Talent Selection – OutMatch https://outmatch.com Hiring, Keeping, and Developing Great Employees Thu, 16 Aug 2018 14:22:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 It’s Not a Crystal Ball, But It’s Close… https://outmatch.com/its-not-a-crystal-ball-but-its-close/ https://outmatch.com/its-not-a-crystal-ball-but-its-close/#comments_reply Tue, 12 May 2015 14:24:37 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=10254 More and more companies are taming the paper tiger and moving to greener methods of record keeping. And, as a result of more advanced technology, many are also placing more emphasis on data projections and analytics. Why? Because they work.…

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More and more companies are taming the paper tiger and moving to greener methods of record keeping. And, as a result of more advanced technology, many are also placing more emphasis on data projections and analytics. Why? Because they work. Many of us wish we could have a crystal ball when it comes to hiring, but that’s just not feasible. The value that data can deliver is…

The Abracadabra of Analytics

 Companies are increasingly turning to data to understand employee interactions and productivity. From observing new employees during their first few days at a company to identifying areas for improvement, analytics are being use to pinpoint inefficiencies and streamline workflow processes.

For example, imagine having the ability to see that a potential hire is most productive between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Tuesday through Thursday? This type of insight could encourage management teams to set internal deadlines for immediately after that time block on each of those days to ensure projects are completed in the most efficient manner.

What Does the Ideal Customer Service Employee Look Like?

 Aside from predicting such specifics, analytics can also help to more broadly predict which candidates have the highest chances of succeeding or making promotion. For instance, Evolv, a business consulting firm, learned the following from data about what types of things predict how well someone will do in a customer service type position. By employing the use of big data it learned that:

  • Personality matters a lot: Creative types tend to stick around for more than six months, while inquisitive people often don’t.
  • Distance counts: Individuals who live near a job and have a reliable form of transportation are more likely to stick with it.
  • Choose your browser wisely: Hiring companies found that individuals who filled out job applications using deliberately installed browsers, such as Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer, performed better and changed jobs less often.
  • Previous assumptions may be off-base: For some types of customer support positions, employees with a criminal background actually perform a bit better, while job-hopping candidates show no difference in attrition than those who have a solid work history.

So as you can see, using data can help you comfortably predict the potential of a future hire. It’s no magic wand, but it’s better than flipping a coin.

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Sound Science: Hiring the Right Talent Using Pre-Employment Assessments https://outmatch.com/sound-science-hiring-the-right-talent-using-pre-employment-assessments/ https://outmatch.com/sound-science-hiring-the-right-talent-using-pre-employment-assessments/#comments_reply Tue, 12 May 2015 18:22:55 +0000 http://assess-systems.assess.int/?p=5495 Stronger science produces better results. Organizations that want to create a competitive advantage by selecting the right talent are including pre-employment assessments in their hiring process. The Aberdeen Group found that 70% of 500 organizations surveyed used assessments to improve…

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Stronger science produces better results.

Organizations that want to create a competitive advantage by selecting the right talent are including pre-employment assessments in their hiring process.

The Aberdeen Group found that 70% of 500 organizations surveyed used assessments to improve the quality of their hiring decisions. Adding that “Best in Class” companies placed greater value on assessment data as a part of the hiring decision in an integrated selection process. This is a promising trend.

While online assessments have made the delivery and scoring process much more efficient and consumer-friendly, they have also created a dilemma for the people who need to decide which assessment to use. This begs the question, “How do you decide which assessments and assessment providers are best for your needs?”

You can objectively evaluate assessments and assessment providers by analyzing these five critical criteria that support and enhance the science underlying assessments.

assessment

The assessment program is vital to a successful selection system. Implemented after the realistic job preview and the pre-screen, assessments provide insight into the candidates’ personality.

  1. Job Relatedness – A clear understanding of the jobs within your organization’s culture provides a strong foundation on which to properly align the assessment(s).
  2. Criterion Validation – The most meaningful and impactful way to customize an assessment is by conducting a validation study proving that assessment scores reliably differentiate between top performers and bottom performers.
  3. Documentation – Technical documentation provides evidence of legal defensibility and enables ongoing improvement and validation.
  4. Training and Implementation – Properly training your hiring managers to use the ensures that the science behind assessments leads to the proper results.
  5. Tracking, Measurement, & Return on Investment – The right partner helps you define the best business metrics and helps analyze the return on investment.

