One of the biggest challenges in business is getting our teams to perform. Whether it’s sales or marketing, delivery or accounting, it’s all the same. 

Typically, our process to drive team performance goes like this: 

  1. Recruit talented professionals 
  2. Figure out how to get these professionals to perform 
  3. Profit! 

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of talent optimization, you might not see anything wrong with this process.  

But let’s really think this through – is it the most efficient way to achieve our goals? 

The Problem with Driving Performance After the Hire 

We spend so much time and money trying to get teams to function after we hire them. We call in consultants and schedule training sessions. We utilize performance tools, offer perks, provide pay raises, and so forth. 

As leaders, we pour so many resources into making sure our teams perform…but we know these methods only go so far. Although these tools are helpful and necessary, it’s time we recognized the flaw in our thinking here. 

Inspiring performance is only half the battle. The other half of the battle is making sure we hire the right person for the job in the first place! 

Typical Candidate Selection Processes Are Awful 

We know that picking the right candidate is never easy. But when you look at the numbers, people are way worse at candidate selection than you think. 

Here are some statistics to put the issue in perspective (as reported by Dr. John Sullivan in a great article on 

  • 46% of all new hires fail within 18 months 
  • 50% of all hourly employees quit or are fired within their first 6 months 
  • 40-60% of management new hires fail within 18 months 
  • 50% of new executive hires fail within their first 18 months 
  • And nearly 40% of CEOs fail outright within their first 18 months 

As Dr. Sullivan points out…if any other business process demonstrated such high failure rates, heads would roll! 

What if we spent more resources ensuring we selected the right candidate in the first place? What if we stopped relying on gut feel to choose candidates?  

People Analytics Are Essential Here 

Businesses now use data to guide almost every decision and process. The rapid advances in tech have changed almost every business, making us more efficient and more effective. However, the candidate selection process is still stuck in the past. The only difference is we review a candidate’s qualifications on LinkedIn versus on paper! 

Science offers a solution here. With cutting-edge people analytics, businesses can actually predict how and why an individual will behave a certain way in certain situations.  

We know that interviews and resumes don’t give us all the information we need to consistently make great hires. If they did, you wouldn’t be reading this article! With scientifically validated people analytics, companies can dig deeper to understand why a candidate behaves a certain way and see if that aligns with their open position.  

Ask Yourself if Your Hiring Process Supports Your Business Objectives 

95% of business success starts with making the right hires. If you can’t hire the right people, you can’t execute on your business plan. If you hire the wrong people, performance suffers, customer experience takes a hit, and profits fall. Aside from the people or person who founded the business, it all starts with hiring the right people. 

With that in mind – are you giving your team the tools they need to select the right candidates? If not, I strongly suggest you reconsider why that is! The success of your business will depend on it. 

If you’d like to learn more about people analytics, I invite you to take this complementary behavioral assessment from the Predictive Index. Click here to take the assessment – it’s only two questions and takes about six minutes. You might be surprised about how accurate it is! 


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