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Hiring the best job candidates

Memory Nguwi

Based on my experience as an Occupational Psychologists, I have put together what I consider to be the best articles to guide you when looking for the best talent to hire.

The question most people ask themselves is; How do I hire the best talent? My research went into looking at all the aspects of hiring top talent and is based largely on scientific evidence.

This list should be helpful to anyone seeking to improve their hiring process or anyone developing policies to support the whole recruitment and selection process.

My heart bleeds when I see people not utilising scientific knowledge to enrich their hiring process.

Both scientific and anecdotal evidence seem to indicate that those organisations with the best systems for hiring and selecting employees always outperform their peers who do not adhere to best practice on the hiring front.

In these articles you will also learn What should you look for when hiring someone?

Finding the most exceptional talent—The 1% of the 1% by Kumar Mehta

This article goes to the route of what you need to know if you want to hire exceptional talent.

Once you have read the article you should start thinking about revising how you are currently hiring your staff.

I take verbatim here what I consider to be the core lesson of this article.

“But through years of research, we now have enough data to know what goes into becoming exceptional.

Whether you are recruiting an athlete, or you are hiring a CEO or evaluating a startup founder, the qualities that lead to extreme success are the same.”

“Natural aptitude — The genes you are born with are responsible for 50% of your outcomes.

You have to determine whether the individual you are considering has a natural aptitude for the role.

Some traits you cannot develop; you are either born with them or not. Examples include power, speed, IQ, logical-mathematical ability, linguistic ability, and others.

You can refine and improve these qualities, but you cannot create something out of nothing.”

Your potential model is wrong by Marc Effron, President, The Talent Strategy Group

This article focuses on how organisations can predict potential. The author presents an evidence-based argument that is difficult to ignore unless you do not believe in scientific evidence.

He argues that you must separate prediction models for potential from those already used in predicting performance.

This is a gem of an article if you want to develop both the performance prediction model and potential prediction model.

The good thing is all the propositions are backed by scientific evidence.

“Intelligence: Good old-fashioned IQ accounts for around 30% of why we’re successful on the job. It’s still the largest known predictor of success in many situations, including our work performance.

Many factors often cited as indicating high potential (i.e. learns fast in different situations, fast reaction and processing time, “connects the dots,”) are components of intelligence. This means that they’re performance factors first.”

“Personality: Our personality is comprised of five factors that predict up to about 15% of our performance above what intelligence can predict.

Of those five factors, however, only Conscientiousness (dependability, achievement, striving, planfulness) and neuroticism/emotional stability (lack of anxiety, hostility, depression and personal insecurity) predict performance and Conscientiousness is the much more predictive factor.

The other factors (extraversion, agreeableness, openness to experience) can explain very small amounts of performance in specific jobs (i.e. extraversion in sales roles).

Terms used to describe high potentials like “ambitious” or “aspire” are personality factors and are already accounted for when we predict performance (8).”

Why promoting from within usually beats hiring from outside by Susan Adams

As you design your recruitment and promotion policies it wise to look at the findings presented here;

“The external hires made 18% more than the internal promotions in the same jobs. In addition to scoring worse on performance reviews, external hires were 61% more likely to be fired from their new jobs than were those who had been promoted from within the firm.

The external hires tended to have more education and experience than the internal hires, but Bidwell says employers don’t appreciate how important it is for workers to know the ropes of an organisation.”

Is it worth hiring a star? The myth of talent portability by Alex Gozdek

Most organisations want to base on the previous performance record of the individual.

The key question therefore is, can an individual currently performing in one organisation move to another organisation and excel.

The findings in this research-based article will help you when you design your hiring policy.

“Based on those results maybe you should ask yourself which is better – hiring stars already established on the market or breeding them internally? And it looks like employing top performers isn’t necessarily the best option.

There are so many factors you need to consider apart from individual performance, like culture and company-specific attributes.

According to a study, you cannot expect that hiring top performer is going to help your team instantly.

Especially if a company struggles with poor culture.”

  • Nguwi is an occupational psychologist, data scientist, speaker and managing consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and HR consulting firm. — ipcconsultants.com

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