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How to hire for behavior

With today’s talent scarcity, it can be a challenge to find the right people to hire, especially in highly technical roles. Currently, educational institutions are partnering with employers in sectors that are facing this dearth of qualified candidates, and the hope is that schools will soon lead to sufficient numbers of qualified people to replace the ones retiring and serve people. However, there are situations in which employers need to expand their candidate pools beyond the slim group of technical experts. Oliver Group recommends doing this with a behavioral assessment that will find people that are behaviorally suited for a role and are equipped to learn the technical aspects. Hire for the behavior, and then train for skills. Here’s how:

Oliver Group works with clients to help them determine the best behavioral fit for the role.  Several factors are analyzed, including:

  • Job performance (key result areas)
  • Specific job requirements (education, experience, skills)
  • Company requirements (cultural fit, values)
  • Co-workers to be around the role (boss, peers)
  • Behaviors

While the first four factors all are important to consider, with the exception of highly technical roles that require licensing, we find that looking at the behavior is the most important component to determine optimal performance in a role.  The PRO is a tool provided that hiring parties utilize to determine the types of behaviors required for the best performance, and then candidates completing the Predictive Index® Survey can be compared to the optimal behaviors matching that template.  Through this template we can see the motives that drive work and more importantly, the specific ways that people derive their individual sense of achievement, recognition and meaning of work.

For many roles, the behavioral traits are often vital to success of the new hire; skills and other required activities can be taught, but personalities do not change.  Furthermore, looking for someone with related skills outside a particular industry can open up the candidate pool considerably for a company seeking fresh talent.  Hire for the behavior, and teach the skills.

And keep in mind that skills can vary. Skills may require specific education and licensing, and they also can encompass leadership skills. There is a way to get the people you need and want for your organization, even when they’re scarce: expand your candidate pool by thinking about the training you can provide, and give more people with high potential a chance to learn and grow with your organization.

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