Using EOS® to Make Strategic Hiring Decisions

With such a tight labor market, many businesses are cutting corners to fill positions. Hiring the wrong person at any level of an organization can be a time-consuming, expensive mistake.

Many of my clients are struggling to find talent. That’s especially true for mission-critical positions that fall into the category of strategic hires. These are the people who form the nucleus of the business. They provide essential leadership and innovation to execute the Visionary’s big ideas.

Hiring the wrong person into a strategic role isn’t just expensive. It can hurt morale and kill the business’s momentum. 

Getting the right people into the right seats is one of the core goals of EOS®. To help businesses make good strategic hiring decisions, EOS offers a multilayered system.

Strategic hiring must rest on a strong foundation

Everything in EOS comes back to the foundational concepts that come out of the Vision Building™ day. A company’s core values, as described in the V/TO™, should be central to every hiring decision. The Accountability Chart doesn’t just illustrate how responsibility flows throughout the business. It also defines what success looks like at each seat, which establishes the starting point for crafting a job description.

I sometimes sit in on my clients’ interviews with candidates. A recent interview highlighted how valuable EOS is when evaluating a potential hire. My client’s team was eager to offer a job to a candidate who checked all the right boxes—at least on paper. She had a strong background and gave solid answers to most of the questions. 

But there was a problem. Collaboration is one of the business’s core values, and one of the seat’s essential roles requires setting a collaborative tone. When asked about how she likes to work, the candidate promptly said, “I’m a control freak.” It was just one sentence in a long conversation, but it raised a red flag. Was she going to be a good fit for the company’s culture?

The team had been looking for suitable candidates for months, so they were eager to focus on the positives. I suggested they look at the candidate through the lens of their values. I asked them, “Is a control freak what you’re looking for?” There was a moment of silence, then someone said, “She’s the wrong fit, isn’t she?” And that was that. As much as they liked her, they knew this hire would be the wrong direction.

 Key strategic hiring tools in the EOS Toolbox™

A bad fit isn’t always so easy to spot. That’s why EOS provides its companies with additional tools for analyzing candidates. Let’s look at two:

  • The People Analyzer™ is a more formal, straightforward version of the conversation I described above, asking whether the candidate shares all the business’s core values.

During the hiring process, I will sometimes suggest that a client team take a moment to run through the People Analyzer process for a preferred candidate. Each team member does the exercise on their own, deciding whether they think the candidate is a plus, plus/minus, or minus for each of the company’s core values. Then the team comes together to share their results.

This process often raises points that otherwise don’t come up in conversation, partly because it forces everyone in the hiring exchange to focus on the company’s core values as part of the hiring decision. 

One of my clients recently used the People Analyzer to uncover that half their leadership team had surprise reservations about a candidate their Visionary wanted to hire. The process led to further conversations with the candidate so the doubts could be addressed before making a final decision.

  • For companies looking for an objective standard to measure the psychology of candidates, EOS recommends the Kolbe System™. Kolbe specifically quantifies how an individual takes action. In the hiring process, it helps the team evaluate whether the seat being filled is the right one for this person: Does her thinking process align with what the position requires? Will she respond well to the day-to-day work?

A rapidly growing business I work with uses Kolbe for all their hiring decisions. They find it adds balance to their evaluation of a candidate. Their Visionary is a people person who, as he puts it, “gets blinded by a person’s potential.” For them, Kolbe doesn’t make or break a hiring choice. Instead, it tips the scale in valuable ways.

Like any data-driven process, the “people tools” offered by EOS are only as good as the information you have available. That’s why they are incredibly useful for studying current employees

Analyzing a stranger is much more difficult. I encourage clients to develop a consistent interview process to provide their EOS tools with the right inputs, so they can get the most benefit from using them during the hiring process.

Your EOS Implementer® can help your strategic hiring decisions

Helping my clients evaluate candidates for key positions is an important part of my work as a Certified EOS Implementer®. Because I’m familiar with the client’s business but also outside it, I can bring an arm’s-length perspective that often sheds a different light on a person’s fit.
How has EOS influenced your hiring decisions? Let me know on LinkedIn or Facebook, or give me a call anytime at (818) 649-1103. Let’s use EOS together to find the right people for those seats!