Hiring Successfully For Dummies, PXT Select Special Edition
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The basic aim of the hiring process is to find and select the best fit for the job to be done — a concept known as job fit. Job fit is determined by how closely an individual’s innate talents, behavioral tendencies, and interests align with those predictive of success in a particular role. Essentially, job fit helps you determine if someone can do the job and if they will find fulfillment in the job. But before you can know for sure if they can do the job or if they will find it fulfilling, you need to identify what talents, behaviors, and interests are typical for success in that role. What you really need to accomplish this is a performance model.

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What is a performance model?

The performance model is your recipe for hiring successfully and avoiding all the adverse outcomes that result from a bad hire. The performance model outlines the most desirable traits, which are then used to compare against candidates for the job. There are a few ways to create performance models, but perhaps the most important is the alignment of key stakeholders in the organization on what they need to see from this job

What does a performance model measure?

A résumé and an interview can inform you about a candidate’s background and experience. What’s missing, though, is objective data indicating how well an individual can do a job and how fulfilling it will be for them. That’s where your performance model steps in, helping you tie individual performance to business strategy by spelling out the required thinking style, behavioral traits, and interests.

What cognitive characteristics are assessed through the performance model?

Thinking style measures four cognitive characteristics:
  • Verbal skill gauges how a person communicates with others.
  • Verbal reasoning gets into how the person uses words to create relationships between concepts, process messages, and draw conclusions.
  • Numerical ability has to do with numerical calculations.
  • Numerical reasoning explores how a person uses numbers and calculations to solve problems.

What behavioral traits are assessed through the performance model?

Behavioral traits indicate what a candidate is like on the job. The PXT Select, for example, measures nine behaviors and delivers a fit score comparing how closely aligned a candidate is to the role. Behavioral scales are specific to each job because job requirements are unique and may require a person to lean more one way or the other in one or more of the following areas:
  • Pace: Steady or urgent
  • Assertiveness: Unassuming or forceful
  • Sociability: Reserved or outgoing
  • Conformity: Strong-willed or compliant
  • Outlook: Skeptical or trusting
  • Decisiveness: Deliberate or bold
  • Accommodation: Steadfast or agreeable
  • Independence: Reliant or autonomous
  • Judgment: Intuitive or factual

Why are a person’s interests important to factor in the performance model?

Interests are also an essential component of the performance model. Interests help predict motivation and potential satisfaction with a given job. The more the person’s interests align with the job’s requirements, the more they will enjoy it. This is critical because we know that people who are happier in their jobs are more productive, more effective, and more engaged. The PXT Select approach considers six interests to help determine job fit: creative, enterprising, financial/administrative, people service, mechanical, and technical.

How to build a performance model

You can build a performance model by assessing your existing top performers in the role to identify what makes them stars. You then use what you learned from the data to hire others with similar DNA. Building performance models this way is referred to as replicating or cloning top performers. Replicating top performers is among the most effective methods of building performance models because it uses people in the role within the organization who are experiencing success.

performance model behavioral traits

If you don’t have a big enough sample size of existing stars in that role or you’re recruiting for a completely new position, it isn’t a problem. PXT Select has a library of performance models for many different roles created using O*NET occupational data and other proven methods for creating customized models.

How to use assessment results to find the right candidate

After you have the performance model to find who you’re looking for, the next step is to assess candidates and identify the best fit. Assessment results offer objective data on how each candidate fits the job requirements and how they compare with one another. Still, selection assessments should never be used as your only tool for hiring. An individual’s prior experience and how they present themselves in the interview should be given equal consideration in any hiring decision.

An effective selection tool should also give hiring managers resources and information to enhance and assist during the interview process. PXT Select reports provide you with suggested interview questions to help you focus on areas where things may not be so straightforward or other challenge areas identified in the data.

The bottom line is that a performance model is the best way to compare candidates consistently, helping you make unbiased and equitable hiring decisions. PXT Select goes even further by providing you tools (unique reports) for onboarding, coaching, and even up-skilling (sales and leadership) your workforce.

PXT Select candidate comparison based on performance model

How can I learn more about performance models and hiring top talent?

To learn more, download Hiring Successfully For Dummies, PXT Select Special Edition.

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