IMPROVING HIRING SINCE 1983
What is Conscious Hiring®?
Conscious Hiring® is perhaps the most important key to achieving breakthrough performance. Why? Because a company’s success is built from the ground up. Success starts with the people who do the work. But people don’t get their positions by accident. They are hired. They are retained. They are promoted.
However, they are not always the right people for the jobs they’re in.
Building Your Dream Team
Whether you’re building your Dream Team of Executives or Front Line Employees, our proprietary Conscious Hiring® methodology starts with defining the position, the role’s purpose, how performance is measured, and understanding the hiring criteria from a behavioral, values and competency standpoint, in addition to the tangible qualifications needed.
By utilizing KeenAlignment’s search service, you gain a partner that ensures every member of your team is hired consciously through a performance-based hiring model. We make sure you hire only employees who match your needs — and your culture.
The truth is, you need to onboard only those team members who will forward your employee and customer experience.
The KeenAlignment team is incredibly detail-oriented, deeply collaborative, and works in lockstep with your organization. We do the deep-dive vetting work to make sure that you spend your time with only the best of the best candidates, and can easily select finalists for your key roles.
The Human System
Ask any CEO: What's their company’s most critical asset?
The answer will almost always be the same: Our People.
But ask another question. What are your biggest headaches? You’ll probably hear a cluster of similar answers: hiring mistakes, high turnover, low employee engagement, poor job fit, ineffective hiring strategy and procedures, hiring without regard to values-and-culture fit.
So while people may be a company’s most valuable asset, not all of a company’s people merit that designation. And where an employee’s job fit is sub-par, it inevitably affects company performance — e.g., stalled initiatives and missed targets in sales, production, customer experience, performance and objectives.
To at least some degree, companies are talent constrained. Few have a top-quality hiring system that attracts, selects, promotes and retains the best and brightest. Old-school HR, hiring and onboarding methods are holding them back.
To raise employee engagement, align people and business strategy, improve performance and optimize return on their enormous people investment, companies need to implement Conscious Hiring® — KeenAlignment’s proven, proprietary workflow program.
So, again: What is Conscious Hiring®?
It is a values-based employee-selection system for hiring strategically. Conscious Hiring® is a quality hiring and onboarding system that makes both the company and the job candidate aware of what/who they are, what they can do, what they need, and what is needed of them. Then each of them — company and job prospect — can choose: Do I like this candidate? Will I like this job? Or should I look elsewhere?
Conscious Hiring® is a workforce optimization approach that greatly improves the odds of hiring the right people. It does this because, in addition to evaluating a candidate’s work history, achievements and skills, it also considers emotional intelligence, people competence, values and values-driven behavior, favorite and least-favorite types of work/tasks/responsibilities, and career goals/aspirations.
Conscious Hiring® makes it possible to align a company’s mission and brand promise with the competencies, attitudes, belief systems, values and motivations of qualified candidates.
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Benefits of Conscious Hiring®
• Creates confidence that a job candidate fits the company culture and philosophy
• Helps companies hire the right people for the right roles for the right reasons
• Helps companies hire strategically
• Helps companies hire for values, as well as for talent, skills, credentials and past success
• Helps companies hire people with crucial quotients (the 4 Qs: intellectual, emotional, character, relationship)
• Clarifies the prospective employee’s roles and responsibilities
• Gives the hiring team the tools to evaluate a candidate as a whole person — beyond the resume
• Facilitates outstanding employee performance right out of the gate
• Identifies the values and behaviors needed for the role and culture, and for company success
• Heightens employee engagement
• Strengthens the staff’s contributions to company success
• Gives organizations an employer-of-choice reputation (a great competitive advantage)
• Shortens ramp-up time for new employees
• Attracts, vets, develops and retains future leaders and creates a leadership bench
• Moves the hiring team from the mindset of filling jobs to one of helping achieve business results
• Moves companies from the mindset of people are lucky to work here to we are lucky to access our people’s talent
• Helps companies hire self-aware people with a keen sense of:
– What they can and want to do
– How they operate
– How they interact with others
– How they recover from breakdowns and challenges
– How they recover and recalibrate
Problems Conscious Hiring® Solves
• Hiring the wrong person, especially for C-suite and other key positions
• Hiring only for talent without accounting for candidate fit with company culture and values
• High employee turnover
• Wasting time and resources on interviewing the wrong candidates
• Ineffective hiring (through absence of behavioral interviewing)
• Putting a good prospect in the wrong job
• Low employee engagement
• Stagnating company culture
• Weak company performance
• Stalled initiatives and programs
• Missed targets in sales, production, customer experience, performance, objectives
• Poor hires resulting from reliance on gut instinct/first impressions
• Poor hires resulting from reliance on work history/resume instead of the right values and behaviors
• Hiring without clarity about job requirements and key performance indicators (KPIs)
• Hiring without candidates’ clear understanding of their authority
• Hiring without a clear demarcation of where one job ends and another begins
Three Misperceptions About What Works in Recruiting
At the heart of Conscious Hiring® is behavioral interviewing. What then is behavioral interviewing?