You should choose assessments that are based on solid science.

With the wide array of options available, you need clear-cut criteria to select the best assessment program to ensure quality talent selection.

You can make an informed decision on the type of assessment program that is best for you by applying the criteria above and detailed in our article “Assessments Based on Sound Science: Five Critical Criteria.”

Assessments that meet these five criteria for development and implementation achieve the best results for your business.

Download the full article now!

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Bad Hire Takeaways https://outmatch.com/bad-hire-takeaways/ https://outmatch.com/bad-hire-takeaways/#comments_reply Wed, 29 Apr 2015 18:15:02 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=10234 A recent survey conducted by Robert Half reported that 36 percent of the 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30 percent) could be attributed to…

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Hiring the Lazy & MisinformedA recent survey conducted by Robert Half reported that 36 percent of the 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30 percent) could be attributed to unclear performance objectives.

“Companies can’t afford hiring mistakes, which are costly and can erode staff morale,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of the “Human Resources Kit For Dummies”. “Finding the right match requires time and attention, and it’s something even busy managers need to make time for.”

Ron McGowan is the principal of How to Find Work, an international career consulting company, and author of the international bestselling book, “How to Find WORK – In the 21st Century.” Before this, he was a small business owner and recruiter. He wrote and placed help wanted ads, read hundreds of resumes and cover letters, and interviewed and hired for numerous positions.

Here, McGowan offers some tips on how to learn from those bad hire mistakes. First, document what went wrong and then make sure that the hiring process in the future includes reviewing these points:

  • Be clear about your company’s values and culture. It’s hard to evaluate a prospect if you’re not clear about what makes your company tick, makes it successful, and the type of people who thrive there.
  • For technical positions, get your experts involved in the hiring process and ask specific, technical questions to determine their level of expertise.
  • Ask the applicant what they know about your company and why they want to work there. Listen carefully to what they say.
  • How diligent were you in checking out their references? Did you do any reference checking beyond the references they gave you?

“It’s critical that defining the company’s values and culture is a company-wide exercise; with input and buy-in from all parties, otherwise, it is meaningless,” says McGowan. “A lot of this is just plain, common sense but sometimes that gets lost in the hiring process, especially in today’s fast-paced workplace.”

So, what’s the greatest mistake? Relying on the same tried-and-true methods that you’ve been using for years. Why? Because a lot more is at stake today than in the past. The pace and pressure in today’s workplace are just too great. Everybody has to contribute, which means more than simply doing one’s own job.

For example, Robert Half reports that the qualifications for jobs that were once considered routine are escalating. With fewer layers of management present in most small businesses, today’s employees must do their jobs with less supervision than in the past, and not every employee can flourish in this kind of environment.

What’s your bad hire takeaway? Any lessons learned?

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Three Common Traps to Avoid When Hiring https://outmatch.com/three-common-traps-to-avoid-when-hiring/ https://outmatch.com/three-common-traps-to-avoid-when-hiring/#comments_reply Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:02:38 +0000 http://assess-systems.assess.int/?p=5483 I have spent the last 20 years studying what science tells us is the best way to hire (or the things we should not do). This has been supported with practical ‘real life’ experience working with hundreds of clients. I…

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I have spent the last 20 years studying what science tells us is the best way to hire (or the things we should not do). This has been supported with practical ‘real life’ experience working with hundreds of clients. I have witnessed three common traps that surface time and time again. Here they are:

  1. Managers tend to hire their own image
  2. Decision to hire is based on how well a candidate “performs” at interview
  3. Hiring Managers place too much weight on past experience

Let’s look at each of these pitfalls – the first is hiring in our own image.

We tend to immediately like and trust people who are similar to ourselves – maybe enjoy the same hobby, went to same school, dress in a similar style etc. If I was coaching a candidate on how to get a job, I would tell them to research the interviewer(s). Then at the start of the interview try and match your likes to theirs. This strategy will kick in one of nature’s strongest bonds – we like people who are like us.

