How to Become Expert at Hiring

I recently read Bloomberg Businessweek’s, “The Year Ahead 2018”. While I was interested in their predictions for the coming year (and the rationale for those predictions), what I especially enjoyed was their assessment of last year’s predictions. What they got right, what they got wrong, and – most importantly – why.
Anyone can make predictions. Yet the cycling back is what allows us to learn. If we understand what happened and why, and compare that with our predictions, then we can adjust our thinking and make better predictions in the future. It’s the feedback loop that allows us to do that, to revise our predictive model.
This, for some mysterious reason, got me thinking about the hiring process.
It struck me that we typically don’t cycle back. We don’t employ a feedback loop to evaluate and then strengthen our hiring process. Yet hiring someone is a prediction that that person will turn out to be a “good” employee as defined by their performance and their conduct.
Your hiring process today is based on some type of evaluation model – formal or informal, comprehensive or simple. Wouldn’t it be good to know how well that model works, how accurately your predictions play out? And how you could make better predictions in the future?
Here’s what to do. Make it a standard practice to regularly evaluate your hiring process relative to each new hire. (Six months is a reasonable time frame to determine how the new hire is doing versus expectations.)
Ask these six questions:

  1. What has surprised you – good or bad – about the employee’s performance?
  2. What has surprised you – good or bad – about the employee’s conduct?
  3. Is there anything you didn’t evaluate during the hiring process but should have?
  4. Is there anything you did evaluate but not as effectively as you should have?
  5. Is there anything you did evaluate but you misinterpreted or glossed over the results?
  6. How should you revise your hiring process to more effectively evaluate job candidates in the future?

If you want to make better predictions then revise your model for making predictions. If you want to make better hires, then revise your model for making hires.
If you do that, then I predict you will become better at hiring. And that’s one prediction you absolutely want to come true.
Make it happen.
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