June 23, 2018

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Learn How to Accurately Predict Performance

New clients and prospects inevitably ask me the same question, "How do you predict new hire's on-the-job performance so accurately?" The answer is remarkably simply. We help our client's shift their recruiting mind-sets, and then walk them through a process-orientation approach to recruiting. Unfortunately, the hardest part is making the attitudinal shift.

Remember the space shuttle. Did you know that 50 percent of the fuel stored in those huge tanks strapped onto the bottom of the space shuttle is expended just to get one thousand yards off the launch pad? It's true. And that's just the way it is with improving your accuracy in predicting on-the-job work performance of the candidates you interview. Half of the energy is going to be expended shifting your recruiting mind-set. Once you get over the hump, you and your team will be riding to the stars and back again.

Predicting a candidate's on-the-job performance begins with acknowledging your current attitudes about attracting new employees. Based on your past hiring practices, ask yourself these questions.

  • What have you valued more between speed and accuracy, and between hard skills and soft skills?
  • What are the prices you, and those on your team, have paid to be part of your past recruiting mind-set?
  • How do you measure your recruiting accuracy, or don't you?

Be truthful with yourself, this is a critical component to improving your accuracy.

What we most commonly find is that speed and hard skills take precedence over accuracy and soft skills. Of course, we all know to pick the latter, but our recruiting behaviors rarely support our desires to hire the RIGHT people. Our fixation of filling positions as fast as possible (speed) is mostly to blame for hard skills' dominance over soft skills. This is simply because it is easier review a stack of resumes and pick out key words, or hard skills, than evaluate potential cultural fits (soft skills). The evaluation of soft skills takes time and direct interaction. There simply are no short-cuts to evaluating soft skills.

Make no mistake about it, soft skills are determining factors in work place success, while hard skills are only contributing factors. Time-and-time again, we prove the recruiting focal point should be cultural fit (soft skills).

During a recent fact-finding conversation with a new client, we discovered they were only 33% accurate in predicting on-the-job work performance for their new sales professionals over the past nine years. What really caught their attention was that they spent more than $500,000 in salaries on those six wrong hires. This does not include the burden to employ them (taxes and benefits), training, replacement costs, sales not realized, and opportunity costs. The point is that if you illuminate the price you and your team paid for your hiring mistakes you will be more apt to change your recruiting mind-set, and the misalignments in your recruiting practices.

Dare we ask if you measure recruiting accuracy?

We have yet to find one company that measures how accurate they are in predicting on-the-job performance of their new hires. Even though the great minds of HR have pointed to the road less traveled, to the road that leads to improved shareholder wealth, it's still the road few choose to find.

Here is your navigational system and time-tested solution. Change from using your hiring process to acquire new employees, to the understanding that a quality recruiting process is the goal. Know that the results take care of themselves. Your focus on the process blends like yin to the focus on the yang of your results.

Once you change your fixation of filling open positions fast, to a fixation of building the perfect hiring processes, something special begins to happen. You get it right more often. This is exactly how UpSearch built its brand of accuracy, by being 93% accurate in predicting on-the-job performance.

The secret to accuracy is in the recruiting process.

Good hunting!

- Shawn Upchurch

Shawn Upchurch designs customized hiring programs for companies of all sizes, as well as providing direct recruiting services. Shawn can be reached at 888.830.1904 x208 or

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