So, when hiring, be careful, don’t fall into the trap of making an immediate hiring decision based on likability. Yes, this is important, but not before you have firmly established the candidate’s knowledge, skill, experience (can they do the job?) coupled with their innate capabilities (how will they do the job?). That is why I always recommend the main interview be done at the back of the selection process, after you have confirmed the candidate can do the job, and how they will do it.

This brings us to the second trap, the decision to hire based on interview performance. This is rampant and once again the reason I recommend not to dive into the interview process right up front. When I am giving verbal feedback to hiring managers on a candidate’s assessment results, I can’t tell you how many times I hear, “But we never saw that (or they didn’t come across that way) during the interview.” Of course they didn’t!

The interview is the best you are ever going to see them, the candidate is on show and on their best behavior. Coupled with this, most interviews are one-on-one chit-chats that encourage interviewers to talk too much and not listen enough. Use the 80/20 rule – talk for 20% of the time. Interviewers that talk nonstop put the candidate in a prime position because it encourages hiring based on our first pitfall, hiring people we like.

Most interviews are totally unplanned and have no structure. Questions are not behaviorally based. This allows candidates to reel off answers that are opinions – anybody can give you an opinion! Think about that popular question, “So tell me, what are your strengths and weaknesses?” Boy, does that beg an opinion!

The third trap is placing too much weight on past experience. The legal and accounting industries are classic professions for this trap. In this pitfall, candidates are judged mainly on university grades and past places of employment. Past experience and education do not always predict future job behavior. Just because you “can” do the job does not mean you will do it well, or be a good job fit.

This pitfall can be prevented by using pre-employment assessments. This is the only way to understand the “real person” before you hire. We cannot “read” people and it is impossible to accurately judge a candidate’s innate abilities from an interview. A psychometric assessment will explain “how” the hired person will behave in the future – will they be cooperative or tough minded? Persuasive or submissive? Prone to lose their temper or have the ability to remain calm under stress? Pre-employment assessments help you understand a candidate’s problem solving ability, their motivations and interests, and their personality. In short, an assessment explains the “why and how your candidate will do the job.

For entry level positions, pre-employment assessments can also identify counterproductive behaviors like honesty, dependability, conscientiousness, and attitudes to drugs and alcohol, etc. Other hiring assessment tools can also be used to evaluate hard skills via online surveys or via work sample tests.

Remember, the most expensive employee you’ll ever hire is the one you have to eventually fire, and with today’s employment laws that’s a tough outcome to achieve without considerable cost.

Contributing Editor Rob McKay is Managing Director of AssessSystems Aust/NZ Ltd., specializing in the scientific approach to hiring and developing high performing employees. Mr. McKay gained a BA in Business Psychology and a MA (Hons) in Industrial & Organisational Psychology from Massey University – specialising in workplace personality. His interests lie in assessment for employee selection, development and performance management (especially sales people) and the psychology of influence and persuasion. He is an accomplished seminar and conference speaker and author of the hard covered book, No More Square Pegs: How to Hire Winner for your Business (also available on Kindle). www.assess.co.nz

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Career Builder Survey Reveals 1 in 5 Employers Have Asked Illegal Interview Question https://outmatch.com/career-builder-survey-reveals-1-in-5-employers-have-asked-illegal-interview-question/ https://outmatch.com/career-builder-survey-reveals-1-in-5-employers-have-asked-illegal-interview-question/#comments_reply Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:54:04 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=10178 Job seekers are often the ones sweating to ask the right questions, but hiring managers also need to mind their Ps and Qs. In a recent CareerBuilder survey, 20 percent of hiring managers said they have unknowingly asked an illegal…

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Job seekers are often the ones sweating to ask the right questions, but hiring managers also need to mind their Ps and Qs. In a recent CareerBuilder survey, 20 percent of hiring managers said they have unknowingly asked an illegal interview question. And while intentions are harmless, a risk for legal action remains.

More than 2,100 hiring and human resource managers across industries participated in the nationwide survey and it was determined that the following are interview questions that should be eschewed:

  • What is your religious affiliation?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What is your political affiliation?
  • What is your race, color or ethnicity?
  • How old are you?
  • Are you disabled?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children or plan to?
  • Are you in debt?
  • Do you smoke or drink socially?

