Episode 12

The cost of hiring the emotionally unintelligent.

Marie 0:00 
It’s no secret that many countries around the world are experiencing staff shortages. And the competition for talent is fierce. In a recruitment landscape with a candidate shortage, will hiring for potential fill the gaps? And if so, does that make emotional intelligence our most crucial asset? In this episode, we discuss the value of AI during the recruitment phase, and whether it should be a non-negotiable for businesses navigating unemployment crisis. Joining us to tackle these questions and more is Will Ainsley, Chief Operating Officer at Testgrid. Testgrid is an employment testing HR technology and assessment science company. And we’re thrilled to have Will share his unique perspective.

Welcome to emotional intelligence at work, brought to you by Genos International.

Hi, again, Ben. Nice to see you!

Ben 00.55
Great to be here, Marie.

Marie 00.56
And great to have Will from Testgrid with us. Thanks for joining the show.

Will 1:00 
Hi, Ben. Hi, Marie.

Ben 1:02 
Hi Will! It’s great to have you with us. Testgrid have been a long-term partner of Genos International. And so, it’s a great pleasure to have you on the show today. Thank you.

Will 1:09 
Nice to be invited. Thank you.

Marie 1:11 
Will, tell it… what is Testgrid? Tell me a little bit about what your company does.

Will 1:16 
Yeah, so Tesrid specialises in psychometric assessments and HR recruitment technology largely, that we also worked with, with sort of development purposes and consulting and those kinds of things. And we work with companies across Australia, principally, of all sizes, but we’ve really focused on providing tools and the expertise to help you hire the right people, find the potential and then develop them. So, our mission statement is to empower success through people. And mostly that’s through the use of assessments. And we’ve partnered with Genos. That’s been set for a long time. But we partner with a whole range of assessments from all over the world, rather than create our own. That’s our sort of differentiator in the market is that we take the best assessments from across the world and put them in one place.

Marie 2:07 
Awesome. And so which assessments do you work with, from Genos on the AI side?

Will 2:12 
Yeah, so the Genos for recruitment, principally, we do development, but mostly… mostly for that, and then a couple of other AI assessments, and a whole host of cognitive and behavioural assessments as well. Skills Assessment, we’ve got about two and a half thousand in that portfolio. So, the idea is that we can fit any role, any budget, any company.

Marie 2:35 
So, tell me, what are you seeing or hearing too from clients and partners? What’s going on in the recruitment market at the moment? What’s it like?

Will 2:44 
Look, I think some of what was reading in the paper is right. I’m hearing online, that is definitely a candidate shortage there’s no getting away from that. Top talent is getting hired extremely quickly. Hiring processes are blowing out in time, and people are having to adapt to new ways of working. And I think what we’re really seeing is that shift away from… I must have someone that has done this job for three or five years, to an acceptance that maybe we’re looking for potential and cultural alignment, and all those kinds of good things, which, honestly, I believe will leave us in a better state in the future, having made those changes. But there is definitely some short-term pain. And people are having to make a choice. You know, do we hire the people in front of us? Or do we pause? And do we wait until we can find the right, the right person? Or do we realign the job?

So, I think there’s plenty of opportunity. And maybe, certainly what I’ve seen from clients is an adoption of new processes or new technology that were off the table two years ago, that are now so important to limiting the loss of top talent.

Marie 3.59
Like what?

Will 4.01
So that might be the way that they’re using their ATS technology, or the way they’re using assessments or video interviews, all those kinds of things, with that mixture of hybrid working, not being able to see face to face. I think the talent acquisition space is able to challenge themselves and certainly from what I’ve seen from clients is that some of the TA managers are actually quite pleased because it’s allowed them more flexibility and the opportunity to innovate

Ben 4:30 
Will, is this environment really driving wages up to where you’re seeing a lot of companies put a lot more money on the table for top talent and particular roles?

Will 4:41 
Definitely in some areas. Yeah, where we see there is a real shortage of talents and technical roles, programming project managers are crazy. And I think, you know, we are seeing it as a candidate-driven environment where, you know, people are being offered a lot of money in certain areas to move. And that’s not always… it’s not always a bad thing. And those companies are…you know, companies are having to pay their existing stuff, potentially, potentially more as well. But yeah, it’s a definite challenge.

Ben 5:16 
We heard of one client who… people were asking for us 20 or $30,000 more a year than what they are on the client. The organisation is saying ‘no,’ losing those people, and then it costing them 50 or $60,000 more to actually replace them.