It is a values-based deep-dive approach to interviewing that looks beyond talent, skills, credentials and past successes in an effort to understand how a candidate thinks, works, acts (behaves) and makes decisions — and whether these behaviors will be constructive.
Behavioral interviewing allows the hiring team to see things that would otherwise take months to discover after the candidate was hired. It shows the candidate in action — something that would never have been visible had a values-based behavioral interview not been done. In effect, it makes the invisible visible and brings the future into the present. It’s a practical way to evaluate a candidate beyond the resume, so decision makers can be confident they are hiring someone who fits the company culture, as well as the job’s particular skill set.
Behavioral interviewing is best understood by example — by looking at the picture of the candidate that the interview seeks to illuminate and by some of the questions asked in behavioral interviews.
Why and How
• How candidates operate and make decisions.
• How they restore their integrity and credibility when they make a mistake.
• How they resolve conflicts with co-workers and customers.
• How they plan for contingencies.
• How they handle disagreements.
• How they handle challenges to their authority.
Sample Interview Questions
Solution Oriented: “Think about a time where you found a solution to a problem, whereas others had previously failed to do so. In addition to describing the problem itself along with why it occurred, be sure to explain why it hadn’t been solved before.”
Excellence Focused: “Think of a time when your efforts to learn about a particular topic were later instrumental in helping to achieve an important goal. Tell me what the goal was and why it was important for you to achieve it.”
Behavioral Interview Guide
Even before getting to the point in Conscious Hiring® of conducting a behavioral interview with a candidate, the hiring team must complete several preliminary steps.
First, achieve an understanding of the role of the position to be filled — its impact on the organization, its span of influence and control, the applicable key performance indicators, and the successful candidate’s desired behaviors.
Then, agree on hiring criteria. These include not just what the candidate needs to be capable of doing, but the personal characteristics needed for the position.
This leads to the candidate search, which should be pursued through both advertising and executive search in order to net the widest-possible range of applicants (in terms of inclusivity and diversity).
Then psychometric data and phone screening are needed to sift through the applicants. With hundreds of candidates, it’s vital to separate the wheat from the chaff with the least manpower, so as to avoid senior-level decision makers wasting time interviewing anyone but top applicants.
And, of course, do reference checks.
Now, with finalists selected, comes the deep-dive behavioral interview. In addition to the sample interview questions above, candidates should, whenever possible, be placed in some kind of scenario — perhaps a ride-along, an impromptu writing sample, an executive presentation or a product presentation. Such scenarios are a test drive, a way to gain insights and “inspect the goods before purchase.”
People hired for key positions following a behavioral interview often say that they themselves, having had the experience, would never hire employees without putting them through such an interview. Executives become behavioral interview fans because it illuminates the candidate’s behavior, mindset, thought process and the way they respond to challenges. It lets decision makers see how candidates think. Ultimately, it’s the secret to hiring the right people for the right roles, which is the essence of Conscious Hiring®.