Often the legality of the question is in how the interviewer asks it. For example, a number of hiring managers didn’t know the legality of asking the following:

When do you plan to retire? Asking candidates what their long-term goals are is okay, but asking when they plan to retire is off the table.

Where do you live? Asking candidates where they live could be interpreted as a way to discriminate based on their location and is therefore illegal. Asking them if they are willing to relocate, however, is okay.

What was the nature of your military discharge? Asking why a military veteran was discharged is illegal; however asking what type of education, training or work experience received while in the military is not.

Are you a U.S. citizen? While it’s okay to ask if a candidate is legally eligible for employment in the U.S., it’s not okay to ask about citizenship or national origin.

So, how do you ensure staying out of hot water? Learn how to ask the right questions. Research an interview solution that structures and standardizes the hiring process to eliminate the bias and confusion that not only leads to bad hires, but to potential legal action too.

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What Makes a Great Leader? https://outmatch.com/what-makes-a-great-leader/ https://outmatch.com/what-makes-a-great-leader/#comments_reply Thu, 19 Mar 2015 19:15:35 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=10047 When hiring for upper management positions, do leaders look for proven entrepreneurial spirit, management ability, a track record of growing companies or all of the above? Surely, it depends on the job at hand, but what are some of the…

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Market-ResearchWhen hiring for upper management positions, do leaders look for proven entrepreneurial spirit, management ability, a track record of growing companies or all of the above? Surely, it depends on the job at hand, but what are some of the most coveted qualities to have and how do you ensure you are hiring the right people who have these traits to get the job done?

Attitude Is Everything

Kenneth Hanifan, principal, Slater Hanifan Group, Inc. (Las Vegas, NV), a 119-person, multi-disciplined civil engineering/consulting firm, says that they seek “talent” – pure and simple.

“I like to see a person who is outgoing, dedicated and takes pride in what they do,” he says.

In addition, he says that the following are important too:

  • Effective and influential communicators
  • Leaders, not bosses
  • People who recognize not only their strengths, but also their weaknesses
  • A desire to grow and to coach others
  • Team players
  • The willingness to go that extra mile
  • The desire to be successful through the success of their fellow team members

10 Top Leadership Traits

According to Forbes.com these are the 10 top traits that strong leaders should possess:

  • Honesty
  • Ability to delegate
  • Communication
  • Sense of humor
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Positive attitude
  • Creativity
  • Intuition
  • Ability to inspire

As you can see, many of these traits are what would be considered soft skills. Hard skills are easier to identify. Soft skills are a little trickier. This is where predictive talent analytics and behavioral interviewing technology can help.

For example, an executive assistant may type 100 words per minute (hard skill), but is inflexible and does not like to interact with people (soft skills). Or, an accountant may possess a host of certifications (hard skill) but has no communication skills (soft skills) when it comes to reporting those numbers.  The people who have a good mix of soft and hard skills are the one who will most likely excel at their jobs and in the overall company.

So, what do you look for in your leaders and how do you ensure that they have it?

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Introducing Assess for Multi-Unit Managers: Our Newest Competency Model to Predict Success https://outmatch.com/introducing-assess-for-multi-unit-managers-our-newest-competency-model-to-predict-success/ https://outmatch.com/introducing-assess-for-multi-unit-managers-our-newest-competency-model-to-predict-success/#comments_reply Thu, 19 Mar 2015 05:28:11 +0000 http://assess-systems.assess.int/?p=5322 Are your single-unit managers ready to take charge of multiple locations? In the restaurant, retail, banking, and convenience store industries, many multi-unit managers are promoted from within. Often, successful location managers are chosen to lead multiple locations as a district…

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Are your single-unit managers ready to take charge of multiple locations?

In the restaurant, retail, banking, and convenience store industries, many multi-unit managers are promoted from within. Often, successful location managers are chosen to lead multiple locations as a district managers or other such positions.

However, the fact is, a great single-unit manager does not a successful multi-unit manager make (thanks to Aristotle for the phrasing).

In other words, a multi-unit managerial position shouldn’t be treated like a larger-scale single-unit position. True, many of the skills necessary for a great multi-unit manager overlap with those needed of a single location manager. However, there are key differences that play an important part in predicting the success of each role.

