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Hiring the Right Candidate for the Job and Your Company

Copyright (c) 2004-2020

Increasingly, companies are evaluating job candidates on how well they fit their corporate culture - not just the job.

It's an important consideration, as shrinking budgets and economic uncertainty put a squeeze on corporate environments and demand smarter hiring practices.

Filling open positions can be a grueling, expensive and lengthy process. According to recent research by global human resources firm DBM, 94 percent find the average job search is taking four to six months, with the majority seeing most job seekers taking about five months to secure employment. And finding a new, senior-level position in the current job market takes more than 12 months, compared to about seven months in 1998.

To manage the more extensive search process, many companies are using personality assessments to find the right person for their company. In fact, one third of 2,100 human resource managers recently surveyed by the American Management Association were incorporating personality profiling into their hiring decision-making process.

Personality testing allows companies to go beyond first impressions and analyze the true value of candidates' skills and character. The goal is to determine how the combination of the two will fit into the organization. Considering a job candidate's characteristics can help employers determine if that person has the right ability and adaptability for their work environment. For example: a new hire may have outstanding abilities, but if he doesn't have the communication skills to work well with a team, he may not be the best candidate. The company may be better off hiring a great communicator with average skills that can be improved upon with training instead.

The bottom line is: Personality assessments can help companies hire the right employee - and retain them longer. And employee retention saves companies money and valuable time due to lost productivity and costs associated with recruiting and hiring.

In addition to personality testing, more businesses are relying on the expertise of innovative firms like ASearch LLC to help them identify the best candidates for the job and company. ASearch is a Connecticut executive search firm that heavily factors a potential employee's character into the recruitment and hiring process.

In his 30 years of organizational development consulting, Bruce Clinton has watched too many poor executive hires endanger the success of organizations. But very few executives fail because of their resume, says Clinton, a founding partner of ASearch. "Most failures are due to lack of the right behavioral or cultural fit."

If you only hire on experience, he poses, how do you deal with the behavior and chemistry that walks in the door? "We help the hiring authority get beyond the tip of the iceberg, which is the resume, experience, interview and references…to find the best fit for the organization's culture and job requirements."

ASearch takes an in-depth approach that helps its clients lower their transaction costs. The company provides value-added services such as a company culture analysis of the executive team. As a result, job candidates submitted to companies will all meet the cultural and behavioral requirements for the position and will have third-party assessments to verify their qualifications. Therefore, their clients generally only need to review a few candidates to find the best match.

ASearch's process guarantees the suitability of candidates and removes the risk of a poor fit. "Our value proposition is not offered by all search firms," Clinton says. "As a matter of fact, I don't know of any that do all we do."

The company's approach is evidenced by its bold slogan: "We go beyond the search. We take the risk and doubt out of your next critical executive hire."

ASearch is a major New England search firm that represents decades of organizational development, executive search and assessment experience. Following are questions and answers about the company's background and perspective on the executive search process. More information is available at the company's Website at http://www.asearchllc.com.


Q: Why did you start ASearch?

A: I saw this as an opportunity to fill a gap in an under serviced and misunderstood market of closely-held businesses. I believe small and medium sized businesses are the key to our economic growth and felt that this retained search business could make a positive difference. And between my background and that of my two partners, we had an exceptional value to offer key executives and company owners.


Q: Tell us about your experience.

A: My background is over 30 years of organizational development consulting to closely-held and family businesses. Prior to this, I was owner and president of a residential real estate business with two locations plus a new home sales division; president and owner of a land development company; and general partner of a limited partnership which developed 200 acres of land into a luxury subdivision of 96 lots. I later joined the consulting company that helped me build my real estate business when I sold it to one of my managers in the mid-seventies.

Q: What about your partners and their experience?

A: Anthony Townley has over thirty years of staffing and executive search experience. He conducts our searches once the position requirements have been defined. Barry Foster has extensive assessment knowledge and is a leader and innovator in the business and executive coaching profession. Barry and I procure the retained search assignments, facilitate the development of the position requirements with the position development team and the selection team, and coach the integration process of the new executive.

Q: Describe the typical client you work with.

A: Closely-held companies with a sweet spot of $25-100 million in sales. We have worked with organizations with sales of $4 million to over $300 million. We deal mostly with the CEO or President of the organization or the COO.

Q: Can you give us an overview of your company and its services?

A: ASearch takes the risk and doubt out of the next critical hire an organization makes. We take an organizational development approach to make this a reality. We help our clients understand their culture, define the position and the goals for the first 30, 60, 90 and next 180 days with agreed upon evidence of goal accomplishments, required and desired experience and education and the objective psychometrics required for the new position based on the understanding of the culture and position requirements. We also make sure that the selection team understands its role in making this new key person successful. Finally, we coach the integration process of the new hire with reviews at the 45- and 90-day time periods. At that time, if all parties are progressing as expected, we extend our guarantee for the balance of the first year from the date of hire.


Q: Any additional information about your services?

A: Because we become so knowledgeable about an organization and are able to provide so much value, we often reach the level of trusted advisor and are asked to assist in other organizational development type assignments. In this case, we will do the assignment or bring in other professionals who we have worked with to perform the services on behalf of ASearch and the client.

Q: Have most of your clients had a negative hiring experience?

A: Yes. Almost all of our current search clients have had a poor hire in a similar position or understand the value of getting the right fit the first time.

Q: Can you give us an idea of how much money is lost due to these failures?

A: It's hard to gauge the lost opportunity costs -- which are the higher costs -- lost business, turnover of good employees, lost production and bad comments about an organization which means opportunities you will never get or know why. On the tangible side, are the transaction costs, advertising, resume culling, extensive interview time, training costs of the wrong person once hired, lost wages and benefits, placement fees, law suits for wrongful discharge, contractual costs, relocation costs and contractual separation costs if the executive is let go for any reason but cause. Minimum figures for turnover of an executive have been four to five times the annual salary.

Q: Why have those employees failed?

A: If you interview companies, you will find a lack of cultural fit (chemistry) and behavior that did not allow the new hire to perform i.e. no sense of urgency, low energy, not able to make a decision or hold people accountable, etc.


Q: What are the challenges you see facing employers who are trying to do it on their own?

A: Understanding the real requirements of the position and their culture, being able to get below the surface or tip of the iceberg to match the position requirements to the candidate, determine what is success early on as well as long term, integrating the new hire into the organization and working out the rough spots - especially if the position requires different behavior(s) than the current culture.

Q: At what point do employers give up their own attempts and seek your help?

A: I am not sure…the need to know that there is a better way than the traditional search firm... Otherwise they will continue on a hit or miss proposition. I knew of one firm that turned over a key executive position three or more times and still did not get it right.


Q: Can you quantify the retention rate of employees who were sourced on their own, compared to those hired using your firm's services?

A: No, but the cost of any turnover is great …We know that if you know how to define your culture and the position and have objective means of measuring the culture and behaviors required for success in this culture doing the position requirements, with the right experience and education you will have little chance of turning over the position. That is why we offer an unprecedented one-year guarantee to everyone who uses our process.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Copyright 2004 Kate Smalley Connecticut Secretary http://www.connecticutsecretary.com mailto:kms@connecticutsecretary.com

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