a tight job market it’s not just difficult to hire - it’s also hard
to keep your top performing
employees. Loyalty is no longer
the name of the game. Today good
employees are more likely to move to the best job opportunity.
Businesses face two difficult challenges:
“It’s key for both large and
small companies to understand the critical success factors of hiring,
promoting and retaining their people,”
says a president of a local Washington state consulting firm.
“Employees can be your biggest asset or your biggest liability.”
The New Hiring Game
How can employers hire right and
manage smart? The traditional
ways just aren’t working any more. In
fact, a Harvard Business Study revealed that the chances of a successful hire
using the traditional “interview and resume” method are about 1 in 14.
Employers already know that this process is time-consuming, expensive
and results are often questionable. So
how can employers hire right?
now is an “assessment tool box” to assist large and small companies hire
right and manage smart. Most are
Windows based and easy to use, compatible with any computer environment.
Job testing has been around for a long time.
With the new sophistication of assessments, employers can now answer
these kinds of questions before they
person have the ability to do the job, even if the job changes?
Is this person
going to do what it takes for this job?
person fit my company and my customers?
there’s another new twist the old science of “aptitude testing" -
it’s called “job fit.” Assessment
tools worth their salt can automatically build customized success patterns or
benchmarks for any job.
Employers can now know why it is that some of the people they hire
perform at extraordinary levels while others, who appear to be equally
qualified, are only average performers. By
using benchmarks, businesses can match the right
person to the right job. It’s like cloning your star employees.
tools can tell you whether the candidate is a good ‘job fit’, says an
executive officer at a nation-wide search firm.
“We won’t present candidates to our client companies unless they
taken a validated, reliable assessment. Our
clients love the report -- it helps them separate the “better”
candidate from the “best” candidate for the job.
Additionally, it helps the hiring manager know how to effectively
manage and retain the new employee.”
tools are a critical part of any companies tool box. They can make selection and hiring less painful and more
Hiring smart isn’t the only
factor in people productivity. Once
you’ve hired, how do you keep your good performers?
How can managers lead, delegate, coach, evaluate their people - not
to mention getting business results and dealing effectively with their
customers? In a recent American
Society of Training and Development survey, managers were asked:
“What issues take up most of your time during the day?”
The overwhelming answer was “people or team related issues.”
“assessment tool box” has tools that can help.
Managers no longer have to spend time trying to sort out people issues
- a good assessment can do it for them.
Such tools even suggest a variety of solutions to the problem.
Managers can now re-focus their efforts on the customer and the
business. Some typical assessment
resources in your workforce toolbox should include:
Putting an effective team together
is much more than assigning people to work on a project.
A team analysis tool will lessen the personality conflicts that drain
teams of energy and slow results. Team
assessment tools suggest work strategies that increase the likelihood of team
Washington manufacturing firm used a team analysis tool when building a
critical “problem solving” team. The
vice president of operations, sponsor of the team, said:
“The team analysis told us we didn’t have enough members with high
analytic skills. That would have
been a disaster considering the problem we were facing.
We shifted team membership and the team’s solution was incredible.
The customer loved it and we gained some major points.”
Team tools can also help when
existing teams aren’t working. An
assessment tool will automatically identify problem areas and offer solutions.
As a manager, team leader or team member, this information is vital to
success. Effective teams can achieve objectives such as cutting costs,
improving productivity, meeting quality control standards, just to mention a
few. And when a team wins, everybody
tools also provide insights and information about individual employees: how quickly they learn, deal with change and conflict,
receive feedback, etc. This
information can clarify a manager’s strategy and help the manager deal with
the individual more effectively. Assessment
reports suggest new ways to coach the employee, and present a picture of
his/her potential growth and development in the organization.
Managers let the assessment tools diagnose and suggest solutions --
they can then spent time helping direct reports grow and develop.
Some tools focus on specific job
competencies. The latest in
assessment tools is geared toward Customer Service.
The assessment identifies people who have the natural behavioral traits
for great customer service. The
tool also suggests coaching approaches, training suggestions and even flags
customer service reps who may have a tendency to “over-commit” to the
Call Center assessment tools
identify and help hire employees who fit the very unique “call
center culture.” Where
retention rate is low, assessments can help companies hire people who are
well-suited to the work, either inbound or outbound.
Employees who are a good fit perform better, are more reliable and they
stay with the company longer. And
you just can’t get this information from references, resumes or interviews.
Assessments can even support an
organization’s succession planning strategy.
If you know that some people can deal with change better than others or
have stronger problem solving skills, you can better place them in your
organization. In this way, they
benefit the business and remain challenged and happy employees.
The “assessment tool box” also
provides a way for supervisors, team leaders and managers to develop
themselves. One of the hottest
professional development tools is referred to as “the 360.”
A 360 tool provides feedback on critical factors for effective
managerial performance. Direct
reports, boss, peers, customers — even the managers themselves complete a
survey form. The completed forms
are then sent to an outside processing center to ensure confidentiality or
handled anonymously on a web site. A
customized feedback report is sent to the manager comparing perceptions from
different work-place sources and prioritizing development needs.
Using a good 360 instrument is
“managing right.” Perhaps for
the first time, managers can quantify their competencies, verify the results
from a variety of perspectives and identify ways to improve.
Organizations that use a 360 effectively can positively impact
retention, productivity and business results.
to Look Out For
Investing in assessment technology
requires some homework. Here are
some things to consider:
What Human Resource/Business strategy will the assessment support or enable?
the best way to introduce this into the organization?
administers the process, HR, business units or individual managers?
will assessments be a requirement or optional?
What best: a
web-based assessment, on-line or stored on a local drive?
the best way for the test to be administered:
on-line or paper and pencil?
assessment reliable and valid? Has
it been tested? Is there a
technical manual that describes the testing process and the results?
the assessment be used for hiring?
Does it meet
the criteria set by the ADA, EEOC and Civil Rights Act?
what best meets your organization’s requirements. The choices are varied and you’re sure to find one that
fits your needs.
An “assessment tool box” is key
to hiring smart and managing right. The
tight job market makes the tool box even more critical, but any company that
plans to successfully compete in the new millennium should take advantage of
what assessment technology has to offer.
Telischak’s career encompasses all aspects of training and facilitation -
from design & development to delivery. She has managed training
organizations responsible for design and implementation of programs for
customers, sales representatives and management. Since
1994, Janie’s work has focused on curricula development and delivery for
quality and management training. Her work included the technical aspects
of quality such as process improvement, cycle time and problem solving.
She also has considerable experience working with management teams to
facilitate strategic planning, transformational change and 360 feedback.
18 year career with Xerox provided her with an excellent background. Ms.
Telischak was part of the Xerox corporate team responsible for the TQM
landmark program called “Leadership Through Quality.” Additionally
she has developed and delivered award-winning courses in benchmarking,
business process management, cycle time reduction and root cause analysis.
Telischak has academic credentials from University of California, Stanford
University, Yale University, and Universite de Bordeaux. Ms. Telischak
is an independent consultant.