As usual, Senior Strategic Partner, Laura Dillingham knocks it out of the park with this insightful article regarding finding the right fit for the job. Laura points out that it is well documented about the soaring costs of making hiring mistakes…and yet companies continue to commit “Olsen’s definition of insanity – continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again, with the same results.” Enjoy this week’s Power Idea. 

Selecting and hiring the right person for the job has never been more important than it is in today’s market. According to one of many scholars who have researched the costs associated with hiring, Dr. Pierre Mornell says, “If you make a mistake in hiring, and recognize and rectify the mistake within six months, the cost of replacing that employee is two and one-half the person’s annual salary”. Simply put, if you hire someone for $50,000 and it doesn’t work out, it will cost your company roughly $125,000…and that’s only if you fix it within six months!

Organizations that can attract, develop and retain the best talent have many advantages. Some of these advantages are increased quality and productivity, less turnover which results in increased customer service and loyal and happier customers, decrease in employee related expenses and an increase in profits or higher financial outcomes.

Almost everyone has heard someone say how important it is to hire the right person for the right job more than once. In fact Jim Collins, author of Good to Great says “It’s important to get the right people on the bus and in the right seats.”

So how do companies hire the right talent, which is not to be confused with on-boarding, or what happens after a person is hired. Hiring the right talent starts with a process that is proven and guarantees success. HPISolutions uses Job Benchmarking, which is really a three prong approach. So what are the steps?

The first step is to define the job. By this we don’t mean a job description. It’s letting the job talk and state what is needed to get it successfully completed. This step requires input from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Who are the SMEs? They are employees who have initiated the company’s need for the job, performed the job, supervised the job, hired for the job or managed the job.

The next step is to look at potential candidates and assess their behaviors, motivators, talents and skills in relationship to the job. Depending on the job, the company may also choose to look at the Emotional Intelligence of potential employees. Emotional Intelligence looks at emotional competencies such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. When looking to hire the right talent, a critical element is determining the emotional competencies that are most important for success in a particular job and then seeking out potential employees who have those qualities.

The final step is interviewing the best candidates, those who have matched closely with what is needed for success in the job. This step is critical because even if someone matches perfectly until the interview is conducted the company will not know if the candidates are a match for the environment, unit or organizational culture. It is important during this step to find out how the potential employee responds in real world situations. This is where you look at how well this person fits the organization.

I read a great article recently by Pamela Holloway where she used an example that has stayed with me. In it she likened hiring a potential employee to buying a new car. She cited three steps:

Look under the hood – Identify natural talents, passions and motivators. HPISolutions uses tools to identify behaviors, motivators, talents and skills, as well as Emotional Intelligence.

Test drive – Find out how the potential employee responds in real world situations. HPISolutions stresses the importance of matching what the job needs (if it could talk) to the behaviors, motivators, talents and skills, as well as the Emotional Intelligence in the interview using open ended questions and real world situations.

How does it feel? – What’s our gut feeling? How well does this person “fit” the organization in terms of values and core competencies? HPISolutions presents the results of the Job Benchmarking and potential employee assessments to assist the client in conducting interviews and then choosing the best matched candidate(s) for the job.

At HPISolutions, our goal is to be your Trusted Adviser. Contact us today at to explore how we can help your organization and begin to build that critical relationship.