12 articles on how you can hire the best talent

12 articles on how you can hire the best talent

Based on my experience as an Occupational psychologist, I have put together what I consider to be the best articles to guide you when looking for the best talent to hire. The question most people ask themselves is; How do I hire the best talent? My research went into looking at all the aspects of hiring top talent and is based largely on scientific evidence. This list should be helpful to anyone seeking to improve their hiring process or anyone developing policies to support the whole recruitment and selection process. My heart bleeds when I see people not utilizing scientific knowledge to enrich their hiring process. Both scientific evidence and anecdotal evidence seem to indicate that those organizations with the best systems for hiring and selecting employees always outperform their peers, who do not adhere to best practices on the hiring front. In these articles you will also learn; What should you look for when hiring someone?

1. Finding The Most Exceptional Talent—The 1% Of The 1% by Kumar Mehta

This article goes to the route of what you need to know if you want to hire exceptional talent. Once you have read the article you should start thinking about revising how you are currently hiring your staff.

I take verbatim here what I consider to be the core lesson of this article.

“But through years of research, we now have enough data to know what goes into becoming exceptional. Whether you are recruiting an athlete, or you are hiring a CEO, or evaluating a startup founder, the qualities that lead to extreme success are the same.”

“Natural aptitude - The genes you are born with are responsible for 50% of your outcomes. You have to determine whether the individual you are considering has a natural aptitude for the role. Some traits you cannot develop; you are either born with them or not. Examples include power, speed, IQ, logical-mathematical ability, linguistic ability, and others. You can refine and improve these qualities, but you cannot create something out of nothing.”



2. Your Potential Model is Wrong by Marc Effron, President, The Talent Strategy Grou


This article focuses on how organizations can predict potential. The author presents an evidence-based argument that is difficult to ignore unless you do not believe in scientific evidence. He argues that you must separate prediction models for potential from those already used in predicting performance. This is a gem of an article if you want to develop both the performance prediction model and the potential prediction model. The good thing is all the propositions are backed by scientific evidence.

Intelligence: Good old-fashioned IQ accounts for around 30% of why we’re successful on the job. It’s still the largest known predictor of success in many situations, including our work performance. Many factors often cited as indicating high potential (i.e. learning fast in different situations, fast reaction, and processing time, “connects the dots,”) are components of Intelligence (7). This means that they’re performance factors first.”

Personality: Our personality is comprised of five factors that predict up to about 15% of our performance above what intelligence can predict. Of those five factors, however, only Conscientiousness (dependability, achievement, striving, planfulness) and Neuroticism/Emotional Stability (lack of anxiety, hostility, depression ad personal insecurity) predict performance, and Conscientiousness is the much more predictive factor. The other factors (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience) can explain very small amounts of performance in specific jobs (i.e. Extraversion in sales roles). Terms used to describe high potentials like “ambitious” or “aspire” are personality factors and are already accounted for when we predict performance (8).”

The Talent Strategy Group - Your Potential Model is Wrong (or at least not right) The ability to accurately predict potential is the Holy Grail of Human Resources – long-rumored, never found. Learn why what we know is true. diego The Talent Strategy Group


3. Why Promoting From Within Usually Beats Hiring From Outside by Susan Adams

As you design your recruitment and promotion policies it is wise to look at the findings presented here;

“The external hires made 18% more than the internal promotes in the same jobs. In addition to scoring worse on performance reviews, external hires were 61% more likely to be fired from their new jobs than those who had been promoted from within the firm. The external hires tended to have more education and experience than the internal hires, but Bidwell says employers don’t appreciate how important it is for workers to know the ropes of an organization.”



4. Is it worth hiring a star? The myth of talent portability by Alex Gozdek

Most organizations when they hire they want to base on the previous performance record of the individual. The key question therefore is; can an individual currently performing in one organization move to another organization and excel? The findings in this research-based article will help you when you design your hiring policy.

“Based on those results maybe you should ask yourself which is better – hiring stars already established on the market or breeding them internally? And it looks like employing top performers isn’t necessarily the best option. There are so many factors you need to consider apart from individual performance, like culture and company-specific attributes. According to a study, you cannot expect that hiring a top performer is going to help your team instantly. Especially if a company struggle with poor culture.”



5. Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? And what can we do about it? By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

In this article, you will get insights into what is wrong with the current leadership selection model and how to correct it. This article is based on scientific research, the advice is solid.

“The first solution is to follow the signs and look for the qualities that make people better leaders. There is a pathological mismatch between the attributes that seduce us in a leader and those that are needed to be an effective leader. If we want to improve the performance of our leaders, we should focus on the right traits. Instead of falling for people who are confident, narcissistic, and charismatic, we should promote people because of competence, humility, and integrity. Incidentally, this would also lead to a higher proportion of female than male leaders — large-scale scientific studies show that women score higher than men on measures of competence, humility, and integrity. But the point is that we would significantly improve the quality of our leaders.”



6. Want to improve recruiting? Start by learning from 100 years of research [Schmidt] by Itamar Goldminz

The research by Schmidt which is the basis of this article is seminal. It is a relook at 100 years of research on what predicts employee performance on the job. The author summarises the key findings which you can use immediately to reconfigure your hiring process. The good thing this is based on solid scientific evidence.

“The clear “winner” in its ability to predict job performance on a standalone basis according to Schmidt’s analysis is “General Mental Ability”. These are on average able to predict 65% of a candidate’s job performance. This represents a 14% increase in their predictive ability compared to the ’98 data, unseating “work-sample test” (’98–54%, ’16–33%). The average here only tells part of the story as more refined analysis suggests a significant difference in its predictive ability depending on job type: 74% for professional and managerial jobs, and 39% for unskilled jobs.”



