Hiring Strategy Differentiators and 7 Mistakes to Avoid

March 5, 2019

I was working with the leadership team of an insurance company in Mexico to help them create a talent optimization strategy. I asked them questions about their business strategy, goals, tactics and the competition. They were very clear on where they were going and how they were going to get there.

Then, I asked them a simple question, why should a customer choose you? What differentiates you from the competition? There was silence. Everyone looked at the CEO and the CEO looked back at them.

It was at that point that the Head of HR spoke up and said, “Quality! Quality is what differentiates us. When we send out a policy, we get it right every time.” Everyone started to shake their heads in approval. “We hear from our customers time and time again that they don’t mind spending a little bit more money for our policies because of their confidence in our brand and they know their loved ones won’t have any problems when it comes time to collect the insurance payment.”

Once they all agreed that Quality was a key differentiator, it was time to look at their company positions and which positions directly impacted the quality of their product. I asked, “In which roles is quality important? In which roles can mistakes be made with little impact and in which roles does even a small error make a big impact? As it turns out, the role that had the greatest impact on quality was not the CEO position, nor the Head of Sales, nor the Chief Actuary. It was the person who keyed the policies into the system and did a final review to make sure everything was correct. This surprised everyone. They said, “How could this simple role make such a difference?” I think some were disappointed that their role wasn’t the most important in the company.

Once we knew which position was critical to differentiating their company, we started to explore what leads to high performance in this role. “What qualities or traits make a good quality checker and what qualities and traits make a bad quality checker? I asked.” They learned that many of the important qualities a person needed to be successful in this role were not things that could be learned easily, but were character or personality traits. In other words, things that came naturally to some people and not to others. For example, the quality checker role required people who were good at and liked doing detailed-oriented work, adhering to rules and policies, closely checking their work and those of others, and the list went on.

I noticed the group was starting to get a little anxious at this newly found information. Because, as it turns out, the company was getting ready to introduce a new product and expecting a lot of growth. “That’s good news!” I said. “But we need more good quality checkers!” So I asked them, “How do you know a job candidate has the qualities you need to be a high performer?” Again, great discussion ensued. Half of the leadership team said that you NEVER know if someone will be a good fit and that you simply have to hire them and see if they can perform. Others apparently were able to peer into the soul of the candidate sitting across from them, and simply would “KNOW” whether this person was a good fit or not.

The bad news was they were not doing a good job at hiring the right candidates nor peering into people’s souls for that matter. Turnover in this position was high and, quality was suffering. Therefore, their strategy was at risk.

Here comes the good news. At People-Surge, we have a repeatable, scalable and scientifically valid process which helps you identify the most important qualities needed to be successful in your company roles. And with our Predictive Index assessment, you can identify candidates who have the qualities your positions require. Our research shows that when you use Predictive Index, you make better hiring decisions, employee engagement goes up and turnover goes down.

To learn more about how People-Surge and the Predictive Index can help you make better hiring decisions, check out our infographic on “SEVEN TIPS for Avoiding the Mistakes That Lead to a Bad Hire,” and contact us for a free consultation.

Written by Larry O’Brien, PeopleSurge Chief Learning Officer

E: larry@people-surge.com     T: +1 843-800-2156