Statistics show that only 10% – 40% of interviews are successful. Despite their poor predictive value, they are still used by many organisations as the only method to identify suitable candidates for specific jobs.
Poor hiring decisions can have a particularly negative impact on an organisation’s staff morale and motivation, not to mention the disruptive effect on productivity and significant cost and time wasted on recruiting, training and managing performance of unproductive employees.
Getting it right
So what goes wrong? According to Liesl Cloete and Inge Trümpelmann, directors of Equip Assessment & Development Services, a specialist assessment and staff development consultancy, one of the most common mistakes made is the ‘mirror effect’. “People tend to hire in their own image and often relate to people who are similar to themselves, either in background, personality or attitude.
They also tend to give undue influence to some positive or negative expectations they have of a candidate, based on their CVs or application forms. This is known as the expectancy effect,” explains Cloete.
Cloete says first impressions of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ often lead interviewers to ask questions that serve to confirm their biases across the board, resulting in the ‘halo and horns’ effect. In this case, the negative or positive perception is generalised to other aspects of a person, making the candidate ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’.
Trümpelmann adds that even regardless of these job-related factors, managers may already have set ideas about the ‘right’ person for the job. “We call it the box effect where interviewers are focused on finding that specific personality type that they believe will perfectly fit the position.
However, as we all know, people are more complex than any one personality type or description and there is no perfect fit. When this approach fails employers often move to the opposite side of the spectrum – moving from box to rebound. In other words, they start overcompensating by choosing the opposite personality type next time round,” says Trümpelmann.
In Equip’s experience, desperation to fill a position is probably one of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor hiring decisions. After interviewing several unsuitable candidates, employers actually reduce their selection criteria in order to make a quick appointment.
Access to information
Increased access to information via the Internet is also changing the face of interviewing. Cloete says today’s applicants are far more savvy than they were ten years ago and can easily access a host of useful information on the net on ‘Interview techniques’. The result is that the interviewee can often present the ‘ideal corporate face’, and interviewers, unless they are highly trained will be hard pressed to break through the facade.
This increasingly results in a poor ‘person-job fit and may account for the fact that as many as 69% of employees in the US have been found to be disengaged from their work in a recent Gallup survey. “We believe the percentage is similar in SA. When people are not engaged with what they do, we usually see low motivation, decreased productivity, increased emotional responsiveness and / or inconsistent performance.
On an individual level, those employees who feel unsupported in terms of their personal values, goals or work styles, are likely to experience a lack of achievement and lower confidence, which over time, impacts on their coping and general sense of well-being,” says Cloete.
Regardless of where the selection process goes wrong, hiring a less suitable candidate can have significant costs in terms of lost opportunities and the emotional stress of subsequent terminations, both for the organisation and the individual. Cloete and Trümpelmann believe in order to counteract or minimise the typical shortcomings associated with job interviews, organisations need to institute ‘best practice’ measures.
Studies indicate that as the degree of structure in job interviews increases, so too does the likelihood of predicting job success improve significantly. Thus, a well-structured interview focused on measuring specific job-relevant constructs can certainly help to narrow down suitable candidates. Combining this with the use of appropriate psychometric assessments, increases the predictive validity of interviews by up to 65%.
Personality testing can then be used to provide relevant behavioural evidence and other information to confirm or refute the assessment findings. In summary, a well-designed holistic selection process, coupled with structured, behavioural interviews, conducted by trained interviewers will contribute towards a more efficient selection process and significantly improve hiring decisions.
The Ins And Outs Of A Good Exit Strategy
The thought of parting with a business you’ve grown from the ground up may be unsettling, but Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says that it is better for both your business and yourself to plan for this as early as possible.
“The challenge that business owners often face in this respect is comparable to the difficulty that many new parents have with imagining their children grown up and leaving for university. Imagine, however, if parents did not plan ahead for the cost of their education – that would be detrimental to the future of their children. The same could be the case for your business.”
Mjadu says that a good exit strategy is about sustainability and being able to measure your business performance against the goals you have set for it. “It’s really about being able to say, ‘this is when the work is done and I can exit the business or take on a different role – this is what success looks like in terms of monetary return on investment and other business growth indicators’.
