Job No. 1 for supervisors: hiring the right person

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					CAREER CORNER                                                                                                                      1. 800. 973.1177




                              Job No. 1 for supervisors: hiring the right person
                              [by Michael Kinsman]
                              There is no question in Jim Plotkin’s mind that hiring is the most important job for a supervisor.




“How well you hire tells you how well your         employee assessment tests are an important           jobs is one of the most important things we
company will do,” says Plotkin, president of       part of the hiring equation and tend to help         can do as employers.”
the Plotkin Group, a Carlsbad, Calif., consult-    supervisors make better decisions.
ing firm that administers employee assess-                                                              Roel, which has about 375 employees in
ment tests for a wide range of companies.          “You find a lot of people who will only talk         San Diego, Orange County and Las Vegas,
                                                   about the technical skills needed during a job       has been using employee assessments for
“Yet, when it comes to hiring, most people         interview,” Plotkin says.                            several years and believes in them.
are locked into the interview and reference
mode,” Plotkin says. “That’s not enough.”          That’s because it’s easy, familiar territory.        “It’s a tool we use and a tool we value,”
                                                                                                        Hoxsey says. “We don’t base our entire hir-
A survey released last week showed that 46         Yet, assessing personalities and cognitive           ing decision on an assessment, but it is one
percent of new hires fail within 8 months of      abilities are just as important as finding the       more tool we have in the hiring process.”
joining a company. Leadership IQ, a Washing-       right skill set.
ton, D.C., training and leadership develop-                                                             The financial impact of a bad hire can last
ment company that surveyed 5,200 hiring            “We’re not all smart, but it doesn’t mean            long after that worker has moved on, Murphy
managers over a three-year period, said only       we all have to be smart to do good jobs in           says.
 percent of those workers lose their job         a company,” Plotkin says. “But you have to
because they don’t have proper skills.             figure out how to match the right people with        “You have turnover costs, and I’ve seen esti-
                                                   the right jobs.”                                     mates that put the cost of replacing a worker
Instead, they lose their jobs because they                                                              at 8 months of an individual’s salary,” he
aren’t a good fit with the company. The sur-       That’s been taken to heart at Roel Construc-         says. “But beyond that, a worker who is not
vey found that 26 percent failed because they      tion in San Diego, where hiring is given a           performing well can cost you lost revenue.
couldn’t accept feedback, 23 percent failed        priority.                                            The root cause of lost business is because
because they couldn’t manage their emo-                                                                 your employees are not doing a good job, not
tions, 7 percent failed because they lacked       “It’s extremely important to our company,            because of your product or service. That’s
motivation, and 5 percent failed because          and we want to make sure we do hire right,”          something we need to think about when we
they had the wrong temperament for the job.        says Amy Hoxsey, Roel’s human resources              shape our hiring policies.”
                                                   manager.
Mark Murphy, chairman and chief execu-                                                                  © Copley News Service
tive of Leadership IQ, labels the failure rate     She says the company has a strongly defined
“distressing.”                                     corporate culture and wants to make sure
                                                   that individuals share its values and mission.
“What we have are managers hiring the
wrong people,” he says. “We are far too            “We want to get the right person in the right
hands-off when it comes to training manag-         job with the right boss,” Hoxsey says. “If
ers to hire.”                                      people perform better working independently
                                                   than with a team or a group, why would we
Plotkin contends that the hiring process is        put them in a job where they had to work with
more scientific than people think. Giving          a team? We think putting people in the right




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Description: Jim Plotkin is president of the Plotkin Group, a Carlsbad, California. The consulting firm are administers employee assessment tests for a wide range of companies.
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