interview findings to an overall score improves your chances not only of hiring right for the role, the team and the overall culture but provides deep behaviour information that carries managers forward for development.


So next time you hire, ask yourself, can your candidates do the job,  And will they be motivated to give their best?

Get the low down

job_interviewAre you looking for some Behavioural-Based Interviewing questions?  It is well known that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation.

This approach is used to uncover the competencies and traits required for success relevant to the job.

When you ask questions in this manner, you are looking for how the person approached the situation, how they cooperate, solve problems, whether they learn from mistakes and more.  Using this method of questioning allows you to evaluate your candidates’ suitability for the job in a deeper more meaningful way and provides a framework to measure multiple candidates.

Probe questions are used after the initial question has been asked.  These are useful after the initial questions are asked, as they dive a little deeper into the person’s experience.

The following are some basic behavioural interview questions you might find useful in your next interview.

  1. Describe a time when you had to cope with a stressful situation.  How did you approach that
    Probe: What did you learn from that situation?  What would you do differently?
  2. Tell me about a time when you couldn’t finish a taskbecause of a lack of information.  How did you handle it?
    Probe In hindsight, what could you have done to plan for that?
  3. Give an example of a time in which you had to make a quick decision
    Probe:  What was the outcome?  What feedback did you get?
  4. Relate a time in which you had to use your verbal communication skills in order to get an important point across.
    Probe:  How well was that received?  What did you do to ensure everyone understood?
  5. Describe the most creative way you have solved a customer’s problem.
  6. Can you tell me a time in which you felt you were able to build motivationin your co-workers or subordinates?
  1. Tell me about a time when you had what seemed to be an impossible deadline
    Probe: How did you approach that?  What was the outcome?  What did you learn from that situation?
  1. Tell me about how you planned your workload effectively in your last job?
  1. What did you do in your last job tocontribute toward a teamwork environment?  Be specific.
  1. What are you most proud of achieving in your last job? Why?