5 Reasons to Hire For Behavior Over Experience

Traditional hiring is changing. Competitive companies are hiring for behavior over experience in order to extend their business advantage. Traditional job descriptions often have unrealistic requirements that make sourcing applicants difficult, delay hiring, reduce productivity, and ultimately give your competitors the advantage.

Increase your company’s competitive advantage by opening the door to growth – hire for aptitude and behavior first, skills and knowledge second, experience last. Be strong, This competitive method for today workforce goes against much of the traditional institutionalized hiring thinking and process in the US (and other Westernized economies).

The Issue

Traditional hiring and applicant screening has recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources professionals looking for candidates that often don’t exist. They look first for candidates that have the “x” number of years experience doing 5 or 6 critical activities in a previous job.

The Truth

Unfortunately, most employees today want to contribute much more than what they did 5 years ago, and even last year. Only the lesser applicants will take a new job with a new company, for the same pay, doing exactly the same thing for another 5 years.

For both Skilled Temporary Staffing and Direct Hires and There are five questions to ask that can accelerate organization development, hiring, achieving company objectives for productivity and ultimately, competitive advantage. Restated, it’s easy to find someone that will do the work tasks to do today; it’s much harder to find workers that will ensure your competitive advantage over the long-run.

These questions are key to attracting the best and brightest employees to your organization.

  1. What can the applicant do? Don’t myopically only consider the applicant’s past experience, current skills and knowledge.  Hire exceptional contributors that demonstrate positive growth-oriented workplace behavior that drives business objectives. Moving through many job roles of increasing responsibiltiy is a behavior pattern of continual knowledge and skill development.  Traditional management and human resources incorrectly call this “job hopping.”
  2. What past behavior do you want to acquire in your organization? Do you want people that have done the same thing over and over for years, and will do the same thing for years to come? Or do you want to bring people into your organization that build a culture of learning and growing? To be an innovative and competitive company, you need learning and growing. What people will do tomorrow is very different than last month, and last year – but instead is a greater contribution than the year before.
  3. What do patterns of learning and growing look like? No job you have to offer an applicant is precisely the same as the one they have now, or had in the past. The product is different, the processes are different or the management and people are different or you are not competitive. It’s much better to look for applicants that have talent, and behavior pattern that show they can learn what they need to know to contribute in your organization.
  4. Are you looking for a purple squirrel? Employee tenure is much shorter than it was 25 years ago. Fundamentally this is a change that is driven by a number of factors. But at the root of it all, it’s hard to find anyone with 10 years, or even 5 years experience doing the same job. The applicant that has 10+ years of experience doing the job you want them to do, for another long-tenure, is unlikely going to exist. All those years of experience you think you need, may well just be driving turnover costs. 
  5. Are you listening to your recruiter and staffing firm as a partner? Often, your staffing agency and recruiter is able to identify exceptional aptitude and positive behavior better than internal staff involved. They are unbiased. They may be telling you about candidates that will launch growth for you. Have an open mind and discuss the potential of applicants. The one all the job description check-boxes may have another limiting factor that will prevent your company from achieving its goals.

One can see that this extends into direct hire, and a necessary shift of hiring managers, human resources professionals, and other leaders, toward hiring to get the work done AND grow into a contributing member of the organization for tomorrow. Hiring someone who has done a job for 10 years, previously, may be growing tired of that job – which is a risk for turnover, low-productivity and even safety and liability risk.

Barton Staffing Solutions has experts on staff working with employer’s hiring managers, human resources professionals and internal teams to get great people on their teams. This accelerates corporate objectives and your competitive advantage. Whether its temporary staffing or internal direct hires, we’re here to help. Call us today.

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