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The Holy Grail of Good Hiring

To learn more on this topic, tune into the Business Growth Café podcast with Josh Walters.

How do we find good employees, enjoy having them, and get the most out of them?

The answer is a holy grail in business. While finding and hiring “the right people” sounds achievable enough, it has been the cause of many headaches for small to medium-sized business owners. Why? In many cases, internal teams just don’t do a good job when it comes to hiring, primarily because they just don't have the experience. Have you ever hired someone thinking they were a prize player in it for the long haul, only to have them quit? I have, and it is a massive drain on energy, morale, and moolah.

This is one of the reasons I was so excited to sit down and talk shop with Josh Walters, President of Admerge, who joined me at the Cafe to share his data-driven and scientific approach to hiring, as well as insights from running his own small business. Here’s a little of what I learned in our discussion:

Lesson One: Define What the Position (Not the Job) Really Needs to Accomplish

We need to get really dumb and ask what a prospect is being hired for in the first place? That role is not a job description and it is not what you put on a piece of paper.

“What is the reason I need that CFO?” illustrates Josh. “Is it because there's a missing place in the org chart? Or Is it because I actually need a function for someone who is strategic and understands finance, accounting, and can give me advice about the future?”

For example, one company was looking for a project manager and struggling. A typical project manager manages projects “behind-the-scenes,” but deeper analysis discovered that the project manager position in the context of this company was actually someone who was very client-facing, and so they were needing to hire a completely different person than the “typical role.”

Lesson Two: Benchmarks For Success

Once we’ve defined the role extremely well, how do we then specifically measure the person's success in that role? If we haven't figured that out, then we're setting the person up for failure or at least making success painfully challenging.

Lesson Three: What Are the Behaviors of That Role?

If I’m looking for a role that manages people, do I need someone that is primarily going to inspire people because that is what’s needed, or do I need this person to fill shoes that are now gone and get things done? Most people’s behaviors are going to lean more one way versus the other, and can rarely do both.

Once we understand the behaviors required of that position, does this candidate fit that behavioral profile?

Lesson Four: Assessing Behavior–Perfect Until You're Not

“So you’re perfect . . . until we put you in context,” says Josh. “So for example, as a fractional marketing officer you’re perfect, that’s a really key role, and you’re perfect in that role until we put you in the context of something else.”

The secret sauce to good hiring is understanding and managing the behavior of the person. How can we understand their natural DNA: who are they really? No one is truly perfect, but how can we make sure that their behavior most fits this role.

Josh and Admerge have a behavioral assessment approach called the Predictive Index, which is a five-minute behavioral assessment tool that allows them to get a “true look under the Kimono. “They then compare the person’s behavior to the defined role they’ve laid already out to see if there is a match.

This is important on multiple levels because conventional business hiring belief (which has pretty flimsy foundations) caters first and foremost to the job description and skillsets, whereas behavior assessment has been true and tried for many successful hiring firms.

To learn more on this topic, tune into the Business Growth Café podcast with Josh Walters.

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