For virtually any business, staying fully staffed is a key to success. Customers will not wait or accept being underserved simply because you are understaffed. Staffing is one of the most critical, difficult and frustrating challenges faced by managers, especially if your goal is to have quality employees. You know you are on the downside of this situation when you have anxious moments wondering whether employees will show up, or if the ones who do will perform their jobs to your standards.
Anxious moments such as these are why many hiring mangers take a warm body approach to hiring. In effect, they assume they are in a “high turnover” business (e.g., restaurants, healthcare, retail), but that is not the problem. The problem is retention of quality employees. A lowered hiring standard means a lowered customer experience. Being the first choice of your customers demands employees who perform, fit your culture, and stay.
What before who: competency and culture driven hiring
Hiring and retaining employees that strengthen your customer experience and culture requires you to think in terms of what instead of who. The what of hiring is as simple as it is profound: What you are hiring is your customer experience and your culture. These points are easy to see in service industries where the single most important source of competitive differentiation is employee quality. In these situations, employees are the faces, hearts, and hands of the company’s consumer brand.
Building an effective employee hiring process markedly increases the chances that your customers experience matches what you intended. The challenge is to build a process that attracts, educates, selects, and engages this population.
The candidate experience and assessments
Many managers believe they can spot a good hire; someone who will do the job of earning customer loyalty. They believe they can do this despite the evidence of high employee turnover and an inconsistent customer experience. The research shows that the vast majority of managers could just as effectively pick the right people if they flipped a coin than if they applied their personal magic to identifying winners. In short, we are typically long on confidence when it comes to hiring and short on evidence-based tools.
Effective pre-employment assessments specifically designed with both your employee and customer experiences in mind, significantly improve the odds of a successful hire. First, they increase the chances that new hires will deliver the intended customer experience—the one that characterizes the brand you want to be. Second, they increase the chances that your new hires will stay and prosper with your company.
This second reason gets at the real challenge of hiring: identifying people who fit your company’s culture. These are employees who are aware of what you are trying to accomplish with your customers, fully engaged in what they are doing, and have a “can do, you bet I will” attitude. When you hire employees who share your values—we call it fit—you are taking a step toward strengthening your organization’s culture and, thereby, the quality of your customer experience. And that is why “what” you hire is every bit as important as “who” you hire.
Using structured, legally-defensible tools such as hiring assessments and structured interviews increases hiring managers’ confidence in hiring the right people. Check out our eBook on the what, why, and when of hiring assessments to learn more.
What can assessments and candidate engaging solutions do for your enterprise?