Monday, June 28, 2021

Employee Success is Proportional to Great Onboarding

 Originally published on LinkedIn...

Recent conversations and empirical evidence has convinced me that no matter what the hiring process is, we make or break successful employees after they're hired. 

Let's assume that all the applicants in your candidate pool range in aptitude from 2.5 to 7.5 on a 10-point scale. And their aptitudes are normally distributed, i.e. they exhibit a bell curve. [Those with absolutely no aptitude won't apply and the stellar candidates may not apply either because they're doing well where they are at. The stellar candidates have to be found.]

68% of your candidates are going to range between 4.2 and 5.8. So you have a 2/3rds chance of hiring someone near the average. Maybe you're screening process can weed out the the bottom end of the curve. That doesn't change the characteristics of the pool you're drawing from; it actually increases the probability of hiring near the mean (i.e. 5). All kinds of people with differing aptitudes interview well, take assessments well--personality and others. In fact, your screening process may only determine the aptitudes of "good interviewing skills" and "assessment taking skills" and not actual job skills. One business owner told me recently that a successful candidate needs to be organized, take initiative and be proactive in preventing issues. You can ask about it but how well can you truly assess these things until they start working (or lazing!) for you.

What we've learned about performance appraisals applies to the hiring process as well: the final rating is 90% determined by the appraiser, not the person being appraised. We come into the appraisal and hiring processes with preferences, personal perspectives and policies that may or may not guide us appropriately.
Therefore, the success of your new-hires is dependent on how you interact with them afterward they join your organization. 

How much are they being integrated? How well do they understand their role and responsibilities? How well are you helping them make progress in their job--improving, etc.? [Check out Teresa Amabile's and co-author's quick-read book, The Progress Principle regarding how you keep your team motivated and engaged.] No company has an exclusive net for capturing only the A-list. We all hire so-so people. But we can still succeed--and most of us do--with a team that works well together, is aligned towards common goals and visions and executes their tasks effectively...and a few more things like clear and timely communication, dispelling disputes in a way that maintains relationships and eliminates obstacles, etc.

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