Hiring: Winning at the Game
March 19, 2007

Hiring Talent

Hiring is like a game of strategy. If you don't play this game well, with the right strategy, you might as well be rolling dice or spinning a roulette wheel. The ball goes just round and round...

Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said once that most companies are so bad at finding the right person for a job that they have no idea whether their hiring process is even effective.

A study performed at Michigan State said that with all positions, from entry level to chairman, the typical employment interview is in the neighborhood of between seven and eleven percent more accurate than flipping a coin.

Upping Your Level of Strategy at the Game

Okay, so most of us don't want to trust the hiring of talent in the organization if it is just a hair better than a coin flip, but that is what is happening in many companies. For example, just because a person was a good systems analyst or building projects manager, doesn't mean that he or she understands the hiring process.

Also, just because someone invented Post It notes or a new way to wire your computers, doesn't mean that he or she has the right skills for your job opening.

Yet, with today's hyper growth demands in the face of an increasingly tight market for skilled employees, it is hard to find a balance between getting in the hiring game quickly, regardless of strategy, and developing a process that will increase your chances of winning highly qualified talent.

So how do you answer the burning hiring needs of an organization in a world that demands both "fast" and "right"?

Getting Your Team Prepared with Game-Winning Strategy

Some employers have hiring schemes that are formal, while other organizations hire informally. Regardless of which approach that your managers and team leaders take, they need to be trained on the following game winning strategies:

  • Defining what you're looking for through the position description, job competencies and questioning strategies.
  • Planning the interview through sourcing, resume screening, the interview team and identifying the great reasons to work at your organization.
  • Conducting the interview in an appropriate climate and being able to respond to challenging interviewee questions.
  • Making the selection using a set of decision-making guidelines and evaluating and communicating with candidates.

Training Can Impact Your Strategy

Giving your managers the understanding and the tools they need to hire right the first time is truly the only way to approach hiring. Otherwise, your ability for the ball to land on the winning number or to select the right people is hit or miss. If you are lucky you'll win or select the right person most of the time, but what if you're not lucky? Isn't it better to have the right strategy? That strategy has to include clear, well- defined processes that are justified.

When you have a candidate who turns out to be a productive, happy and positive employee, you've won. Hiring Winning Talent is the program that provides your managers with the tools needed to master the art of identifying and winning new employees who will perform in the top 20%.

Quote for the Week

"If you hire mediocre people, they will hire mediocre people." - Tom Murphy, American Businessman


Levinson, M. (July 2007). How to Hire so You Don't Have to Fire. CIO Magazine.

Vital Learning Corporation (2007). Hiring Winning Talent.

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