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Job Benchmarking improves hiring process

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners who want to experience the highest levels of happiness and success must strive to retain top talent and increase the productivity of their teams. Many owners find themselves stumped as to how to actually accomplish this, however. The most important and effective place to start is at the beginning.

When new team members are hired through the usual means, they typically start out strong. Without attention to ongoing training and effective management, though, their productivity usually falls off over time and they’ll likely move on or require replacement. This will put you in the position of having to go through the lengthy, time consuming and often frustrating and expensive process of attracting, hiring and training someone new.

Extensive studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of  a team member’s annual salary. The costs are high because they include not only loss of revenue, productivity and training expenses, but also the time, energy and stress involved with hiring someone new. When you add up all of these factors and spread them across the entire time your business has been operating, it’s easy to see your bottom line has taken a significant hit and will continue to do so until you make a change in your hiring process.

The average business hires new talent through a standard process of placing advertisements, accepting applications and resumes, interviewing “qualified” candidates, asking a few routine questions and then hiring based on who’s liked the most.

Without an in-depth analysis and real understanding of the position itself — it’s high payoff activities — and the type of person who will perform the job at its highest levels, the success ratio falls off quickly.

This is where Job Benchmarking comes in. Through the statistically accurate and proven process of Job Benchmarking, errors in the hiring process all but disappear as biases are eliminated and clarity is produced.

The first phase involves meeting with  subject matter experts — one to five team members who have a direct connection or experience with the position to be filled — to clearly define the position and identify its key accountabilities. This is done from the perspective of the job itself: What activities need to be done on a consistent basis and what type of person will it take to perform the job at its highest levels?

During the next phase of this highly effective process, I work closely with subject matter experts to rank individual key accountabilities in order of importance and time requirements. I then guide them through the completion of the job assessment, where they indicate the competencies, motivators, values and behaviors the person hired will need to perform the job at the highest possible level.

Once the job benchmark is finalized, the next step is to identify the most qualified candidates and have each one complete a simple online candidate assessment. A report compares each candidate’s assessment results to the identified parameters created in the job benchmark. This sophisticated tool provides clear-cut, non-biased information revealing the person best suited for the job.

During the final phase of the process, we use the solid hiring information in hand and interview the top candidate using behavioral-based methods and explain the key accountabilities of the position. This procedure clearly defines the position and manages the expectations of the new hire. After the person is hired, I also work with them for successful on-boarding and further development of their behaviors and competencies for optimal job performance.

The benefits of Job Benchmarking for hiring new talent are numerous and powerful. Studies have shown that when done correctly, productivity improves 30 percent and retention increases 50 percent. Productivity rises because the person’s behaviors and competencies align well with the requirements of the job. Retention increases because personal motivators match the necessary motivators for the position. Symmetry between the job and new hire takes job performance and team member satisfaction to new heights.

The rewards of Job Benchmarking to the company, its team members and customers are inescapable. As biases are removed and clarity and alignment created, the door to successful hiring appears.

If you want to hire and retain top talent and increase your team’s productivity, the highly accurate and extremely useful process of Job Benchmarking could be just what you need and what you’ve have been searching for.

Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! Inc. in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives that are filled with happiness and success. He is the winner of the 2011 International Coach of the Year Award, and is also the author of “Is It Fun Being You?.” He is available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub by phone at 208-3150, by e-mail at marcus@lifeisgreatcoaching.com or on the website at www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.
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