“The lack of an exit strategy could be telling of a fundamental lack of measurable business goals and this needs to be addressed,” she says.
From immediate liquidation to liquidation over time; family succession; selling to staff or external investors; the open market or another business; or the gruelling but profitable exercise of taking your company public – there are many different ways in which an entrepreneur can exit their business, but Mjadu says that whatever the process, a strong and solid strategy is essential.
She shares five key points of a good exit strategy:
1. It tells you when you are done
Mjadu says that a good exit strategy should reflect a core understanding of all the intricacies of your business and should be able to tell you when the lifecycle of your business (or of your involvement in the business) should come to an end. This is usually done by including a set of tangible measurables or objectives so that it is easy to ascertain when these have been achieved.
2. It sets out the right environment within which to exit
A good exit strategy considers the economic, social and political environment at the time of your exit. Mjadu says that this is important in order to plan for a secure financial future.
“Failure to think about this could result in short-changing yourself by exiting during a tough economic climate when the risk to buyers reduces the value of your business.”
She references the case of Victoria’s Secret when founder, Roy Raymond, sold the failing business for $1m unknowing that it would later grow into the multi-billion dollar empire it is now. “While Raymond’s exit was ultimately necessary for Victoria’s Secret’s growth, he sold it in 1982 during the global recession of the early eighties – one of the world’s biggest financial crises and this influenced the selling price at his exit”.
3. It compensates those who have contributed to the life of your business
It is important to consider the impact your exit could have on investors and staff, says Mjadu. “Closing shop for example, means that your staff no longer have employment at your business. Selling could mean the same.” She adds that it is important to consider ways in which your exit could also benefit these stakeholders – for example, selling to a bigger business could mean more career opportunities for your staff, as well as continued job security.
4. It compensates you
Mjadu says that entrepreneurs often struggle to recognise their own true worth, especially when this involves attaching a monetary value to what has been achieved. “The time of exiting a business is no place to short-change yourself. You need to get out the full worth of what you put in,” she says, explaining that this means ensuring that you are financially secure before and while you go into your next venture.
“Your needs for retirement and medical insurance, as well as the maintenance of your living standard, should be met at your exit.”
5. It sustains your entrepreneurial drive
Mjadu says that while you may be nearing the end of one journey, your exit should enable and encourage you to continue to be an entrepreneur – and to look forward to the next journey. “Your entrepreneurial skills and capacity do not end when you exit your business and whatever your strategy, it should egg you on to more entrepreneurial activity including becoming a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs.”
Mjadu says that exiting your business should allow you a good retrospective look at what you have done over the years – and so planning the strategy early on in your business lifecycle will set you up in regards to what you hope to achieve. “Upon exit, you should be able to say that you have done what you set out to do, financially and socially, and you have some energy left to do more elsewhere.”
Search Is On For SA’S Online Retailer Of The Year
World Wide Worx in partnership with Platinum Seed, Visa, Heavy Chef and the Ecommerce Forum of Africa, launch new awards to recognise online stores that promote shopper trust.
World Wide Worx today announced that it was launching a new awards programme — called the Online Retailer of the Year — to honour online stores in South Africa that grow trust amongst digital shoppers. The awards are part of a broader project to boost online shopping by World Wide Worx in partnership with Visa, Platinum Seed, the Ecommerce Forum of Africa and Heavy Chef.
“Online retail in South Africa has consistently grown above 20% since the turn of the century but only passed 1% of overall retail in 2016. Research shows that trust is a big factor in ecommerce growth, which is why we want to recognise online retailers who help to grow the entire sector by ensuring the kind of ecommerce standards that engender trust with online shoppers,” Goldstuck says.
“But once online retail passes two per cent it crosses an essential psychological barrier and this often leads to a tipping point in emerging economies. That’s when we see online retail snowballing. It gathers real momentum and everyone in the sector benefits,” Goldstuck explains.
To be eligible for entry to the Online Retailer of the Year, owners of digital stores are urged to participate in an essential survey of local online shopping being run by Goldstuck’s World Wide Worx, together with Visa and digital growth agency Platinum Seed.
To participate in the research, local online retailers can go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/OnlineRetailSA
All online retailers who participate will be entered into the award. However, participation in the survey is not a precondition for entry to the awards. However, only online retailers who operate from within South Africa’s borders are eligible for this local award.
