Risk & Business Magazine Cain Insurance Risk & Business Magazine Summer - Page 24
BY: BRAD SMART, PRESIDENT & CEO
OF TOPGRADING, INC.
ould you like to be
better at interviewing
candidates for hire?
My Topgrading team
spent a day with just
the heads of Human Resources of just
the largest 100 companies in the world
and those companies admitted that 75
percent of the people they hire turn out
to be disappointments. Not to toot our
horn, but the dozens of case studies at
TopgradingCaseStudies.com show the
average improvement in hiring high
performers improved from 26 percent to 85
percent for companies using Topgrading. It’s fine if four to six key competencies are
identified for the job. But there are more
competencies that are so important if a
candidate falls short on one, there’s no way
the person could be a high performer.
1. “SIT AT CHAIRS FACING EACH
OTHER; PHYSICAL BARRIERS CREATE
PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS, SO DON’T
SIT AT A TABLE.” Recommendation: Take constant notes
but be discrete when recording mistakes.
Here’s how you can improve: Don’t believe
what we call the eight most harmful myths
Hello, did any of these authors ask
candidates what they prefer? Most prefer
sitting at a table, so that if they can scratch
an itch, change positions, stretch a bit, etc.
Candidates want a little privacy.
Recommendation: Sit at a table!
Candidates will thank you!
2. “HAVE 95 PERCENT EYE CONTACT;
CONSTANT EYE CONTACT IS NECESSARY
Nonsense! Your mom told you, “Don’t
stare,” right? Everyone wants to look away
from time to time, not because they are
lying but just to NOT stare … or be stared at.
Recommendation: Have 50 percent eye
contact (none when you’re jotting notes).
3. “FOLLOW NO MORE THAN 6
COMPETENCIES; IT’S TOO HARD TO
Recommendation: Do what Topgraders
do – track ALL the competencies (and their
might be dozens of competencies for a
4. “DON’T TAKE NOTES – YOU WANT TO
JUST HAVE A CONVERSATION AND NOT
LOOK LIKE A LAWYER INTENDING TO
CATCH YOU IN A MISSTATEMENT.”
Good grief; writing what the candidate
said were successes and accomplishments
shows professionalism and all candidates
want you to take those notes!
5. “MAINTAIN A 50 PERCENT - 50
PERCENT DIALOG IN INTERVIEWS;
AFTER ALL, THIS IS A CONVERSATION,
NOT AN INTERROGATION.”
Do this and the interview will take twice
as long as it should; 50-50 is fine before
the interview and after it.
Recommendation: During the interview
talk only 10 percent of the time and you’ll
learn a lot more about the candidate.
6. BE THE ONLY INTERVIEWER; WHEN
THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE, IT’S
A PILE ON, INTIMIDATING TO THE
General Electric improved from 25 percent
to 50 percent high performers hired,
using Topgrading. CEO Jack Welch
asked me how they could improve and
I said, “Use two interviewers.” Jack
implemented the tandem Topgrading
Interview; GE became the most valuable
and the most respected company in the
Recommendation: Use two interviewers.
7. “USE COMPETENCY (BEHAVIORAL)
INTERVIEWS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE
Our research suggests those common
interview methods lead to 75 percent
mis-hires! Example: Well Organized
is the competency and the question is,
“Pat, please give me an example of a time
you were well organized.” Candidates
anticipate those questions and can make
up any answer, knowing that reference
calls will not be with their bosses who
might dispute their claim.
Recommendation: Use chronological
interviews that cover all jobs.
8. “CALL THE REFERENCES THE
Ouch! C Players “provide” their buddies
for you to call.
Recommendation: Tell candidates in
advance THEY will have to arrange calls
with their former managers and then
make the calls they arrange. +
Dr. Brad Smart is an internationally renowned management psychologist and is generally
regarded as the world’s leading expert on hiring best practices. He has written five books on
hiring including the New York Times/Wall Street Journal best seller Topgrading: 3rd Edition.
Topgrading methods have enabled hundreds of small companies and leading companies
such as General Electric, Barclays, and the American Heart Association, to more than triple
their success hiring high performers.