Have you ever fired one of your employees and thought to yourself, “I wish I’d known about that before I hired them”? Don’t worry: we’ve all been there.

Most businesses hire employees for their experience, charisma, communication skills, and the way they dress. But I can only think of one time that I had to fire someone because they weren’t wearing pants. Meanwhile, businesses will regularly fire employees when they slack off or underperform in the workplace.

Behavior is the biggest indicator of success for your employees, so the way that most businesses search for employees leaves much to be desired. If you’re looking to step up your hiring game, check out these three tips that’ll help you find the right employees in no time.

1. Take a Critical Look at Your Interview Process

It’s no secret that potential employees will say anything to get the job. “My biggest weakness is working too hard.” “Of course I have four years of experience.” “Yeah, I totally know what a Xerox is!” During any given interview, these phrases are a dime-a-dozen. 

However, it’s not always the hiree’s fault. Sure, they’re lying to your face to secure a position at your company, but can you blame them? Standard interviewing practices make it hard to get any real information out of your candidates. 

For example, when you ask the question, “What can you tell me about yourself?”, they’re not going to tell you about their rampant kleptomania. They’re going to tell you what an ideal candidate would say in their position.

When you’re going through the interviewing process, it’s important to ask questions that evaluate a potential employee’s character. A question like, “Can you tell me about a time that you solved a problem in your field?” lets you gauge more about their work ethic, collaborative spirit, and overall experience. It also lets your candidate show off their skills, giving you more of a reason to hire them overall. 

2. Develop the Right Pre-Employment Testing Battery

However, you can’t use behavior-based interviewing as a crutch for your hiring process. You’ll be able to find better candidates, but unless you can read minds, you won’t get the full story until it’s time to hand them a pink slip.

That’s where pre-employment assessments come in. While there’s no way to read someone’s thoughts (yet), pre-employment testing is the next best thing. By screening your candidates with a variety of character tests, you’ll be able to get a glimpse of how they might act in a work environment.

If you’re looking to refine your hiring strategy, you need to understand what tests work best for your work environment. For example, the 16 PF is a test that can tell you the basic character traits of an individual but can’t tell you how they might respond to complex situations. By combining the right tests, you’ll be able to uncover crucial information about your candidates that you can’t get from a simple interview.

3. Fine-Tune Your HR Strategy

Finding the right employee doesn’t stop at the onboarding process. That’s like running 20 miles in a marathon, then calling an Uber to go home. 

Once you hire the best employees you can find, you can’t just pat yourself on the back and call it a day. It’s time to get them up to speed with the rest of your staff. Between training, setting expectations, and motivation, your HR team has the responsibility of turning promising candidates into all-star employees.

The biggest factor to pay attention to is retention. Over the course of a year, new hires can take up tens of thousands of dollars worth of resources to get off the ground, so it’s important to develop reward systems they’ll be willing to stick around for. Or, if your industry can make great use of employees that go above and beyond, use training materials and incentives that encourage growth goals.


It all comes down to proper talent management.

Stellar employees are easier to find than you think. But you won’t be able to find them if you aren’t ready for them. By taking a thorough look at your talent management system, you’ll be able to find the right talent, give them the tools they need to succeed, and boost your bottom line.

Growth usually takes on one of two very distinct pathways: a linear path and an exponential one. The latter sounds great, right? Just pull a few levers and watch your organization reap the benefits of exponential growth, making all of your dreams come true. Wait till that next quarterly review, you’ll show them you mean business!

Except that isn’t the entire story, and consistent leadership development results are better than exponential growth that isn’t sustainable.

So why talk about exponential growth in the domain of creating better leaders in the workplace? Well, because it never hurts to have something to aspire to. It never hurts to see what can indeed happen when consistent action is scaled out. That’s the key to making leadership development a potent component in today’s fast paced business environment.

What does feedback really mean? We talk about feedback, but we know that not all feedback is created equal. Feedback should begin with empathy, which is truly understanding the other person's perspective. From there, we want to come forward with evidence that backs up the statements we're going to make to that person. Direct, professional, and straightforward is the name of the game here.

Feedback and accountability go hand in hand within the world of strategically assessing leadership strengths and weaknesses.

What Comprehensive Feedback Isn't

Sometimes it's important to highlight what something isn't before we can really start visualizing what it is constructively. If you want to build or even transform current feedback and accountability processes, here's what to avoid most:

  • Relying on one assessment. There is no perfect assessment, and it's critical to avoid idolizing any assessment as the One True Measure of performance

  • Keeping resources too narrow. This isn't about trying to use as few resources as possible. Pull out all of the tools and see what's reasonable in terms of the specific leader being refined for greater opportunities (the ultimate goal)

  • Don't settle for just covering strengths and weaknesses in terms of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Full insight requires full analysis; KPIs are just a shortcut.

Collecting quantitative data is important, but don’t skip the opportunities to collect qualitative data along the way as well. For example,

Breaking Down Strategic Leadership Assessment - The Best Path Forward for Growth

In order to get the growth needed to stay competitive, it's time to go back to the drawing board. What does strategic leadership assessment look like in action? Well, the important point is that it begins with realizing the end goal: you're getting insight into an individual's makeup and identifying what their true strengths and weaknesses are. We're going back to the 3D Leadership model as one of the key foundational points of this plan.

Staying the Course

Motivation is a big topic in the business world because we're used to watching people quit. Why do people quit before they've reached the finish line? Sometimes it's a matter of not being able to visualize the end. Or perhaps it's not having enough milestones to reflect upon as they move deeper into their journey. Not everyone will finish their leadership development plan, or approach it with enthusiasm.

Reassurance isn't a bad thing, and it can help bolster morale to the point where employees buy back in. For entry-level employees, leadership development can feel impossible because they're starting their journey with a lot to cover. For the more seasoned leader, development often takes a "been there, done that" feeling.

Dive Deeper Into Refinement With Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development

Digging into the roots of better leadership development isn’t an easy journey. Yet it is absolutely essential for companies of all sizes.

Did you miss the deep dive on assessments? Check out the Strategic View of Hiring podcast episode, Exploring the World of Assessments.

Check out the book store and order a copy of Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development today.

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