Is a slow worker a bad worker?

Often we think this is so, but is it, really?

What’s our view at Anderson Scott? Well – it depends. It sounds as though we’re sitting on the fence, but we’re not. For us, it’s about having a more granular approach to recruitment rather than one that is ‘black and white’ that assumes slow is bad.

In previous blogs, we have highlighted the need for employers to think about the complete individual when recruiting, not just their experience. Most recruitment continues to rely on experience only to assess the suitability of candidates – that’s their CV and a CV-based interview. And that’s despite studies showing that this way of recruiting is only 25% accurate.

We believe that there’s a better, more accurate, way to recruit, one that reduces the potential heavy losses of a mis-hire by hiring on experience alone. It’s one based on assessing the wider characteristics that are required to be successful in a role. They’re things like how someone thinks, acts and behaves, their motivations; their values; and their ability – or otherwise – to learn new stuff quickly.  It starts by understanding what the “complete individual” needs to look like to be successful in a particular job.

So, you may ask how, what does this have to do with speed? Well, everything. This is because you need to understand whether the right person for a role needs to have speed as a key characteristic to be successful– and in what capacity.

Is the capacity in which they need speed, in decision-making, in thinking or in application?

For example, quick decision-making is probably a good characteristic for a leader who has to be decisive. Speed of thinking might be good for sales person, who has to ‘think on their feet’ quickly to negotiate an on-the-spot deal.  Speed in application is possibly a strength for a Web Developer who can develop a website fast.

So, how do you assess these attributes in candidates, once you’ve decided the type of speed you’re looking for and it’s time to recruit? You can’t get this information from an interview.

The answer is testing. At Anderson Scott, we advocate the testing of people’s wider characteristics in line with those that are right for the role.  Testing for speed – in whatever the capacity – is no exception.

A Personality Profiling Assessment (PPA), for example, will soon test whether someone is decisive and  / or also pacey in applying himself or herself to a particular task. While a General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) will establish someone’s fluid intelligence; in other words, someone’s capability to think fast on their feet.

The thing is, not all jobs require speed; in fact, the opposite. Often, when speed it’s not required, and a person with speed is recruited, it can have a detrimental impact and result in a terrible mis-hire.  Consider the impulsive nurse – better to have a thorough one; or the pacey but lack of attention to detail accountant – better to have an accurate one. In each case, you should be testing for the other required traits, rather than speed,

The key thing is to understand whether you need speed and, if so, in what capacity. Then test for it.

When you recruit based on understanding the wider characteristics needed for success in a particular role. – and test for those characteristics – your accuracy of hire increases tremendously; from 25% to 75% according to the evidence.

May be in recruitment, itself, it’s time for more haste – less speed?