Start With A Strong Behavioral Foundation; Add Training

Start With A Strong Behavioral Foundation; Add Training

We are all different – that’s a given – but if you are in the business of “people” it’s imperative that you recognize and understand behavioral differences, including how to manage and lead them to individual and corporate success.

The only way to effectively hire and retain candidates is to ensure you not only fit the right skills to the right job but that you also find the right cultural and behavioral style fit for the role and team. The traditional approach to understanding human behavior has been “employee-centered” in the area of recruitment, and to some degree leadership and talent management.

However, in the New Behavioral Economy™ there is an increasing need to not only understand employee behavior but for the business to emotionally engage its people across the organization on a continuous basis.

Validating behavioral intelligence deepens engagement in each human interaction, and this is an integral part of a candidate or team member’s performance. A person’s skills are a moot point if he or she can’t effectively interact with the team or customers. Put another way, managing people differences is integral to organizational success.

The process of exploring and validating behavioral intelligence should also uncover business and life decision-making patterns. This helps determine if a candidate will be a long-term, loyal and successful hire. The use of a validated discovery process should be a starting point in the hiring process.

Five thoughts to consider

  1. Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent. Ask questions to discover if the vision and direction the candidate has for his or her life aligns with the vision and direction of the organization. Can the organization deliver a successful outworking of the candidate’s vision and life direction? If so, then not only will it be a great hire, but likely a long-term relationship. An individual is less likely to consider leaving when he or she is a part of working toward a shared key goal or milestone.
  2. Uncover life and decision-making patterns. Understanding how to communicate effectively is the most valuable route to uncovering behaviors, decision making patterns and strengthening engagement. Knowing the communication style of each candidate prior to the hiring interview will enable the interviewing panel to customize questions. It’s important to understand how to communicate and ask the right questions.
  3. Match behaviors – as well as talents – to the role; having the skills to do the job isn’t enough. People want to work with meaning. Jobseekers will apply for positions they feel match their skills, but often the hiring process fails to match both talents and behaviors to the job. If you match both talent and behaviors, you have a solid foundation for long-term success.
  4. Don’t hire yourself. The trap many hiring panels fall into is assuming that a great exchange between candidate and hiring panel translates to best role fit. To avoid this pitfall, the interview panel needs to understand their own individual and collective behavior, communication and decision-making style in advance. It is natural to feel more comfortable with communication that mirrors one’s own style; conversely, there could be an adverse response to communication styles that do not align.

Be known as a sought-after organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to work for a winner.

Understand and implement each of these five keys, and you are more likely to hire effectively and retain top talent. People want to work for an organization that values talent, communicates effectively and is known not only for its success in business but its inherent ability to know, understand and engage employees. Having a reputation as an organization that helps employees realize their own visions in addition to the company’s vision will attract and keep top talent.

Hire for innate characteristics

There’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. Again, we’re all different, so the “win” is in being able to manage differences.

Look first for candidates whose communication and behavioral styles best fit your team dynamics and company values. Training and practice will come later and will build nicely on the communication and behavioral foundation.


About the Author

Hugh Massie: Behavioral Strategist, CEO & Founder, DNA Behavior International

Hugh Massie is a global pioneer in human performance acceleration through the practical application of validated behavioral insights. A “reformed CPA” and serial entrepreneur, Hugh has since 2001 focused on Atlanta-based DNA Behavior International. Massie says his quest is to power real-time management solutions to connect, customize and power human performance. He is an author, including Leadership Behavior DNA, Discovering Natural Talents and Managing Differences (Freedomstar Media, January 2020), with co-author Lee Ellis. Massie’s behavior insights tech platform has impacted millions of people in 125+ countries and 11 languages, including investors with assets from $1 to over $1 billion, over 20,000 advisors, and leaders of 5,000+ businesses.


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