The hiring process is one of the most essential, and difficult, decisions within a company. As author Jim Collins shares in his book Good to Great, the best leaders, “start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” The question is, how can you identify those right people? With the severe cost of employee turnover in finances, time and company culture, the question is as urgent as ever.

 

The Importance of Soft Skills

The phrase, “hiring for hard skills and firing for soft skills” has become commonplace, a symptom of a deeper issue. Leaders tend to measure the potential of success in a candidate through the tangible metrics of experience, education and qualifying skills. However, as Jay Niblick, Founder and CEO of Innermetrix Incorporated and author of What’s Your Genius, shares, “most leaders fail to effectively understand just what it is that dictates success or failure in individual performance.”

These so-called “soft skills,” or as Niblick describes them, “the unseen natural talents, motivations and behavioral strengths of an individual,” are essential aspects of the potential for an individual’s success in any given role in a company. In fact, we suggest assessing them as “human skills,” to highlight their role in employee performance. So why aren’t they reviewed more thoroughly in the hiring process? Well, as the saying goes, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

 

ADVanced Insights

Niblick explains, “We can try to make decisions based on observations on the outside, but we know that medicine has become so much more accurate because of diagnostic tools that give us insight to things that are hidden inside. As a coach if I don’t understand that each individual is unique and their own variables play a role in how they’re performing and why problems exist, if I don’t have a way of measuring those unique individual variables, then I miss the boat.”

It was this dilemma that prompted Niblick to establish the Innermetrix ADVanced Insights Profile. Combining the Attribute Index, the DISC Index and the Values Index into a single report, the Insights Profile allowed him to, “look at three different aspects of the human condition.” Why these three tools? Niblick shared, “Each one of them looks through a different angle at the same subject. These tools allow me as a coach to diagnose what was driving the problems in the clients we work with. We’re talking about taking intangibles and making them tangible.

 

Ask Yourself

As a leader, be sure you address the following questions during the hiring process:

THE WHAT: What talents do you need this person to possess? Niblick explains, “these aren’t skills we learn as much as raw abilities that result from the way in which we think.” Examples include decision-making, problem-solving, diplomacy, pragmatism and flexibility.

THE WHY: Why should this person use these talents? What values motivate them? Niblick says, “even if someone has the natural talent to do the work, if they don’t get excited about it, performance suffers.” From creating worth to achieving freedom, serving to learning, everyone is motivated in different ways. Do these motivations align with your company culture?

THE HOW: How should this person use their talents? Should they be assertive, required to take a leadership role? Or are you looking for a supportive, detail-oriented executor?

 

Can’t They Be Learned?

But just how important are “human skills” in this era of information and accessibility? Can’t any new employee be trained in company culture and the skills the role requires? Niblick disagrees. “Some skills can be learned,” he explains. “With education I can become a better public speaker. But the skills that we measure are not acquirable. I can’t change the way my mind is wired.”

Hiring decisions are critical. The cost of hiring an employee who lacks the attributes, values and talents that your role, and company, require is often disastrous. The effects it could have on your company culture might last longer than the financial cost of the re-hiring process. That’s why it’s essential to make the right decision, and consider all the metrics, whether tangible or intangible.

 

 

Summary


As a leader, be sure you address the following questions during the hiring process:

THE WHAT: What talents do you need this person to possess? Niblick explains, “these aren’t skills we learn as much as raw abilities that result from the way in which we think.” Examples include decision-making, problem-solving, diplomacy, pragmatism and flexibility.

THE WHY: Why should this person use these talents? What values motivate them? Niblick says, “even if someone has the natural talent to do the work, if they don’t get excited about it, performance suffers.” From creating worth to achieving freedom, serving to learning, everyone is motivated in different ways. Do these motivations align with your company culture?

THE HOW: How should this person use their talents? Should they be assertive, required to take a leadership role? Or are you looking for a supportive, detail-oriented executor?

Jay Niblick

Jay Niblick

Founder and CEO of Innermetrix Inc.

Jay Niblick is the Founder and CEO of Innermetrix Incorporated, a professional consulting and technology firm with over 1,700 consultants in 42 countries.

He holds multiple technology trademarks and copyrights on psychometric instruments and consultative methodologies relating to identifying and maximizing human talent. Jay is the Bestselling author of:

  • The Attribute Index diagnostic profile
  • The DISC Index behavioral profile
  • The Values Index motivational instrument
  • The Organizational Health Checkup
  • What’s Your Genius – How the Best Think for Success 
  • The Profitable Consultant – Starting, Growing and Selling Your Expertise

 

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