Managers at the single-unit level typically need higher energy and sociability. They need to show assertiveness and friendliness at the same time, as well as focus on details and quality within the location’s environment. Single-unit managers often work long hours and closely with their employees, focusing more on teamwork and collaboration.

In contrast, multi-unit managers are more independent and must have the skills to coach from afar. They need to know not only the state of several locations in order to set appropriate goals within their district or region, but also communicate specific goals to each location manager. Multi-unit managers focus on more in-depth problem solving to improve the organization. They step out of the day-to-day operational tasks to think more strategically about the future goals of each location.

Because these differences have an impact on success in either role, we at Assess Systems have created a new competency model for our Assess Personality assessment. Assess for Multi-Unit Managers is designed specifically to improve the selection and development process of managers in charge of multiple locations.

Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy:

  1. Select the Right Multi-Unit Manager– Assess uses an industry-specific standard, against which all candidate scores are compared. Assessment feedback assists hiring managers in understanding each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to key competencies essential to a multi-unit manager role. Even find out who has high-potential and can rapidly transition into a role managing multiple locations.
  2. Strategically Interview CandidatesAssess for Multi-Unit Managers uses the scores based on a candidate’s responses to create individualized interview suggestions. Hiring Managers are armed with personalized interview questions as well as questions developed specifically for a multi-unit manager’s role. Are their competency scores out of the desirable range? Dig deeper to find out specifics on questionable characteristics and potential liabilities.
  3. Effectively Develop Employees– Assess provides feedback which helps facilitate improvement. Individuals gain important insight on their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as recommendations for growth. From a different perspective, supervisors gain knowledge about candidate’s training needs and leadership deficiencies, how their multi-unit managers are currently performing in their role, and training opportunities to better prepare hi-potential candidates for multi-unit management.
  4. Diagnose and Improve Group Weaknesses– Are there similar weaknesses across the board in a managerial role? Pinpoint development needs in certain competencies by viewing average scores from a set of individuals. Use the information from this group report to identify training needs for overall team building across your organization.
  5. Take Advantage of Immediate Results to Create Informed Decisions- Once a candidate has taken the assessment, hiring managers have the ability to see the results and make critical hiring and development decisions based on the individual’s responses and scores. The personalized feedback helps make higher quality judgments because it pertains to each candidate specifically.
  6. Cost-Effective, Web-Based SolutionAssess for Multi-Unit Managers is online and accessible 24/7; whenever is convenient for you and your candidates. This is a green alternative to paper assessments as well as a huge money saver because it eliminates the need for costly assessments centers and workshops. All candidates are exposed to the same format and experience consistent delivery which helps to create fairness and objectivity in the hiring process, despite differences in location and direct management.

Choosing a multi-unit manager from within your organization is common practice and promotes opportunity for growth. However, the idea that single-unit managers can easily transition into managing several locations may not be totally accurate or sound decision-making. By implementing Assess for Multi-Unit Managers, you make sure that those who become a manager of multiple restaurant, retail, convenience store, and banking locations possess key traits and are prepared to become a great leader.

Interested in learning more about Assess for Multi-Unit Managers?

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Three Studies That Make You Say Hmmm… https://outmatch.com/three-studies-that-make-you-say-hmmm/ https://outmatch.com/three-studies-that-make-you-say-hmmm/#comments_reply Wed, 11 Mar 2015 18:48:31 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=10029 In the last few years, a handful of studies have shed light on the way recruiters hire and think about candidates. Below are three that may inspire you to rethink your talent acquisition strategy. 1)  MRI Network Recruiter Sentiment Study:…

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iStock_000015806919MediumIn the last few years, a handful of studies have shed light on the way recruiters hire and think about candidates. Below are three that may inspire you to rethink your talent acquisition strategy.

