Tim Sackett, SPHR, recently wrote an interesting blog post about ‘highly selective’ employers. Many employers take pride in their rate of hiring compared to their volume of applications. Yet citing research from Time Magazine about selective universities, Sackett questioned whether quantity of applications was an accurate measure of selectivity or quality in the hiring process: “Just because you turn down a high number of candidates doesn’t make you more selective. It makes you popular.”
Sackett proposes that “quality of hire” could be a strong measure of how selective a company is, but he acknowledges the measure is entirely subjective.
The intangible and subjective facets of “quality of hire” almost always stem from company culture. When a company understands their company culture and their values, they can still use some key indicators to gauge fit.
One factor in determining the quality of a hire that is objective is their work performance. Are they working hard and producing? Are they over-delivering and raising their own standards? The answers to these questions can be determined through regular performance reviews.
Here are a few objective and subjective ways to measure quality of hire:
Subjective: They express and live company values
The employee understands what the company stands for. They not only know the company’s values, but they practice them on a daily basis. Beyond values, it’s clear this employee knows the company’s strategic goals, and they understand how their role contributes to these in the short- and long-term.
Living and communicating these values is a strong sign that an employee was a great hire for a company. This employee is already a brand advocate, both internally and externally, and they are more likely to stay and grow in the organization.
Subjective: They have real friendships in the office
Their relationships in the office are more than professional: they know their teammates and coworkers on a personal level, too. They have close friends at work, but they’re also approachable and can chat with anyone in the office. They spend time with colleagues outside of work and they know what’s going in their lives, from weddings and births to crises or tough times.
These employees likely have the trust, confidence, and respect of their peers. They can work with anyone, and they do. They positively contribute to the atmosphere and culture of the office, making them a great hire.
Subjective: They’re involved
Rec sports teams, company committees, volunteering efforts… this employee is participating. They add their ideas, they encourage others to participate, and they have fun. They love working with other departments, collaborating on office projects, and starting new groups. They thrive on being part of the action.
Objective: They understand accountability
No matter how companies’ cultures and values vary, every company likely values accountability in their employees. The best hires understand this from day one. They hold themselves accountable: to their deliverables, to their manager, to their peers, to the company. They feel accountable to the company’s mission, and they hold their colleagues accountable as well. When they make a mistake, they own it and share the lesson with others so everyone can learn.
Objective: They lead positive and effective change
They understand the organization’s values and culture, but they are also committed to improving: they aren’t afraid to suggest changes, big or small. Whether it’s a more efficient work process for their team or an idea for a new company tradition, they’re dedicated to the company’s growth. On a personal level, they try to find ways every day to improve their own performance.
Objective: They produce
They do great work. They work hard to hit their goals, and they go out of their way to help their team. They set a precedent for excellence, and they regularly surpass it. Others ask them for help with projects or request their feedback. They not only fit in the company culture, but they help the company accomplish its strategic and revenue goals as well.