How to Find High-Performing, Responsible Employees

Ken Larson

All leaders talk about the importance of identifying core customers and core values.
But what about your core employees? Your most important resource is your people, and here’s why:

The average cost of a bad hire is estimated at 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings.
This can scale up to 15x that employee’s annual salary.

 

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh once estimated that bad hires had cost his company “well over $100 million.”

 

If it’s so costly to hire the wrong people, why aren’t companies putting more effort into hiring the right people?

Relying on impressive resumes is no longer enough, as there’s much more that contributes to perfecting the hiring process, like judging culture fit.
Most skills listed on the typical applicant’s resume are trainable and can be learned over time.

However, your goal shouldn’t be to simply find the most talented people in their field.

You should look for what I call the “Rare Responsible People” within the select group of individuals you’d like to bring in for final interviews.

Hint:
These people will not only have the necessary skills that can skyrocket your business, but they also have traits like common sense and a determination to take ownership of tasks and failures. Most people don’t have these positive characteristics.
 

Hiring smarter immensely increases the possibility of positive employee impact. Click To Tweet  

Discover the rare responsible people that fit your culture properly with these helpful steps.
 

5 Steps to Identify & Leverage Untrainable Skills

 

1) Identify your current top talent.

Who are the top five employees within your entire organization?
It may surprise you how many leaders in your organization choose the same top employees.

I recently facilitated this exercise with one of my clients, and nine different leaders wrote the same employee’s name in the top spot.
That person is the ideal core employee!
 

2) What are their most admirable traits?

Why couldn’t you live without these five people?
Identify 5-7 skills or characteristics you appreciate about these employees (i.e. work ethic, resourcefulness, determination, commitment, honesty, student mentality, sense of humor, “self-starter” attitude).

Remember, this list should be comprised of characteristics and qualities you simply cannot teach.
People either have these at their core, or they don’t.
 

3) Start defining these traits.

Brainstorm short phrases for each trait (i.e. always gives their best, never gives up, hungry for knowledge, always doing something in the best interest of the company, continuous desire to improve, passionate about client success, etc.).

These phrases will be helpful when creating future position descriptions as your business scales.
 

4) Rank & score your current personnel.

Ranking yourself and others will help you evaluate which employees need coaching and who may no longer be a proper culture fit.

Use a 1-10 scale.
Instruct other leaders to do the same, independently. Then compare and discuss.
 

5) Utilize the results and implement changes to your hiring framework.

Use your list of untrainable traits to frame your interview questions.
If you go beyond the standard, mediocre interview questions, formatting them around the traits you’re hunting for, you’ll be on track to find the right people.
What are the best questions you can ask during the interview process to uncover those traits?

Remember to keep the questions open-ended, and always ask for multiple examples to illustrate consistency.

 

Imagine if 100% of your employees exemplified the majority of these core, untrainable skills.

 

Taking the time to find the right people — the ones who really gel well within your culture — will have exponential results for the company over time.

If you need more information on how to structure a high-quality, strategic hiring process, let’s talk. 

core values