When it comes to recruiting and hiring, most companies typically follow the same process of creating a job description, reviewing potential candidates’ resumes, conducting interviews and, in some cases, looking for references.

Although this is the standard approach, it is not effective. dr Brad Smart, recognized as the world’s leading recruiting expert and author of the bestselling book Topgrading, says that only 25 percent of our new hires are la crème de la crème or the A players when hired the traditional way. But the other 75 percent? They become B and C players, those whose performance is just fair or poor. Each entry-level hire that falls short of expectations costs approximately 1x the annual salary of that position. At the executive level, however, the position’s impactful decisions and strategies mean that hiring mistakes can cost 24 times the annual salary of the position. Another issue is the time wasted fixing bugs and convincing your other A players not to go multiplied by the time that person was in the role.

I always recommend Brad Smart’s Topgrading as required reading for the CEOs I coach. Since I started using his hiring method at my company, I have found that my employees are highly engaged and committed, delivering results and maintaining a good atmosphere among their colleagues. Based on my own experience and many of my coaching clients, the topgrading approach will improve your hiring success rate. They will act as a compass to find the best solution for each position, with A players, saving time and money.

According to Topgrading, seven rules to follow during a job interview.

The first step is to identify good candidates. Take the time to point out the responsibilities of the role and the key performance indicators or KPIs you need to achieve by defining a job scorecard. When you’re done, look for A players who fit the job’s requirements. In other words, those who were rated “excellent” or “very good” by former superiors. Make sure you have an accurate background of your candidates about their previous experiences.

A good tip is to start the conversation by asking the candidate about their experiences from past to present. This is a chronologically structured interview that is a good memory exercise and reveals behavioral patterns over many years.

Once you’ve found your candidates, who are most likely to be A-players, follow the seven key techniques during the interview process.

  1. Ask the right questions about previous positions, making sure to ask about the merits for each role.

  2. Engage with the candidate on a human level. Stay true to yourself and show your personality to get closer to your applicant so that he doesn’t act like a robot and just focuses on getting the answer right.

  3. Stay in control of the interview by keeping track of the topics and schedule. Don’t be afraid to interrupt them to give them back the information you need from them and, most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask difficult questions, such as mistakes made or wrong decisions. If you don’t get an answer, insist on it.

  4. Avoid tricky or biased questions and expect accurate answers. Sometimes a simple answer is enough and we can accept that. Make your candidate feel comfortable and comfortable with you, where they can openly and honestly share important details that will help you understand their behavior and decision-making process.

  5. Take detailed notes during the interview. You think you’ll remember, but the truth is, you most likely won’t. These notes will help you in your final decision and will tell you if the process is still going or if you are going to lose it.

  6. Ask follow-up questions to dive deeper and thoroughly understand your candidate. If a candidate says they have room for improvement to be a better communicator, ask more until you get to the details. It could range from “improving her writing skills” to “skipping out and getting into a conflict of interest.” These are very different topics.

  7. Summarize what your candidate is saying every 15 minutes by staying engaged and getting back on topic. Every 15 minutes, repeat the main points of your conversation and dig deeper. This way you show the candidate that you want to learn more from them.

The topgrading methodology does not end with the recruitment process. When you hire A players, you attract more A players. Your organization’s structure becomes leaner because you have A players who operate more efficiently than many B and C players, so your labor costs decrease while the business accelerates. And once you learn how to do well, you’ll learn to keep track of progress and results, and you’ll be able to promote well.

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