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When hiring senior candidates, most firms focus on Searching for the squarest peg they can find for their square hole. They look for people with the most relevant track record and technical competencies: ideally, someone successfully doing exactly the same job elsewhere for one of their competitors. But evidence shows that this is not the best predictor of future performance.

The problem is: the main reason hires succeed or fail is usually not due to technical skills. At Godliman, we say that people are usually hired on skills but fired on behaviours…

It is their interpersonal skills which have the greatest influence: are they able to accept feedback, and be open to accountability? Do they have the necessary motivation and drive to excel, and to learn, adapt and change?  Do they have the right temperament for a leadership role?  Do their values and behaviours fit the culture of the firm?

Leadership IQ, a global leadership training and research company, recently completed a study of 5,247 hiring managers from 312 public, private, business and healthcare organizations responsible for hiring more than 20,000 employees. The study examined why hires failed. They found that only 11% of failed hires lacked the necessary technical skills.

In fact, up to 89% of the reason for failed hires was down to lack of Candidate Fit: Candidates’ coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament.

These key factors included the ability to accept and implement feedback from bosses, colleagues, customers, and others. The ability to understand and manage one’s emotions, and accurately assess others’ emotions. Having sufficient drive to achieve one’s full potential and excel in the job. And having the necessary attitude and temperament suited to the particular company culture and job.

Yet, in our experience, few firms assess these issues during the hiring process, preferring instead to focus on the traditional metrics of skills and experience – probably because they are easier to measure. Many headhunting processes are little more than a scattergun ‘point and shoot’ exercise: find a profile on LinkedIn which fits the track record and job function, approach them, and submit a CV to the client. There is little or no emphasis on evaluating Fit.

Yet, in the same study, LeadershipIQ found that 182 managers experienced significantly more hiring success than their peer group. What differentiated their job interview approach was their emphasis on interpersonal and motivational issues. In other words, focusing on Fit produced better results.

At Godliman we understand that the crucial factor in ensuring new hire success is the ‘Fit’ between client culture and candidate style, values and motivations. Our proprietary Best-Fit Search™ process uniquely evaluates candidate ‘Fit’ with the hiring company as well as the skills and experience necessary for the role. As a result, the longevity and success in role of our hires is significantly above the industry norm.

Our proprietary Best-Fit Search™ process uniquely evaluates candidate ‘Fit’ with the hiring company as well as the skills and experience necessary for the role. As a result the longevity and success in role of our hires is significantly above the industry norm.

Author: Rupert Reed Last edited 25th January 2021

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