1)  MRI Network Recruiter Sentiment Study: This 2014 survey examines recruiters’ confidence in the economy, their hiring activity and job acceptance rates. According to the report, recruiters are confident in the U.S. economy and are stepping up the pace in how they source and interview. However, talent acquisition leaders are struggling to attract top performers due to:

  • A perceived shortage of skills across markets and
  • A rising trend of top performers receiving multiple offers

The hiring pace is only expected to increase, creating an even more uncertain environment for recruiters who are struggling to compete in a career marketplace that is largely talent-driven. The report concludes that:

  • Employer branding is more important than ever — a company with a disjointed talent brand will turn off candidates.
  • Salary and benefits need to be aggressive since top performers have a range of available options.
  • Employers can increase their chances of securing top hires by speeding up the hiring process.

2)  LinkedIn Talent Trends 2014: Last year, LinkedIn released a survey of 18,000 professionals across 26 countries, asking questions ranging from how satisfied were they with their work to what would attract them to a new job. The result they were most eager to get was what percentage of the workforce is open to discussing a new career opportunity. An overwhelming 85 percent responded positively.

The trick is that 85 percent of these professionals have varying levels of interest. While some are actively looking for a new job, other passive candidates are just relying on networking, and a good portion is not actively looking, but is open to being approached. This means that you can’t rely on candidates to find you – you have to engage them through effective talent branding first.

3)  Google: Part of the Google DNA is to make decisions based on data, so their HR team decided to see if screening people based on school grades and logic puzzles produced better hires. In 2013, Google’s senior VP of people operations, Laszlo Bock, shared the results of this internal report. It revealed that test scores and GPA’s have almost no correlation to long-term on-the-job success for experienced hires. These findings dramatically transformed Google’s hiring strategy in at least two ways:

  • They no longer ask for GPA’s and test scores from candidates who are more than a few years out of school and
  • Hiring teams now focus on behavioral interviews rather than brain teasers.
Are you inspired to make a change?

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Lie to Me https://outmatch.com/lie-to-me/ https://outmatch.com/lie-to-me/#comments_reply Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:10:25 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=10013 If you’ve ever said, “It’s easy for me to read their body language,” you may want to think again. Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D, the author of more than 100 books, book chapters, and research articles in the areas of leadership,…

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If you’ve ever said, “It’s easy for me to read their body language,” you may want to think again. Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D, the author of more than 100 books, book chapters, and research articles in the areas of leadership, assessment centers, organizational psychology and social psychology, says there are many misconceptions about nonverbal communication. Here are just a few research-based findings about nonverbal communication:

  • Body language is actually not a “language.” Nonverbal communication can be very tricky. The meaning of a particular nonverbal cue, such as a certain gesture or eye movement, can depend on the context, the individual, and the relationship between the “sender” of the cue and the recipient.
  • Certain facial expressions have universal meaning. There is good evidence that the basic facial expressions – anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, surprise, fear – are displayed similarly across cultures. We can recognize a happy face in just about anyone in the world. The problem is that it is very difficult, without proper training, to distinguish a “genuine” display of happiness from a “fake,” or posed, smile.
  • Lie detection is almost impossible. There is a belief that we can tell if a person is lying through body language – that a liar “can’t look you in the eye,” or displays nervous gestures. But it is nearly impossible to accurately detect lies simply through reading someone’s body language. There is some research that suggests that there are a few, rare individuals who are able to detect deception at levels above chance, but even these people aren’t all that accurate (this research was the basis for the TV show Lie to Me, although the show suggested incorrectly that these deception detectors were almost infallible).

So, do you still think you understand body language? It’s very likely that your next hire could look you squarely in the eye and say, “This is my dream job. I’ve always wanted to work for a company like this,” when what they really mean is, “This will keep me busy till the job I really want comes along.”

Predictive analytics is a far more reliable tool than instincts or body language when making a hiring decision. In fact, according to Saar Bitner, the VP of marketing at SiSense, a business analytics software that lets non-techies easily analyze and visualize big data sets from multiple sources, says that new business intelligence (BI) technologies propose a better way to make important business decisions without betting the farm by using a hybrid approach: take all facts, statistics, and numbers into account, and only after empowering yourself with that knowledge, determine what your gut tells you.

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Applying for Jobs Eight Days a Week: Does it Make a Difference When You Test? https://outmatch.com/applying-for-jobs-eight-days-a-week/ https://outmatch.com/applying-for-jobs-eight-days-a-week/#comments_reply Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:00:34 +0000 https://assess-systems.assess.int/?p=4704 The song “Eight Days a Week” was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and recorded in 1965. The title of the song has been attributed to a chauffeur who had driven Paul to John’s house. Paul asked the chauffeur…

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The song “Eight Days a Week” was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and recorded in 1965. The title of the song has been attributed to a chauffeur who had driven Paul to John’s house. Paul asked the chauffeur how he was doing, and if he had been busy.