The awards will be made at a Heavy Chef event in Cape Town on Thursday, October 01 2018. At the same event, World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck will lay bare the state of local retail, with Brad Elliott, CEO of Platinum Seed, and Visa.
Goldstuck, who is judging the awards, will present the following awards:
- Online Retailer of The Year
- 1st runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
- 2nd runner-up – Online Retailer of the Year
- Best New SA Online Retailer of the Year.
The winners of the Online Retailer of the Year awards will be given a digital badge that the online store can display online. The winners will have bragging rights for a year — until the next award is made in 2019.
Judging criteria for the awards include trust, innovation, customer service, digital excellence, customer engagement, product excellence, and the online reputation of the digital store. Visa, Heavy Chef, and Platinum Seed will oversee the judging of the awards. The Ecommerce Forum of Africa will audit the results.
Retailers or entrepreneurs who want to attend the awards and presentation of the research results by Goldstuck can purchase tickets from Heavy Chef.
Up To R1 Million In Funding For Tech Solutions To Early Childhood Challenges
Applications from individuals, non-profit and for profit organisations are welcome. Innovation Edge accepts early stage ideas pre or post proof of concept phase.
Innovation Edge, an early stage investor and venture builder, has launched a call for tech solutions to problems faced by young children and those who care for them. The most promising ideas stand the chance to receive up to R1 million in funding and will have access to a range of incubation support. Qualifying ideas will address a defined need within early childhood and have a sustainable route to scale that includes families living in poverty.
Deadline for submissions is 19 October 2018.
The human brain is naturally wired to learn, but the brain’s capacity to absorb new information and learn new skills is most pronounced in the first 5 years of life. During this period of development, not only does the brain learn best, but it gets wired in ways that impact lifelong learning. Experiences during early childhood literally shape the architecture of the developing brain.
Sonja Giese, Executive Director for Innovation Edge, explains why investing in solutions to early childhood problems is critical; “ Eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning. Six out of 10 Grade 5 learners cannot do basic maths. These scores are predictive of final school outcomes, meaning that by the age of 10 years, a child is on the educational trajectory she will most likely follow.”
“There is no conceivable way in which South Africa will realise its development goals, including increased employment, radical economic transformation, reduced crime and dependable leadership, without significantly altering the current trajectories of our youngest citizens. This sector is desperate for innovative solutions that offer impact at scale.”
While Innovation Edge welcomes submissions for any bold ideas at any time throughout the year, this call is specifically focused on tech solutions to early childhood challenges.
Examples of the types of challenges that applicants are invited to respond to include the following :–
- Paper-based systems of recording classroom attendance are time-consuming and lacking in accuracy. How might you create a tech solution that enables pre-school teachers (in both high/mid and low income environments) to quickly capture verifiable classroom attendance for children aged 3 to 6 years?
- Young children’s (birth to 6) developing brains thrive from having daily positive back and forth conversations with their parents. How might you create a tech solution to help parents (in both high/mid and low income environments) embed this behaviour into their daily lives?
- Approximately 33% of women living in adversity will experience a mental illness (primarily depression) during or after pregnancy. What opportunities could tech offer to support mothers, particularly those in low-income environments, who are suffering from depression?
Applications from individuals, non-profit and for profit organisations are welcome. Innovation Edge accepts early stage ideas pre or post proof of concept phase.
To submit a proposed solution and for more information on Innovation Edge visit http://innovationedge.org.za/opportunity-hub/.
Entrepreneur Profiles1 week ago
8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion
Technology1 week ago
3 Things Africa Must Get Right If It Wants To Leapfrog Into The 4th Industrial Revolution
Business Ideas Directory1 week ago
10 Cannabis Business Opportunities You Can Start From Home
Business Landscape2 days ago
How Schindlers Attorneys Became Involved In The Landmark Cannabis Case
Branding1 week ago
Why You Should Prioritise Brand Image
Get Organised1 day ago
How To Multitask Like Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg And Other Very Busy People
Start-up Advice1 week ago
7 Top Lessons You Can Learn From The US Cannabis Market
Increasing Productivity1 week ago
Take Responsibility For Your Company’s Culture To Boost Productivity