Make the Right Hire the First Time
Research shows that most employers make a decision on a job applicant during the first four minutes and 20 seconds of the interview. This susceptibility to first impression is natural, but hiring an employee based on ‘gut feeling’ is a reckless business move. There is more you can do to make an informed decision about the people you bring into your office.
Let’s imagine that you have two finalists for your RDA position:
1. Mary works in a nearby office but is being “downsized”. During the interview she seemed sharp and organized. Although she claimed that she is a team player, she appeared independent and aloof. Additionally you and all the employees who met Mary feel she is “too serious”. She has three years of experience.
2. Elizabeth seems to be in her late 20’s. She went through assistant training a few years ago and has worked for an agency, but now wants full time work. She has a smile that puts one at ease and a very attractive personality. More ‘bubbly’ than Mary, she presents as an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual. Everyone, including you, wants to hire Elizabeth.
Studies have shown that the interview is one of the most flawed parts of the hiring process. Applicants with good social skills frequently fare better than reserved or shy people. Furthermore, there is tremendous personal bias in the interview – we gravitate to the people we like rather than evaluating the person-job goodness of fit.
To strengthen your hiring accuracy, reduce subjectivity as much as possible. Interviews measure social skills, not job suitability. Individuals who create a positive impression are viewed as more capable than quiet or nervous applicants. Might this be the case with Mary and Elizabeth? How could you find out?
McKenzie Management’s Employee Assessment Test measures 12 essential personality traits so you know how closely your candidate or existing employee matches the profiles of peak performers in the dental industry. You have objective data to help you determine suitability for one of four dental positions. The test strictly adheres to legal guidelines for employment testing. Let’s look at the results.
Elizabeth’s report explained why everyone liked her so much. She is socially bold, dominant and extraverted. Interestingly, you now remember a comment Elizabeth made about her agency assignments; “No one appreciates how good I am”. Despite her million dollar smile and can-do attitude, the Employee Assessment Test confirms that she is overly confident and believes her way is best. She will be difficult to train and unlikely to be deferential. If she were hired into your office there are strong indications that she will be ‘high maintenance’ and potentially the ‘diva’. Employees with Elizabeth’s profile often cause workplace drama.
The test results indicate that Mary is an accommodating and socially cautious person. High in self-control, she needs to familiarize herself with people before she opens up. That explains why she was so reserved with you and your team. She scored high on conscientiousness, dependability and agreeableness. With time and mentoring, she will adjust easily to the culture of your practice. Combined with her experience, credible references and these test results, Mary is clearly the #1 choice.
Many personnel problems are the result of a job misfit due to poor hiring practices. When it comes to predicting human behavior, there is no silver bullet. But testing offers insights that interviews, references or work samples simply cannot. Testing helps you coach and motivate your employees in the way they each need, ensuring a loyal staff and maximum performance.
Confronting your own hiring processes is time-consuming upfront, but the investment will yield large dividends. Good hires will ensure a more successful and productive office, better patient service, and new referrals. With the increasing importance on interpersonal effectiveness for job success, dentists who add pre-employment testing to their hiring process will have a strategic advantage. The pay-off is higher caliber employees who work harder and stay longer…and this ultimately helps your bottom-line!
If you’d like a sample report of McKenzie’s Employee Assessment Test, email Dr. Haller at email@example.com.
Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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