Ensuring You Have The Right People in the Right Jobs in Your Business
Ensuring you have the right people in the right positions in your business.
Jim Collins, renowned strategy expert and author, and one of the world’s great thinkers in the business arena, first came to prominence with his book “Good to Great”. His book reveals 12 points that are found in great companies. I would like to focus on his third point – “get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) before you figure out where to drive it. He makes the point of “the sheer rigour needed in people decisions in order to take a company from good to great”.
Management guru Peter Drucker adds:
“People decisions are so long lasting in their consequence and so difficult to unmake. Yet, executives make poor promotion and staffing decisions. By all accounts their batting averages are one-third of such decisions turn out right; one- third are minimally effective; and one-third are out right failures.”
AbilityMap brings practical solutions you can deploy within your company that get you on the road to being a great company – by having the right people in the right seats on the bus.
Effectively recruiting people of exceptional talent that fit within your culture is a clear way to maintain an advantage. Recruiting is probably the single most essential requirement for building a great company. Leaders of companies that go from good to great don’t start with “where” but with “whom.” They get the right people and put them in the right seats.”
Think of your business as a bus and you as a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You must decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you.
Leaders of companies that go from good to great start with “whom.” By getting the right people on and the wrong people off the bus. Then they get the right people in the right seats and stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances.
Start with your current team. Do you have the right people in the right positions?
Ask: Knowing what I now know about your personnel, would you Definitely rehire, Possibly rehire, or Definitely Not rehire?
We have asked this question to managers across hundreds of companies and the response is: 32% would Definitely Not be rehired. This is the one question that addresses getting the right people on the bus and starts with you removing the wrong people, making room for the right people.
Jim Collins advises that to be a great company you need to have 95% of your staff in the rehire category.
How ineffective are those on your staff who fall into the “definitely not rehire” category?
Are they losing customers, treating other staff badly, dragging the team lower, causing great performers to leave, or is it poor training or their competencies are just not right for the job.
If you keep them on staff, then you know your company is working at a sub-par level.
The first step on the path to becoming a great company is to brutally examine where you are now. Have you got a team around you that are as good as you can get? Because if you haven’t, you will not achieve the financial results you desire for the business. It’s like having a car running on five cylinders versus the full power of the eight. This question of “Definitely Rehire” versus Definitely NOT Rehire is a great first step to start your good to great journey.
How do the 32% “definitely not” rehires get on the team?”
Jim Collins focused on the “sheer rigour of process” needed to make good people decisions. Do you have a clear vision of “what you are looking for”? Do you have a consistent process that identifies the Hard and Soft Skills required for success in the job? Do we ask the interview questions that uncover and probe for the Soft Skills we are looking for? How do we know when we have found what we are looking for? Over my career I have observed how little effort most managers expend in hiring their most valuable asset, the one that comes in and out of the front door every day. Often hiring is driven by the cry “just find me anyone- I need them here right now”. Reactive hiring lacks planning and process.
Remember the goal: 95% of the team should be in the rehired camp, not just 68%.
The first step of the rigorous process, understanding what success in the job looks like, is often overlooked and unfortunately results in only being defined by the hard skills believed required for success in the job. The first step to successfully building your bus is understanding and defining what success looks like in “The Job”.
The lack of understanding in defining what success in the job looks like hit me like a ton of bricks when I shifted from running the business to consulting with clients and conducting research. I discovered that subjectivity and bias was so significant and rampant across hiring managers, that it consistently drove undesirable outcomes for companies. Second, the effort to consistently remove subjectivity and bias from the hiring process rarely existed.
My ultimate “aha moment “came when asking hiring managers, what does it take to be a good performer in this role.
And they would trot out a list of qualities along the lines of:
Good communications skills- being motivated – flexible – passionate – committed – innovative and enthusiastic
All these capabilities, noble, but subject to bias and one’s interpretation are rarely the qualities that high performers possess. The “AHA” moment came when we reviewed large numbers of competency sets used by hiring managers and then compared them to the competencies displayed by the company identified high performers. We discovered the high performers rarely matched the competencies’ hiring managers thought drove success.
