Job plans and performance evaluations now make up the backbone of every successful organization. Yet for many organizations, hiring practices still rely on outdated methods that grade a person on background rather than ability. In fact, a glance at the average job opening announcement shows this dedication to skills. "Three years or more of marketing experience in the corporate office of a national retail chain," for instance. Only a handful of people fit that criteria, but does it mean those people can do the job?
Every organization is looking for a team that can help drive it in the right direction. This means meeting the business's goals and objectives with a unified mindset, while also contributing to a positive company culture. But choosing someone who has demonstrated multiple years in a similar position may not lead a business to the right person to accomplish those goals.
Before beginning the next round of hiring, Lou Adler recommends taking a step back and defining six goals for the positions. These goals should align with the organization's mission and help drive the company in the direction it needs to go. These six goals should be non-negotiable, with candidates who lack the ability to perform those tasks scratched off the list.
How is it possible to define a person's ability during the job interview process? Performance-based questions can bring out those abilities. Instead of asking a candidate general questions about past duties, interviewers can ask for specific instances of a time when the interviewee was tasked with completing something similar to the goal described. "Tell us about a time when you had to complete a project on deadline," for instance. These questions help distinguish between the skills a person has and how that person uses those skills under pressure.
Rather than trying to match skills with a person's basic job duties in past roles, interviewers will have more success by looking at that person's abilities. As Adler says, it is far better to have someone who can deliver results than someone who merely possesses a list of documented skills.