Articles & Resources

We provide competency-based behavioral interviewing training for interview teams including hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers. We have been publishing articles for over 40 years to address the myriad of issues encountered in the process of hiring top talent.

Taking Guesswork out of Hiring

NEWSLETTER • volume 3 • number 2

According to a recent article in The Harvard Business Review, nearly 40% of new management hires fail within the first year. Think of it - almost half of all new managers don't even last 12 months. Why the high failure rate? Research suggests, in the majority of cases, the answer lies in a poor fit between new employees and their corporate cultures.

"Poor fit" can cover a lot of territory, but Manchester Partners International has narrowed the field by identifying four main reasons for management hire failures. Interestingly, all are directly related to competencies we use to evaluate candidates, and which we teach our seminar participants to assess. These "fatal four" are "failure to build good relationships with peers and subordinates" (in other words, not a teamplayer); "confusion or uncertainty about what higher-ups expect" (not perceptive); "lacks internal political skills" (not a strategic thinker or personable) and "inability to achieve two or three of the most important objectives of the job" (not results-oriented or a problem solver).

The HBR article isn't all bad news, however. It also recommends a systematic and effective four-step approach to hiring: (1) Clarify your company's overall strategic needs. (2) Build on that analysis and use it to derive specific job requirements. (3) Determine specific candidate requirements. (4) Finally, compare information you have about the candidates against your candidate requirements.

We use a similar approach in our Effective Interviewing!® seminar. We also show participants how to use an interview team effectively - another best practice among companies who hire successfully.

Over the past 15 years, we've learned that companies need a thorough and systematic approach to interviewing. Our methodology shows how to match candidates to the competencies required for the job. This kind of approach not only strengthens interview skills, it goes a long way toward taking the guesswork out of hiring. We're glad The Harvard Business Review sees it that way too.