The chauffeur replied, “Busy? I’ve been working eight days a week.”

Many employees can relate to this concept and experience the sensation of working every day of the week, and then some.

This brings up an interesting question…

Could the day of the week effect your scores on a job assessment?

Using client data from January through March 2014, we were able to gather scores from over 50,000 individuals who completed a professional-level personality assessment on each of the days of the week.

With this much data, we were able to find some surprising trends…

First, individuals who took cognitive abilities tests (Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking, Thurston Test of Mental Alertness, and Raven’s Progressive Matrices) experienced varied scores depending on which day they completed the assessment.

  1. Individuals who took the assessments on Thursday and Saturday consistently out-performed those who completed the tests on other days, by about 4% on average.
  2. Those that took assessments on Friday experienced overall lower scores than any other day of the week. This is about a 5% difference in scores from either Thursday or Saturday.

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Candidates who tested on Friday suffered from lower cognitive abilities scores across all three assessments. By taking the assessment on Friday, candidates are accepting what could possibly be a 5 point decrease in their overall score.

Second, personality traits were also affected depending on the day of the week:

  1. Work Organization and Precision were highest on Wednesday, while Optimism scores were highest on Thursday.
  2. In most cases, taking the assessment on Friday resulted in overall lower scores, with a difference of about 2.5%.

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A score increase of 2.5% could be the difference between getting the interview or not. Imagine similar resumes, but assessment scores of 89 and 91.5 in Work Organization, who would you prioritize?

So why is this the case?

These candidates were applying for positions that typically follow a regular 5-day work-week schedule (business hours, Monday through Friday).

Taking this into account, imagine your candidates’ daily mindset throughout the week…

Wednesday: In an employee’s normal work mode, they’re able to get things done and the previous weekend has completely worn off. They’ve had Monday and Tuesday to get back in the zone and are at their optimum functionality level. Today an employee is at their best work-wise, but might be a little lacking in optimism when they remember they’re only halfway done with the week.

Thursday: It’s nearing the end of the week, but not quite Friday. Employees are ready and optimistic about the weekend, but not to the point of being distracted by impatience. They most likely don’t have huge evening plans, as it is a weeknight. With no rush to go out, and a generally positive attitude, they’re at peak performance conditions to take an assessment.

Friday: It’s the very last day of the work week and employees are ready for five o’clock to roll around so they can officially be done with work. They probably have plans tonight as a celebration of the fact that they don’t have to work tomorrow. Employees are impatient for the day to end, maybe even fed-up with their current position, and simply rushing through applications to find a new “better” job. If employees take an assessment today, they’re likely to experience generally lower scores.

Saturday: It’s not a weekday, so employees can wake up whenever they like, after getting plenty of sleep. They probably have a lunch date with friends or evening plans. They have the whole day ahead of them and remembering they don’t have to work tomorrow makes them that much happier. Again, like Thursday, employees are generally going to be a little less in a rush and a little more optimistic.

What Does This Mean for You as a Hiring Manager?

While these are general trends, the best advice we can offer is to never recommend a candidate take an assessment on Friday.

Individuals who perform less than ideally on assessments might be affected by the day of the week they tested. This is most likely a result of the lack of preparation time and overall devotion to the task. The best technique is for the candidates to test when they have enough time and are free from distraction, so that they can accurately demonstrate their abilities.

If a candidate completed the assessment at his cubicle during an hour-long lunch break on a daunting Friday rather than waiting until a better time, you may want to know his motivations as to why. When candidates are brought in to interview, asking when they took the assessment may be worthwhile. Knowing how a candidate approaches a work task such as this may be useful insight to have when structuring further interview topics and questions.

Now that you know which day of the week to avoid administering pre-employment assessments, read about how the time of day can also impact your candidate’s results.

