Effective Hiring Practices: 360° Hiring

Effective Hiring Practices:
360-° Hiring: Hiring for Long-term Success

How many times have you made the “wrong hire”? Have you ever had to fire someone, or have him or her quit, within months (or even weeks!) of the start date? Regardless of the reason—have you ever actually calculated the costs of turnover? Dr. Brad Smart, in his book “Topgrading” did. He calculates that for someone with a base compensation of $100,000 or less, that the cost of leaving is 14 times salary! The higher the pay scale the more dramatic the problem: the cost of leaving increases to 24 times salary when all salary levels are included.

What can you do ensure hiring success? The Collaborative recommends what we call 360-° Hiring—a proven approach that minimizes the risk of a mis-hire. This is a six-step process that ensures a complete candidate evaluation and alignment with the position. Following is a brief overview of this process:

  1. Continually build your network of—and then hire—only “A” players
  2. Analyze the job and write behaviorally based job descriptions
  3. Conduct a complete, “360-° type” interview
  4. Conduct evaluation meetings
  5. Conduct 3 to 6 Reference Calls
  6. Evaluate yourself on your hiring success

(1) Building a network of, and only hiring, “A” players means that everyone, from the president on down, is always aware of the open positions in your firm and on the lookout for top players. They could be sitting across from you in a business meeting or next to you on your child’s soccer field.

(2) Analyzing the job and writing behaviorally based job descriptions means you have critically evaluated the major areas of accountability, measures of performance, critical success factors and other important criteria. And before writing the job description you have evaluated the behavioral styles required for the job. Many of you are familiar with the DISC assessment tool (see In Collaboration, Autumn 2002—”A Square Peg In a Round Hole?”).

(3) All of this leads to the Candidate Evaluation Form, where you (and your interviewing team) can tailor Work History and Critical Competency questions for the specific job/opening. For instance, Critical Competencies for a sales rep would include, among others, “selling performance” and “territory management and sales planning”. Within these, several open-ended, behavior-based questions could be asked of each candidate. Territory management questions such as “Describe your experience managing a territory” and “Walk me through how you’ve assessed a territory and the suspects and prospects in it” will give you a lot of information about the candidate’s experience, thought process, and how well he or she will fit into your selling process.

(4) Everyone involved in the hiring process should meet after each candidate has left to compare general notes and thoughts and decide on a “go/no go” for the next round.

(5) By the time most hiring managers or firms get to the reference checking stage, they’re worn out and this step becomes a perfunctory “check” in a box rather than an opportunity to gain critical insights. And don’t depend on a headhunter to do this well—at this late stage all eyes are on closing the deal!

(6) Evaluating yourself refers to polling key stakeholders about the new employee’s performance, giving the employee a 90-day review, and other important steps that ensure a positive long-term relationship between new employee and company.

The Collaborative offers training and tools for each step, helping you to adapt it your organization. Please call us to help you review your hiring process and minimize costly mis-hires.