How can you tell how well a candidate can do your job?

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Not surprisingly the best indicator of whether the candidate you are considering is actually going to be able to perform the job you are hiring them for is to look at their job history. If they have successfully done the job before that is the best sign they can do it for you too. But there are caveats:

  • Is the job substantially the same?
  • Will they have the same opportunity (a classic case is the BDM that blows the doors off at one office but fails at the next because their lead sources dry up)
  • How different is the culture?
  • How different is the boss?
  • Have they really had ten years’ experience or is it one year’s experience repeated ten times?

All in all though, past experience is the best predictor of future performance – which is why experienced candidates are in demand.

However, what if your candidate does not have experience, or if your role is unique or different enough to render experience less useful?

The next best predictor of performance is a combination of a structured interview with some form of aptitude testing.

We covered interviewing last month so we will talk testing here:

  • The sort of testing we are talking about could be what you know as IQ testing. That is, does this person have the ability to learn what needs to be learned.
  • Other potential tests are skills testing. You can access skills tests for all sorts of activities from Word and Excel skills to job based skills.
  • Another popular type of test is a personality profile such as a DISC profile. These tests can give you some great insights into how the person will approach the work as well as the team (and the team fit) and how best to manage them.
  • Finally there is EQ testing – emotional intelligence. These are great for team fit and roles such as BDMs.

There is not a one size that fits all but if you can get in the habit of testing it will help with benchmarking as well as team building and you will be able to develop a “right fit” of tests and results that works for you to give you that little but more confidence you are making a good hire.


Got a question, or looking for support with your next job position?

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