This realisation of the impact of subjectivity and bias suddenly made clear why, after so many years of development of new recruitment techniques – improved psychometrics, behavioural event interviewing, assessment centres, access for all to online testing etc., results from hiring decisions are still well below expectation – leading me to the conclusion that success with staff is more a function of good luck than good process.
What We Have Done
We developed an extensive list of competencies building upon the Employability Skills Framework developed by the Federal Government. Our process has two steps; first we ask line managers objectively rank the critical competencies they believe are necessary for success in a role.
We then ask the company to identify known high performers and assess them and look for differences. To qualify as a high performer you must have been in the role for a minimum of a year (this gives us a pointer to you fitting the company culture). Second, you are rated by supervisors and teammates as a definite rehire when asked the question “if you knew at time of hire what you now know, would you rehire?”
We bring Science and a 21st Century solution.
AbilityMap is introducing science to the art of recruitment. So how do you get 95% of your staff performing?
You must use the variability in human performance to your advantage. We recognise this factor, in sports some play offense others play defence, some score and others assist. With sporting stars what makes them great is often easy to see – they are faster, jump higher and consistently deliver under pressure with feedback that is immediate.
However, we rarely look at a job and try to identify what set of qualities will lead to outstanding performance.
Researchers have spent time and energy trying to identify what is it that leads to variability in jobs and have broken the elements down into two areas – hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are the elements of knowledge we pick up through our education or from our past work experience. These are the items we search for in a resume when we are looking to fill a job.
Soft skills on the other hand, are those characteristics that we usually bundle under the headings of intelligence or personality, or simply “common sense”. – These factors, so important in determining whether a person will be a great, good or poor fit for a job, are difficult to measure in an interview or using other contemporary selection techniques. If they were easy to measure we wouldn’t have the variability we have where some are seen as outstanding and others as deadwood.
How Do We Improve The Hiring Process?
We need to break it down into 3 Stages
Stage 1 – Job Analysis
Quantifying what it really takes to be successful. Use subject matter experts, or the preferred method that AbilityMap recommends is assessing your known High Performers.
Stage 2 – Candidate Sourcing
Finding the pool of the “right people” is the role for HR and recruitment agencies and is the area where most investment in HR technology has occurred in the past 10 years (job boards, LinkedIn, Facebook, Video interviewing and the use of machine learning).
Stage 3 – Candidate Analysis
Review candidates that meet your “hard skills “ You need to work out where they sit on “soft skills”
Years of experience as a recruiter and psychologist have shown that the best results come from integrating and matching Stage 1, an accurate evaluation of the qualities that lead to high performance with Stage 3, an accurate way of measuring the qualities candidates possess.
AbilityMap is the latest technology that matches jobs and people, leading to achievement of Jim Collins’ ideal of 95% of the right people on the bus.
How Well Are We Doing At Getting The Right People On The Bus?
Research over a long period and across many industries has suggested this figure is around 68% – not the 95% Jim Collins expects.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How well is your business doing?
- How ineffective are those on your staff who fall into the “not rehire” category and
- Why are they still there?
- For each of your staff, if you knew at the time of hiring what you now know, would you rehire them? If the answer is not “definitely YES “, then perhaps we have a performance issue.
- How did they get on the team?”
- Why can’t you achieve better hiring decisions?
- Why do you keep getting it wrong?
- What is a high performer?
- Do you understand the difference between hard skills and soft skills?
- Do you look for hard skills or soft skills or a combination of both when determining whether a person will be a great, good or poor fit for a job?
- How can you improve the hiring process in your organisation?
AbilityMap can take the guesswork out of recruitment and talent identification and save the costly mistakes of high employee turnover and low productivity.
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and let us put you on the GOOD to GREAT bus.
+61 (02) 4376 1463