The sound of measurement echoes through the halls of organizations like a mantra. In today’s world of data collection and analytics, we tend to measure just about everything. If it matters, you must measure it. We measure so much but are we measuring what really matters?
While we are quick to measure so many things, we don’t always take the time to stop and ask important questions such as, “why are we measuring this” or “is what we are measuring really making a difference?” It’s one thing to have a lot of data, but it’s another to have a reason for it and logical plan of what to do with that data once you have it.
When it comes to hiring, retaining and promoting employees, a company needs to have their fingers on the pulse of the organization at all times. Measuring the right information can easily be the difference between an effective and underperforming organization. Having a proper way to gauge a company’s success and failures through effective and meaningful data, especially when it comes to hiring, is one of the keys behind a successful organization.
Measuring the Hard Numbers
“Numbers don’t lie” is an old saying that certainly holds true in many cases. For example, if you own a business and subtract your expenses from your revenues, the hard number remaining represents your profit. If you want to know what your turnover is, you plug in figures for hires and for those who leave and you have your hard number for turnover.
Not everything in the real world can be so black and white. Some numbers are hard to quantify and not everything is easily measurable. How do you measure an employee’s heart, dedication and commitment to the organization, for example?
Measuring the Elusive Numbers
What’s the point of measuring anything if it doesn’t provide valuable, usable information that you can use to improve your company? You may know your company’s turnover rate but do you know WHY it is what it is? Information gleaned from exit interviews may only provide a snapshot of what your company needs to know.
Staying on the topic of turnover, are you focusing more on why people left or what your company can do to avoid people leaving? What is your company doing preemptively to keep employees happy, engaged and productive?
Instead of focusing on data that shows why a company may have failed, why not put more energy into finding ways to ensure that you are hiring the right people in the first place? With a little extra effort upfront, you can feel more confident that you’re hiring the right people for the right jobs, which should reduce turnover significantly.
The best place to reduce out of control turnover is to address it before it starts. Processes and tools are readily available that can help. Sure, we’ve been taught to write better position descriptions, practice better interviewing techniques, conduct background checks and use drug testing or credit checks. These are all part of the hiring process, but it’s not the be-all, end-all.
Measuring the Match
Since hiring is one of the costliest business operations, better hiring practices are essential. Hiring the right employee can have far-reaching impact on your whole organization, for better or worse. Not only can hiring the right employee save you hard numbers in dollars but it can also impact the performance of employees already on board, further affecting your hard numbers, for better or worse.
Diving deeper into understanding exactly what a particular job requires, then working more effectively to match that job with the right person, chances for hiring failure reduce significantly.
Typically, when looking to fill a position, we look at a candidate’s knowledge, hard skills and/or experience. While this is only a part of the overall equation, so many companies stop here. What about behaviors or motivators? While it may seem difficult to “measure” a person’s behavior or internal drivers, it’s not as hard as you may think. Using assessments, a potential employer can learn a lot about a candidate and whether or not they will be a long-term fit based on “how” and “why” they do the things they do.
Assessments can measure anything from behaviors and motivators to soft skills, emotional intelligence and acumen. Armed with that information, a hiring manager can feel much more confident that the candidate and the company are truly a good fit.
Measuring behaviors provides insights on the “how” and measuring motivators explains the “why” a person does what they do on a regular basis. Knowing what behaviors and drivers align with the job help to create a perfect fit. For behaviors, a hiring manager needs to identify if the job would be best for someone who is:
Faster paced and task oriented
Friendly and outgoing; people oriented
Stable, calm and consistent
Analytical, task-driven, with high attention-to-detail
For motivators or drivers, a hiring manager needs to identify if the job would be best for someone who:
Loves learning or reacts from experience
Enjoys helping others or engages others purposefully
Is driven by return on investment of time and energy or works to complete tasks
Values functionality or prefers to have balance in their surroundings
Works together with others or is driven to succeed to achieve personal freedom
Open to new, changing ideas or a creature of habit
Assessments can also measure a person’s strength in areas of soft skills. For example, does the job require someone who is good at:
Acumen is the measure of how a person views the world and themselves. This is important because it has to do with decision making. An organization’s staff makes decisions every day at every level. Are they making decisions with themselves, their department or the overall good of the company in mind?
Those that operate within the narrow confines of their own work world may not see the bigger picture of how it impacts the entire company. On the other side of the coin is the driven person who thinks they can do anything and everything and eventually succumb to burnout because they didn’t know when to delegate or ask for help. Having balance keeps an employee effective for the long term. You can’t always gauge this during an interview alone.
What to Do with The Data
Taking the time to identify exactly what characteristics and attributes a particular job requires in an individual (also known as job benchmarking) is the first step in properly filling that role. Taking hiring practices beyond the traditional boundaries by including assessments that reveal so much more about a candidate’s behaviors, drivers, EQ, soft skills and acumen can really be a game changer.
This information is also valuable for development within the company, vital for promotions, selecting teams, and succession planning. Regardless if your company uses these hiring practices internally or employs the services of a professional business coach, these tools are no longer luxuries for finding the right candidates; they are necessities. Measuring is important. Is your organization measuring up?