I wonder if NASCAR Car Owner Rick Hendricks knew he was hiring the best when he decided to hire unknown and unproven race car driver Jimmy Johnson in 2001. Johnson won his sixth championship in 2013 and has broken almost all the records. He's also been recognized as Athlete of the Year and Driver of the Year.
Johnson had a solid background in racing, but so do thousands of others who want the job of Professional Race Car Driver. How did Hendricks know to take a chance on this young unknown? Was it luck, intuition or something else?
How Do You Know?
Like NASCAR Car Owner Rick Hendricks you have many candidates with solid experience vying for your positions. Many look good on paper and sound good in the interview. So, what’s the secret for hiring the best? How can you know which candidate will be your next ‘Champion'? Looking at why people 'crash and burn' on the job sheds insight on where you need to put your focus, when hiring, so that you can find your next champion.
Why People 'Crash and Burn' on The Job
While there can be many reasons why people do not rise to the level of 'Champion' (high performer) after being hired studies tell us that there's one main cause.
The main reason people fail in a job is because of a MIS-MATCH between the PERSONAL SKILLS:
“69% of all new hires lose their jobs due to a lack of personal skills.”
Georgia Commissioner of Labor, Mark Butler
“Personal skills are the multiplier of performance.”
Bill Brooks, The New Science of Selling and Persuasion
Hiring for Background, Firing for Attitude
One study followed 100,000 people who were let go within eighteen months of being hired, only 10% were fired due to lack of experience! The rest (90%) were let go due to missing Personal Skills.
Personal skills are a unique combination of
personal attributes, acumen and competency.
THINK about the people on your team who are low performers and why they're not performing well. Would any of these reasons fit your situation? If so, these are ALL examples of behaviors that demonstrate a lack of Personal Skills.
SECRET for Hiring the Best: Focus On Personal Skills
Hiring the best requires that you focus MORE on intangible skills (personal skills) and LESS on background and experience. I know this argument makes sense because I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced the problem of hiring for background and firing for attitude. Yet, because experience is much more objective and factual and we're not sure HOW to focus on personal skills, many interviewers continue to OVER FOCUS on matching a candidate's background and experience to the job.
In my hiring workshop, how to hire book and in my hiring assessment
process I teach interviewers many different 'hiring the best' secrets and skills. One very important key
is to put MORE attention on personal skills.
How To Focus on Intangibles, Personal Skills, When Interviewing -
One of the secrets for hiring the best is to put a GREATER emphasis on personal skills by first determining the top seven personal skills that are most important for success in the job. And, next to begin LOOKING for those specific personal skills in ALL of your candidates.
While not every company is ready to use assessments to measure candidate's personal skills, EVERY company can EASILY create competency, behavioral-based interview questions that reveal a candidate's strength in each.
In this list of personal skills, from my Workshop and Book, you’ll notice that there are two personal skills that are found in all top performers: Personal Accountability and Time Management. As you are creating your list of top seven personal skills for your open position – I suggest you include these two on your list.
Focus on Personal Skills When Hiring - In Two Steps:
1) Pick the top seven personal skills needed for success in the job
2) Ask competency, behavioral-based interview questions – press for specifics
Hiring the Best:
Sample Personal Skills Lists for Supervisor,
Technical Sales Consultant and Race Car Driver
Here are sample personal skills lists for three positions for hiring the best: Supervisor, Technical Sales Consultant and Race Car Champion.
(Note – every position is different in every company. As you are selecting the top personal skills for your position, continually reference the top three to five performance expectations for your open position and select the Personal Skills key to those expectations.)
1) Relationship Skills
Race Car Champ
Hiring the Best: Luck, Intuition or Something Else?
ALWAYS a risk with hiring an ‘unknown’. You do not want to take a chance by relying on luck or intuition – no matter how lucky and intuitive you are!
NASCAR Champion Jimmy Johnson is a skilled race car driver, no doubt. His strong personal skills of being focused on results, personal accountability, initiative and more – are what set him apart from the crowd.
One of the secrets for hiring the best is to focus on intangibles (personal skills). Put more focus here and you’ll find your next Champion, and maybe a WHOLE TEAM of Champions!
Yea, now that’s what we
My Three Step Superior Performance Assessment Process is a simple, yet scientific hiring assessment process that helps you get:
Find out more here.
26 Personal Skills for Hiring the Best:
Attitude, Ability and Competence
1. Action Oriented - Performs work with energy and drive; takes quick, decisive action when an opportunity presents itself.
9. Learning and
Development - Is personally committed to and takes action toward
learning and implementing new ideas, methods and technologies.
Recognizes the need to change personal, professional, interpersonal, and
managerial behavior and actively seeks feedback.
10. Learning on
the Fly - Learns quickly when facing new problems; experiments and will
try anything to find solutions; enjoys the challenge of unfamiliar
18. Presentation Skills - Is
effective in a variety of formal and informal presentation settings; is
cognizant of audience response and is able to adapt content and style
***Personal Accountability & Time management are crucial Attitude, Ability and Competence Skills found in most all superior performers. These two Skills are important to more than 90% of all employer’s hiring worksheets and ideal candidates. You will probably want to include these two Attitude, Ability and Competence Skills on your Hiring Worksheet.