Have you noticed any of these trends?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Hit the Easy Button https://outmatch.com/hit-the-easy-button/ https://outmatch.com/hit-the-easy-button/#comments_reply Thu, 19 Feb 2015 07:52:59 +0000 https://www.chequed.com/?p=9938 Recruiting is often an expensive proposition, but Dr. John Sullivan, an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley, says that there are several budget-friendly, and easy-to-implement recruiting tools that will make your life much easier. Here are a few…

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Make Your Hiring Process Easier with These 5 TipsRecruiting is often an expensive proposition, but Dr. John Sullivan, an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley, says that there are several budget-friendly, and easy-to-implement recruiting tools that will make your life much easier.

Here are a few to get you started:

 

Give me five. Referrals are number one in producing quality hires, and Sullivan says that this approach is the most effective. How does it work? Ask your top-performing employees to identify the top five people who they know in their field in each of these five categories: best performer, most innovative idea person, best technologist, best manager, and best at working under pressure. If an individual’s name is mentioned two or more times within the five categories, contact them immediately; they are a star. Of course, you can customize categories as needed.

Boomerangs. Re-recruit performers who previously worked at your company (i.e., boomerang rehires). Some of them may not be happy in their new positions, but are hesitant to call you again. A simple note or quick call may be all it takes.

Reference referrals. On the anniversary date of new hires who turn out to be exceptional employees, call the references back and thank them. Then ask them: “Who else do you know who is equally as good?” Also consider hiring the references.

Develop a “company sell sheet.” Many managers do a poor job selling the company to potential recruits. Survey your key employees to identify the specific factors that make your firm superior to your competitors. Then compile a list of these “compelling features” that hiring managers and recruiters can use to better sell your firm and for recruitment branding purposes. Also provide them with a side-by-side opportunity comparison sheet showing where your company’s opportunities are superior to each of your competitors.

Ask candidates for their job acceptance criteria. Selling top-quality candidates is always difficult, but you can make the candidate experience easier if you start out by asking each candidate up front to identify their expectations and the key factors they will consider when evaluating an offer. In addition, have them outline “deal breaker” factors that would cause them to drop out of the process or not consider an offer. Tailor your assessment/selling approach so that you end up providing them with compelling information demonstrating that you meet each of their acceptance criteria.

It’s just that easy.

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Competency Models: What They Are and Why You Need Them https://outmatch.com/competency-models-what-they-are-and-why-you-need-them/ https://outmatch.com/competency-models-what-they-are-and-why-you-need-them/#view_comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 13:25:01 +0000 http://assess-systems.assess.int/?p=5759 What is a Competency Model? You’ve probably heard a lot about competency models. If you ask someone who knows, they’ll tell you that a competency model is the combination of skills, knowledge, and characteristics needed to perform well in a…

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What is a Competency Model?

You’ve probably heard a lot about competency models. If you ask someone who knows, they’ll tell you that a competency model is the combination of skills, knowledge, and characteristics needed to perform well in a certain position. Well, okay, but what does that mean for you?

Think about all the things that make someone good at their job within your company. Maybe your company needs someone who’s tech-savvy, gets things done quickly, or can motivate other people. Regardless of what you need, those traits and skills are competencies, and all of those added together create a competency model.

Competence in any area combines many factors, including both innate and learned characteristics. Success in a competency area comes through the knowledge and understanding of these characteristics. Once you know, you can both build on your learned skills and knowledge and leverage your innate characteristics (such as natural abilities and personality characteristics) to improve job performance.

The benefits of competency models are numerous, but here are the top 4:

  • Improve your people. You gain success in a competency by developing and building learned skills and knowledge, and possessing, applying, and moderating innate factors like personality and intelligence. Having the model to compare themselves to challenges your employees to see their own strengths and weaknesses and helps guide their development in ways that benefit them as well as the company.
  • Impact business results. By identifying gaps and determining what causes problems, competency models help determine how to fix them and allocate resources.
  • Improve selection. Defined competencies help recruiters target and evaluate potential candidates, and help the organization identify, develop, and use assessments and interviews that are job appropriate.
  • Clarify work expectations. By using common language across jobs and the organization, competency models create a shared understanding of expectations among individuals, and clearly communicate consistent standards.

What are your experiences with competency models? Let us know in the comments below.

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