Hiring the Right Person is More than a Game of Chance

Wyn Davies, Global Product Strategist, TalentLens from Pearson looks at why hiring the right person is more than a game of chance.

There is joke amongst recruiters about the hiring manager who only recruited lucky staff. “I throw their CVs in the air and only call to interview the lucky ones – those whose CVs land face up.”

Whilst this is clearly not a very scientific or recommended approach to recruitment, to many hiring managers the whole recruitment process can seem like a game of chance, especially when hiring school and college leavers with no experience.

Whilst I am not currently aware of any tools that allow you to hire someone with 100% certainty, there are a number of ways that organisations can greatly increase the chances of hiring the right person.

There is wide consensus that job performance is impacted by four key factors:

The better you can predict these factors before hiring them = less risk of making a bad hire.

The weighting of each factor area will depend on job role itself. The experience and skills of a brain surgeon will likely outweigh their personality fit but they will work with a team, so communication and interpersonal skills, are also important.

You can learn new skills and to some extent change your behaviours and values. Your motivation can vary but cognitive abilities, and certain personality traits are stable constructs. Fortunately, it is possible to measure most of the above during the assessment process, giving a better prediction of the likely fit to actual performance in role. Many recruiters, however, only measure one or two of these areas, thereby running the risk of having limited information upon which to base their hiring decision. More importantly, in-depth research shows that the various assessment methods used during the assessment process predict job performance to varying degrees whilst the combination of cognitive ability and integrity measures are most predictive.

General Mental (Cognitive) Ability – GMA

Cognitive ability refers to how people think, reason and the speed with which they learn or pick things up – or put simply: “the smarts”. Nearly all jobs require a certain level of GMA.

A major meta-analysis of hundreds of research studies into the job predictive nature of various  assessment tools demonstrates that ability tests are the most predictive assessments of performance in many roles.

People with higher scores in ability tests generally learn new things quicker, and this is the reason most experts think they are predictive of performance.

Further information can be found in this white paper The Science Behind Predicting Job Performance at Recruitment.

Next: Webinar – Harness the predictive power of psychometrics to improve the quality of hires.


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