“Hire” Right for “Higher” Performance
Among the most unenviable corporate roles today, is that of a hiring manager. It’s a thankless one – you do it well and it’s an obvious expectation, reasonably met; you make a hash of it and you risk a swift pink slip!
Is the past any predictor of the future performance, especially with multiple variables that differ from one organization to another, even for the same skill-set? Co-related, possibly. Accurately determinable? Certainly not. There is no clear cut way determining it either. What organizations can do however, is to employ evolved techniques that make use of technology, improved processes and role specific guesstimates to make decisions with a lower probability of error.
One such technique that is emerging as a runaway hit among organizations with foresight, is that of job simulations. This can take multiple forms, based on the role in question. A manufacturing simulation, for instance may require the candidate to piece together an object from scratch, under a controlled factory environment. Management hiring may employ role play. Consulting hiring often employs detailed case studies. The benefits for the organization are obvious. For candidates, it offers a better opportunity to show their true skill sets. “I wouldn’t really care about my line manager’s communication skills as long as the quality of batch of paint is up to scratch. He is never really going to face the customer.” This plant manager obviously knows what he’s talking about!
Another reason in favor of simulations is avoiding human biases. How often have you been more inclined to hire a “better looking” candidate over possibly a more deserving one? More often than not, if surveys are to be believed.
More evolved simulations often take the form of contests. This is especially true in case of finance and technology firms. A broking firm revealed the use of a BLASH (Buy Low And Sell High) contest for potential candidates, where winner takes all, including the job! Innovative indeed.
It does make sense to veer away from conventional aptitude tests alone, as a barometer for hiring decisions. You can’t junk them completely, of course. You can however, use them to complement modern techniques such as simulations. After all, can you truly determine the future success of an employee based upon the speed with s/he does math calculations? Most likely, not.