7. How to reduce gender bias in your hiring process by Emilia Wietrak

This article summarises credible research on gender bias in the recruitment and selection process. The good thing the article gives you more than five takeaways that can be implemented immediately to improve your hiring process.

“According to the meta-analysis, jobs, where males are the majority of the workforce, are especially prone to gender discrimination. In these roles, men are more than 65% of employees, for example, CEO, IT consultant, or police officer (Kanter, 1977). The research confirms that we tend to select male applicants for these roles. In other words, female applicants have less chance of getting hired because of their gender. By contrast, gender preference seems not to occur for female-dominated (with a percentage of women higher than 65%, for example, journalist or nurse) or integrated jobs (with a percentage of women between 35% and 65%, for example, psychology professor). Although the size of the effect is small, its long-term consequences may be large. Unless we take action to reduce the impact of gender bias we won’t improve gender diversity in male-dominated roles.”



8. Emotional Intelligence can predict performance – but not as well as you might think  by Lorenzo Gallì

“The major findings presented in this article are that emotional intelligence does predict performance but not much. What is even more startling is the finding that emotional intelligence is no more than a facet of already well know personality traits.

{Dana Joseph along with Jing Jin, Daniel Newman, and Hernest O’Boyle (2015) looked at the correlation between emotional intelligence and job performance, among other variables, through a meta-analysis of the data from 15 meticulously selected studies. Their study can be considered the most up-to-date and trustworthy source of information on the subject at the moment.”

“They found that emotional intelligence correlates moderately (0.29) with job performance as evaluated by supervisors. This means that emotional intelligence can predict only 8.4% of your people’s performance. This moderate degree of correlation between EI and job performance is not as strong, or practically useful, as most EI advocates usually claim.”

“For example, in a review of six different emotional intelligence tests, content experts found that 42% of questions were direct measures of emotional stability, which is a different, well-known personality trait (De Raad, 2005). Emotional intelligence scales also strongly overlap with “self-control” and “industriousness”, which are parts of another personality trait, conscientiousness. Along with emotional stability and conscientiousness, five other factors are often indicated as constructs that emotional intelligence has “borrowed” “



9. What’s Wrong with Job Interviews, and How to Fix Them by Adam Grant

In this article, Adam Grant looks at the interview methods for selecting employees. As you may be aware, the interview is one of the most popular selection methods but it has terrible shortcomings, which are clearly articulated here:

“Interviews are terrible predictors of job performance. Consider a rigorous, comprehensive analysis of hundreds of studies of more than 32,000 job applicants over 85 years by Frank Schmidt and Jack Hunter. They covered more than 500 different jobs—including salespeople, managers, engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, mechanics, reporters, farmers, pharmacists, electricians, and musicians—and compared information gathered about applicants to the objective performance that they achieved in the job.”

“After obtaining basic information about candidates’ abilities, standard interviews only accounted for 8% of the differences in performance and productivity. Think about it this way: imagine that you interviewed 100 candidates, ranked them in order from best to worst, and then measured their actual performance in the job. You’d be lucky if you put more than eight in the right spot.”



10. Job Interviews Have Become Predictable and Ineffective – Here Are 10 Ways to Change That by Dr. John Sullivan

In this article, Dr. John Sullivan shares evidence on why the interview in its current form is a terrible selection tool. He goes on to give solutions to address the shortcomings.

“For example, Leadership IQ found that and an astounding 46% of all new hires fail within 18 months. Google research found that the unstructured interviews used by most simply don’t predict on-the-job performance. Here’s what Google found: “Interviews are a terrible predictor of performance.” “Many managers, recruiters, and HR staffers think they have a special ability to sniff out talent. They’re wrong… It’s a complete random mess… We found a zero relationship.” (Laszlo Bock) “



11. Hiring Isn’t Rocket Science: Why the Most Boring Strategy Is Best bLaszlo Bock

This article is about correcting the common flaws found in job interviews. If you want to realign your interview process this is the right article for you. Here is what the author said.

“This brings us to interviews. Asking behavioral questions (something like, “Give me an example of a time when you solved an analytically difficult problem”) will get you two kinds of information: one is you get to see how the candidate interacted in a real-world situation, and the valuable “meta” information you get about the candidate is a sense of what they consider to be difficult.

“Ask candidates a consistent set of questions, in the same order, with clear criteria to assess the quality of responses. This ensures that any variation in responses is a result of the candidate’s performance, not because an interviewer has particularly high or low standards, or asked harder or easier questions.”



12. Experience Doesn’t Predict a New Hire’s Success by Alison Beard

When hiring new employees do not bank too much on experience. In this article, Alison Beard using solid scientific research found no link between experience and job performance. These findings should allow you to rethink your recruitment and selection process.

Chad H. Van Iddekinge of Florida State University and his colleagues reviewed 81 studies to investigate the link between an employee’s prior work experience and his or her performance in a new organization. They found no significant correlation between the two. Even when people had completed tasks, held roles, or worked in functions or industries relevant to their current ones, it did not translate into better performance. The conclusion: Experience doesn’t predict a new hire’s success.”



How do you hire and retain top talent?

Once talent has been hired, the next question is on how to retain them. Once you get the best talent, you can invest in the retention of these people knowing that you did get the best and they will give you the best value. There is no point in investing in retention strategies to retain people who do not add value to your business.


Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant - at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +263 77 2356 361 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com

Memory Nguwi
Super User
This article was written by Memory a Super User at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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