SOURCE: Growth Ventures Inc.

April 19, 2011 10:22 ET

To Find the Best New Hires, Companies Need to Stop Simply Looking for "Great Candidates"

Learning Four Things About a Candidate Paves the Way to Finding the Best New Hires, Says Recruitment Expert Dr. David P. Jones, Author of the New Million-Dollar Hire and President of Growth Ventures Inc.

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 19, 2011) - Ask hiring managers what they seek and the answers can be pretty vague -- "great technical skills," "a real people person" or "a good work attitude." As the job market gains steam, making the right hiring decision starts with really knowing what you need.

"When employers hire, there's no longer room to get it wrong, and hope training or time on the job will fix a bad decision. Budgets are tight. Headcount is expensive. Today, every hire needs to be a good one," says Dr. David P. Jones, author of the new book Million-Dollar Hire: Build Your Bottom Line, One Employee at a Time (Jossey-Bass, April 2010). "Finding the right candidate boils down to profiling the competencies that separate great hires from the rest. And the process needs to work without great expense, or delay in filling the job."

"Using 'competencies' to create a hiring profile is the way to focus attention -- from sourcing and recruiting, through screening and final decision making," says Jones. "A profile of the competencies really demanded by the job lays out a roadmap for everything that follows. It even helps lower the risk of legal challenge that comes with deciding whom not to hire," adds Jones.

These competencies fall into four "buckets." In Million-Dollar Hire, Jones describes the competencies that populate each bucket:

  • Most jobs require a variety of "Can Do" competencies. "These range from skill at 'Creating a Strategic Vision' or 'Implementing Organizational Change' at senior levels, to ones like 'Learning and Applying New Job Skills' and 'Analyzing Information Efficiently' in technical or skilled operating roles," says Jones. Simply put, identifying the most critical competencies in this bucket helps identify candidates who "Can Do" the job.

  • Most jobs also require a variety of "Will Do" competencies. "Recruiters can't simply look at the 'smarts' a job demands," says Jones. "The second competency bucket includes a variety of motivations, values and work preferences that grow the hiring profile. Here, qualities such as being willing to 'Drive for Results' or 'Show Emotional Maturity' at senior levels, or a willingness toward 'Adapting to Change' or 'Showing Concern for Quality' at lower levels help ensure a candidate will actually put his or her 'Can Do' competencies to work," adds Jones.

  • Some jobs require "Able To" competencies, too. "While engineering is reducing the physical demands that come with jobs, some still call for competencies such as 'Strength and Stamina,' 'Flexibility and Coordination' or 'Dexterity and Precision' to execute work effectively," says Jones.

  • Finally, many jobs require "Done That" competencies. "Finally, many jobs show competency profiles that stress past experience, accomplishments or things as basic as certain training, credentials or licenses," adds Jones. "Here, the profile of Can Do, Will Do and Able To competencies grows to include specific background and experiences."

By profiling a job's competency requirements in each of the four buckets, companies can produce a list of the factors that must drive sourcing, initial screening and full-scale assessment of candidates' qualifications.

Jones adds, "Today's technology solutions are even letting us do things like scan a job's competency profile, and then turn loose solutions that sweep in resumes from the Internet that match the profile best. Technology is even letting us use a few clicks of the mouse to create candidate interview protocols that focus on a given competency profile, so recruiters and hiring managers can zone in on questions that provide the best match to the job's competencies."

To help employers new to the world of competencies, Jones has posted on his book's web site -- www.million-dollarhire.com -- an example directory of competencies that link to most major occupational groups. As he points out, creating competency models unique to a given employer has been historically a fairly costly process. Using the prototypes provided on the book's web site, employers can take on the job of final refinements to customize their own competency profiles.

"Knowing what it takes, and what competencies ensure a new hire fits the job, is part of the key to faster, better and cheaper hiring," said Jones. "And the financial payoff that comes with doing it right surprises most managers."

For more information, or to arrange an interview or bylined article, contact Frank Lentini of Sommerfield Communications at (212) 255-8386 or lentini@sommerfield.com.

About David P. Jones, Ph.D.

David P. Jones, Ph.D., author of Million-Dollar Hire, is among the few HR strategists to found and develop a major business enterprise. He is the president of Growth Ventures Inc., a human capital advisory firm. He has worked as an organizational psychologist for over thirty years, and launched HRStrategies, an international human resources consulting and outsourcing firm recognized as one of the fastest-growing consulting companies in the U.S. prior to its acquisition by Aon Corporation.

Million-Dollar Hire: Building Your Bottom Line, One Employee at a Time (Jossey-Bass, April 5, 2011) provides business leaders and HR executives with tools for translating recruiting and hiring decisions into financial returns.

Even in a down economy, U.S. business and government make millions of hiring decisions every year. Every decision carries risk. Every hire is an investment. Ideally, everyone pays a return. In today's demanding environment, companies no longer have room to get it wrong. Million-Dollar Hire shows how leading companies have re-invented themselves, beat their competition, and added millions to their bottom lines with re-engineered recruiting and hiring practices. Using practical, real world illustrations, it shows that there are tools to treat every hiring decision with the same focus a business applies in acquiring other high-value assets.

For more information, visit www.million-dollarhire.com.

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