United Airlines has an exhaustive hiring process for pilots that includes flying hours, qualifications and tons of certificates. But it doesn’t stop there, and they have added an extra step: a psychological profile test. This test is so difficult that an industry that helps pilots prepare for it was created (completely defeating the purpose of the test, but that’s a story for another time.) Generally speaking, Pilots that didn’t pass that test simply joined a different but equally successful airline.
So the question here is: Was the screening test needed and did it even have to be that difficult?
Today we want to talk about a topic we are really passionate about. Hiring.
We take hiring really, really seriously. We like to make sure that the right people are doing the right job, in the right place. That doesn’t mean they have to work in the position they applied for… but we’ll talk more about that later.
Coming back to that personality test (called the Hogan test, if you’d like to learn more about it.) They can definitely be useful when it comes to getting new employees or contractors, but at the same time, you can’t base your hiring decision just on that. Those kinds of tests don’t account for the person’s mood that day or what they were going through during that time of their lives.
We see this all the time in the tech industry where startups look for “rockstar developers” but shortly after hiring them they realize this rockstar developer doesn’t work well with the team. Then the company’s overall functionality is disrupted because of this person’s personality, and the company is affected. That’s why we like to emphasize that a good attitude and willingness to learn is just as important as a specific set of skills.
Finding out if someone is a good fit is all about asking the right questions. For example, you can set different scenarios and ask what they’d do in them. “Have you ever had to sacrifice quality to meet a deadline?” “How do you manage your own mistakes?” These two simple questions can tell you a lot about their integrity and how they work. Maybe their resume isn’t as impressive as others, but you will know you can trust them.
You can get creative with your interview questions, and we highly recommend having them do a test project — that way you can see them in action. Putting special attention not only to the outcome of the test but also their behavior as they get it done really helps you notice if they’d be a nice addition to the team or if they’d hold them back.
It is also advantageous to look at your current team to see if there is someone who might be better suited for the position you are hiring for because of their personality, work ethic, or other skill sets. A great example of this is a client we had who needed to hire an Integrator and was concerned about finding the right person.
The right person was already on his team. We helped to successfully transition the inbound marketer to an Integrator and the business was better for it.
Adding someone to your team or moving who is currently on your team to a new position that doesn’t have experience in the position you’re hiring for isn’t that uncommon. In fact, oftentimes it’s actually good for everyone, especially considering that no matter how much or little experience they have doing something, they still have to learn your processes, so there will always be a learning curve. Why not take that opportunity and allow them to use a skill they love or are really good at?
Another example is someone who traditionally worked as a graphic designer who is good at designing, but they are AMAZING at customer service, even though they have very little experience. If you both agree to it, you can allow them to explore that side of the business and help them develop that skill set. This is a win-win for you, the business, and your team!
In the end, having someone in your company that says “let me join your business and I will learn your processes and how to do this task” is far more valuable than having someone with a shiny resume who doesn’t have the desire learn, grow, or work with you and your business.
It’s all about what will move the dial forward in your business!
If you’d like to hear more secrets to hiring, systems and everything that helps companies grow, follow our podcast at https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/.