The Definitive Guide to Performance Based Hiring

performance based hiringPerformance based hiring is exactly what it sounds like— a process used by recruiters to find and hire top talent. This four-step approach streamlines the standard recruiting processes of sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates.

In today’s post, we provide you with a step-by-step guide to an effective performance based hiring strategy.

Develop a Performance Profile

The first step toward hiring top talent is to have a clear idea of the qualities and characteristics you’re looking for. We recommend that you create a  detailed list of characteristics a candidate must have. These characteristics often consist of specific qualifications such as experience level, academic background, personality traits and preferred skill sets.

While it may be the norm, utilizing standardized job descriptions (as they are formally referred to), can be an extremely ineffective method of narrowing down your candidate pool— as these types of job descriptions don’t tie requirements to direct indicators of success.

Instead, your recruiters and hiring managers must work together to create what is known as a “Performance Profile”, or a profile consisting of specific objectives that the ideal candidate should be able to successfully complete.

Keep these questions in mind to successfully create a Performance Profile:

  • What specific accomplishments indicate success in this role?
  • What skills does this person need in order to be successful, and how will this person utilize these skills?
  • Who has previously been successful in this role? What differentiated them from average performers?
  • What are the primary personal and team-based problems this individual will need to solve in this role?

Develop a short list of bullet points that consist of actionable goals you’d like your new hire to fulfill. Be sure to use verbs such as “build”, “create”, “develop” and “maintain.”

Don’t limit your candidate pool

Traditionally, when it comes to sourcing talent, recruiters will go after the “active” pool of candidates – or the pool of candidates actively searching for employment. While this may seem like a no-brainer, this tactic eliminates a large portion of potential talent. Consider these statistics (source):

  • It is estimated that 15-20% of job-seekers are “tip-toers” – employed individuals interested in new opportunities, but not actively applying for them.
  • Another 60-60% of people are defined as “truly passive candidates” – individuals’ content with their current positions, with no intention for change.
  • Combined, these two demographics demonstrate that nearly 95% of the market is comprised of passive candidates.

Unsurprisingly, only a very limited number of top-performers will be found in the remaining 5% of the market. Lou Adler, creator of the performance based method, suggests organizations implement a ratio of 2:1 passive to active candidates for the optimal sourcing mix (source).

For a more in-depth guide to recruiting passive candidates, check out this blog post: 5 Ways to Convince Passive Candidates to Switch Jobs.

Conduct an “Evidence-Based Interview”

Arguably, the most important aspect in any hiring process is the interview. However, if you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t truly know if a candidate will be a good fit with your organization. The solution? An evidence-based interview.

Again, keeping your performance profile in mind, ask your candidates about their major professional accomplishments. If your candidate is indeed a top performer, they’ll most likely have a proven record for success. It should be relatively easy for a high-quality candidate to relate past achievements to the goals you have outlined in the performance profile. Keep an eye out for metrics, specific examples, and work samples.

Optimize the candidate experience

Finally, the last step in the performance based hiring process is to get your preferred candidate to sign an offer. Increase your chances of hiring the best candidate by optimizing the entire experience. Here are a few ways you can begin to do this:

  • Make sure the hiring manager meets with the candidate at least two times during the interviewing process, then contacts the prospect an additional two times during the decision making time period.
  • The entire hiring process should be a positive experience for your candidate. Make it clear they will be supported and encouraged within the position should they accept your offer.
  • Clearly outline the expectations and growth opportunities of the position; show your candidate specific examples of those who have previously been successful.

Ultimately, your goal during this final stage is to convince your candidate that this is a can’t-miss opportunity. If you are able to successfully accomplish this, then getting them on-board should be a cinch.

For more information on optimizing the customer experience, check out this blog post: 5 Ways Hiring Managers Can Improve the Candidate Experience.

To learn more about hiring top talent, contact ZoomInfo today. We have the leading database of professional profiles and the contact data you need to reach them.