Behavioral interviewing also lets candidates “show their stuff” and thus helps build rapport and a strong relationship with the organization from the start, since they’ve seen their value be recognized.
Role Analysis refers to the replacement of traditional HR task-list job descriptions with roles defined as performance-based purposeful role outcomes. The Role Analysis process links purpose and outcomes to Role Value. This enables the hiring team to begin with the end in mind and focus on the right details to hire the right people, those who are aligned with the role, which is the goal of Conscious Hiring®. Using Role Analysis in determining how to hire elevates company performance and is reflected in its CPR (Comprehensive Position Requirements).
Unfortunately, far too many corporate hiring decisions — and job-seeker decisions about where to work — are heavily influenced by the need to hire/get hired in a hurry. The pain of an empty position (like the pain of being unemployed) is palpable, and companies want to make it disappear. So the bias is for quick action.
A high-performance leader produces outcomes aligned with the company’s mission and values. Their intrinsic motivation and passion for results make them highly accountable for the delivery of projects, programs, and products.
As a result, the job gets filled at the intersection of where the company needs a warm, competent (at least on paper) body, and the job seeker doesn’t really care where they work, as long as they’re employed. This is hardly a formula for success.
Conscious Hiring® offers the true formula for success — to begin the hiring process by identifying the behaviors needed for both the specific position and the company culture. In vetting candidates, decision makers need to examine culture and behavior, as well as talent. Candidate qualifications and company cultural values have to be aligned. For a hire to succeed and stick, the candidate must have the Four Q’s — IQ, EQ, CQ and RQ — the intellect, emotional capacity, character quotient and relationship quotient. Regrettably, most organizations don’t know this, and they don’t know they don’t know.
Unwanted employee turnover causes much CEO and HR insomnia. Conscious Hiring® will help these folks sleep better.
Unwanted turnover often results from poor hiring decisions. Candidates are frequently hired because they have the right degree or pedigree, they’ve worked for the right company, or they’re just likeable. Hiring is too often based on first impressions, with the decision maker spending most of the interview justifying to him or herself why the initial impression was right, rather than considering whether it might have been mistaken.
To prevent unwanted turnover, companies must understand why people work there, why they stay and what lights them up. Hiring people just to fill a gap is a problem. When the going gets tough, people who aren’t there for the right reason may be reluctant to step up when they’re most needed.
Unwanted turnover also results from hires having been made without a clear understanding at the outset — on the part of both company and employee — of what the job entails. If the hiring team is unclear about what the work actually is, the applicant won’t be sure they really want to do it, and the company won’t know if it has hired the right person.
To reduce turnover, companies must hire the right people for the right reasons to do work they enjoy. Of course, they must also treat employees well.
In its simplest terms, Conscious Hiring® is when the hirer and hire both know who they are, what they want, what they can do and what’s needed of them. They can then choose: Do I like this candidate/this job or not?
Conscious Hiring® Infographic
Behavioral Interview Training Certification
KeenAlignment’s Values-Based Behavioral Interview Training (20 SHRM credits and certification) trains decision makers in the most essential Conscious Hiring® tool. It gives companies the framework for a hiring process that finds the right candidates for the job. This tried and tested 16-hour training course enjoys a 95% success rate in identifying successful candidates who are aligned with their new employer’s values. Upon hiring a candidate, instead of saying “this position has closed,” companies can say, “We just made the best possible pick for our team. We hired consciously.”
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in Conscious Hiring® and Values Based Behavioral Interviewing
KeenAlignment’s Values-Based Behavioral Interview Training
will help you attract more qualified candidates who are
fully aligned with your company’s values
• It will strengthen the bottom line by decreasing turnover, with its associated costs
• It will lighten the screening and hiring burden and provide better understanding, confidence and prowess in consciously hiring highly productive, engaged and culturally aligned employees
• It will improve your hiring success by identifying and attracting the right people who are natural for the position and bring their best selves to work every day
• It will ensure higher profitability, retention, workforce engagement and effectiveness and return on your people investment with every hire
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