Companies and hiring managers spend many hours and high dollars sourcing candidates, screening candidates, interviewing candidates, background checking candidates, negotiating offers and training new hires. New hires spend many sleepless nights wondering if they made the right choice and months of on the job learning to get a handle on the new company’s policies, procedures, people, politics and location of their desk in relation to the break room and restrooms. And despite all this money, effort and heartache almost half of all new employees fail to make the grade.
According to a recent study by Leadership IQ, 46% of all newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, while only 19% will achieve unequivocal success. The remaining 35% fall somewhere between “Wow I made a good hire” and “I’m sorry but things are just not working out like I thought”. Contrary to popular belief, technical skills are not the primary reason why new hires fail. Instead, poor interpersonal skills dominate the list; flaws, which many of their managers admit, were overlooked during the interview process. The study followed 5247 hiring managers from 312 different businesses and organizations and found that 26% of new hires failed from poor coachability or the inability to accept feedback and implement changes; 23% failed because of poor emotional intelligence or the ability to understand and manage their personal emotions and the emotions of those with whom they work; 17% lacked sufficient motivation or drive to excel on the job; 15% lacked the attitude and personality suited to that particular job and work environment; finally only 11% failed due to technical competencies required to do the job.
While performing career counseling with people of all ages and technical competencies I practically insist that the people I work with understand what really makes them tick. Career success depends a great deal on finding the right job fit relative to the individual’s personality type, work style, definition of success, goals and attitude toward work. There are several very effective testing instruments and resources available as well as constructive personal coaching to bring these traits to the surface. How a person most effectively interacts with others, identifies success and clarifies their work life values is critical pre-work all persons involved in a career change should undertake.
As a full-cycle talent management firm we encourage employers to consider attitude and fit the most crucial attributes to assess when making a hiring decision. Most new hires can be taught new technical requirements while attempting to change a person’s personality is nearly impossible. Our mantra for hiring managers is “Hire attitude, train skills”. Training dollars and efforts are always more successfully spent teaching technical skills. When interviewing candidates we suggest a behaviorally based interview model to help interviewers identify behaviors that candidates usually exhibit to achieve success. It is easier for a hiring manager to make hiring decisions based on quantifiable results and experience than to assess the behaviors that define success. Likewise it is often easier to seek a new job based on past experience rather that best fit for this particular stage in the job seekers life.
Job hunters must spend the time and efforts necessary to establish the right fit when locating a new job or company and hiring managers should screen candidates for their ability to fit the new job or environment. Workers and jobs that fit together in the beginning have the best opportunity for long-term success.