Avoid These Pitfalls When Hiring Your Next Employee

We had a client in the financial profession who needed another advisor on her team. She posted the job, reviewed resumes, and interviewed several people. She settled on a qualified advisor who interviewed well. He looked like a perfect fit! But it was a total disaster.

Can you relate?

This happens often with business owners, especially those with fast-growing businesses. Hiring the wrong person for a job is costly in time, energy, money, and productivity.

How can a business owner avoid the costly mistake of hiring the wrong person?

Resumes and Interviews Can Be Misleading

Most business owners will find more than one candidate with the necessary education and relevant experience. And most job candidates will present themselves as polished, professional, and prepared in a job interview.

But neither of these common hiring tools uncover who will do the job well. Indeed, neither tool reveals how each candidate will take action on their job duties, how they will respond under pressure, or how they will stay energized in their role.

What can a business owner do to uncover these important clues prior to hiring their next employee?

Learn How They Will Do the Job Before Getting Hired

To avoid a bad hire, you must uncover your candidate’s conative strengths before you make them an offer. Only this information will tell you how that person will take action once they are in the workplace.

First, when measuring conation, a candidate cannot put their “best self forward.” They cannot manipulate the results of their assessment, so you get an authentic view of their instinctive strengths. Will their strengths align with your team? Will their strengths fill a conative gap in your team? Or do you need to clone a top performer’s strengths? A conation assessment will identify how a job candidate will fit in your overall team before they ever start working for you.

Second, once you understand a candidate’s conative strengths, you will know whether they are a good fit for the job’s expectations. Does the job require a person to build out your systems and processes? Or does it need someone to innovate and push projects forward in an uncertain environment? By identifying the strengths needed for the role, then comparing those against the strengths of each job candidate, you will know who will thrive – and who will struggle – in that role.

For our client, when it became apparent to the advisor that the new hire was not doing well, she asked us for help. First, we had her complete a Kolbe C assessment to identify the conative strengths she needed in the new hire’s role. She learned that she had needed him to create and follow multi-step systems. In conation, that is described as the Follow Thru conative strength (7+ out of 10 on the assessment) – how one systematizes and arranges information.

Then, we asked the new hire to complete a Kolbe A Index to identify his natural or instinctual strengths. He measured a 4 out of 10 in Follow Thru, which meant he would struggle to complete multi-step processes consistently. He could force it for a time, but it would exhaust him and increase the likelihood for errors (what we refer to as “conative stress”). Not surprisingly, this was the advisor’s primary source of frustration with her new hire. His struggle to create or follow systems was not a lack of responsibility or laziness. It was simply not his instinctive way of taking action.

Where did the advisor go wrong?

Our client fell into the same traps as many business owners. First, she relied too much on the interview. The candidate prepared well, answered all of her questions, and made a great impression.

Second, the advisor relied too much on the candidate’s resume. He had over 15 years of professional experience in the field, had the appropriate skill set, and had all of the necessary designations.

But as the advisor learned, it is almost impossible to uncover how a job candidate will act on the job through the traditional interviewing process. The tools we use provide objective, scientifically validated results that are legally available to use in your hiring decisions.

Don’t make these mistakes in your next hire. Contact us today to find out how to measure for your job candidates’ instinctive strengths before your next hire.