The New Year can leave companies with many positions that need to be filled within various teams as people leave to pursue new career opportunities. This leaves organisations with the daunting task of trying to replace employees that were valued assets and the question of who will best fill this role now that they have departed.
The experts at Hogan Assessments, the global leader in workplace personality assessment and leadership consulting – have examined common mistakes made by HR departments during the hiring process, providing quality tips to help organisations avoid recruiting the wrong individuals and start the new year with the best possible hires for their workplace.
Tip 1: Staying away from the clone myth
Once a position becomes vacant, it would be assumed that employers are seeking to replace the person who has left, not their personality, but that is not always the case. When recruiting to replace a valued teammate, HR professionals can often struggle with two avenues of thought: choose someone identical to the individual who left or opt for a candidate opposite to them. Personality is a key component of both approaches.
“By looking for an exact carbon copy of the staff member that left, employers are limiting the potential of their team and their entire company. Searching for role replacements based on underlying characteristics eliminates the most changeable variables and focuses on personality, which tends to remain static,” explains Dr Ryne Sherman, chief science officer at Hogan Assessments.
For a successful replacement hire, first analyse the traits a candidate needs to perform the role at a high level, then narrow down that list to a selection of three required characteristics and several good-to-have additional attributes. Basing selection decisions on who possesses the most necessary qualities to succeed within the role will help companies avoid falling into the clone trap and aid with the organisation’s growth.
Tip 2: Resisting the superstar spell
A superstar is a top performer within a team or a company. When looking to recruit, an employer’s first instinct will likely be to find the most qualified and accomplished candidate out of the pile and offer them the job. Be careful, as this approach may be detrimental to the team this superstar is entering.
“The presence of a superstar impacts the performance of other people around them, often negatively. Just having a superstar nearby, whether on the same team or not, can hinder team performance,” notes Sherman.
The superstar effect is a counterintuitive phenomenon. It would be assumed that adding a high-performing team member would encourage everyone else to rise to the challenge and match their efforts. But when the skill gap is too great, others can feel fearful, intimidated, inferior, or defeated. The superstar effect could bring out employees’ insecurities, resulting in them looking for other ways to get ahead.
Superstars can add incredible value to a team, but companies must be smart about when they take them on and how they apply them within a team. For organisations to integrate superstars into teams successfully, defining competition is key.
Hypercompetitive people want to compete with everyone, but that tendency can be directed outward, protecting team members from competing among themselves. Employers should do their best to redirect the superstar’s competitive nature and channel it towards something that benefits the company and its reputation without alienating its other team members.
Tip 3: Seek out crucial skills during the employee selection
Although every individual will possess unique strengths, there are still crucial skill areas that a winning candidate should bring to the table. The three universal competencies that should lead an employee-selection process are people skills, learning skills, and work ethic.
Pursuing candidates with these competencies will strengthen any organisation and guard against hiring employees with poor problem-solving, self-management, and interpersonal skills.
Finding employees who get along well with other team members, display a high degree of inquisitiveness and a propensity for learning, and are self-motivated with a strong work ethic is key when filling a vacant position within a team.
These traits are the foundation of any strong hire and can often be overlooked during the interview due to dazzling results or professional accomplishments.
Dr Ryne Sherman summarises how personality is key when hiring and how personality tests can streamline the process. “Understanding where each candidate stands in terms of personality can help employers make the best hiring decisions while also anticipating any areas that might require special attention or training.”
“Scientifically valid personality tests can identify applicants who align with your organisation, meet the job requirements, and perform at a high level. At Hogan, our comprehensive approach to personality assessment provides the depth and detail needed for organisations to hire the right employees and position their business for success as they seek to fill roles this new year.”