Marie 5:33 
But, you know, what, Ben? How lucky that those kinds of companies can afford to pay that, I’m sure there’re small businesses out there who are, you know, have a backed against a wall that can’t afford?

Ben 5.43

Marie 5.44
To go, you know, to pet like… it’s just… it’s, it’s really crazy. I’ve heard so many different horror stories really from businesses large and small. What’s going on with … I mean, when I think about how long recruitment processes typically take, are there organisations out there that are, you know, cutting corners, just like, you know, thinking, “Hey, anybody will do right now” because they’re in so much pain?

Will 6:10 
Yeah, maybe, maybe not as much as people think. So, if we say that the average time to hire at the moment in Australia is 40 days…

Marie 6.20

Will 6.21
But your average top talent is only on the market for 10 days, you clearly have a problem. So, companies are definitely having to think about whether they just want to get those bums on seats, or whether they want to wait and hire the right talent. And the cost of not having those jobs filled is a really important part of it. I think I haven’t necessarily seeing people having to settle for lower quality, because I still believe the quality is there. But what I think you’re seeing is, particularly hiring managers, being forced to make decisions to hire for potential. And we always say that, you know, if you’re hiring for potential, you’re finding that person that’s got the right cognitive ability that aligns with your values, it’s an emotionally intelligent, and they are going to be a good hire, and then you can train for skills. And I think that’s more what we’re seeing where those companies can invest in the development of the people. And I go back to actually, I don’t think this is a bad thing, in the long term, that if you can find people that are more aligned with your company, then you can train them. They will last longer with you, and they will be better employees.

Ben  7:38
That’s very interesting, Will. I think, would I be right in estimating that what companies are looking for in assessments is assessments are more general skills that underpin potential cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, attitude know type things?

Will 7:56 
Yeah, exactly. And I think learning agility is certainly a hot topic. So, you know, do people have that capacity to learn the new skills in a timely manner without, you know, needing a lot of extra help? I think that’s really important that if you’re hiring for potential, you need to know that that person has the potential to learn in the first place. But then, do they have the soft skills to go with that? Are they going to fit into the culture? You know, we all know what the risk of hiring that bad apple is? And I think going back to your question, Marie was, is that risk of hiring the wrong person, or maybe that might be the wrong person that has the right skills, but they’re not aligned with your company values, or the way that you work? I think that’s a huge risk, and something really important that can be picked up through testing and multiple other ways through a typical recruitment process.

Marie 8:53 
So how do I test for that, then? Like if I came to you and said, “I’m looking for the right fit. I can’t afford to get somebody who’s emotionally unintelligent, or doesn’t align with our company values.” What would you suggest that I use at the selection point?

Will 9:12
So, it will completely depend on what you’re looking for. So, we would typically consult with you around the role, around your company values. You might have a competency framework, as an organisation or a values framework as an organisation that we can look at the assessments that we’ve got, and that’s the point of having so many assessments. Is that we can say, “What are the outcomes you want to achieve? You know, are you looking for increased diversity? Are you looking for particular skills or soft skills? Or are you trying to round out an executive leadership team, for example, by having diversity of thought?”

So we’ll try and understand exactly what you’re looking for. And then we’ll pick the assessments and the competencies that we’re looking at within the assessments to align with that. And we can automate all of that process so that you get scores based on the competencies that are important to you, rather than, here’s a big list of 40 competencies, you can’t possibly score well on all of them. And then people get hung up on the low scores, when actually they should be focused on what’s important for my organisation, or for this role, in particular,

Marie 10:26 
And at this point where, you know, there is a massive candidate shortage, and people are in a hurry to hire, are you seeing companies do more of these kinds of tests at the selection stage or less? Like, are they cutting corners?

Will 10:40 
The majority, no, which might be counterintuitive, but I think because they’re maybe less reliant on a resume, for example, you know, I forgot a personal vendetta against resumes that I don’t think they’re particularly effective, that don’t predict your workforce performance. So, because people are not looking for those three to five years of experience of doing the same job, then the resume is becoming less and less important. But what you need then is other data points to say, this person has the potential or this person’s is aligned with our company culture, or this person is emotionally intelligent. So, we’re seeing that continue but what we’re seeing is a lot more customization. So, people wanting to really drill down into specifics for their organisation.

We’re certainly seeing lower volumes in high-volume recruitment processes. So, for the graduate campaigns, for example, we’ve got a lot of graduate campaigns that have started to use the Genos and used EI testing, because they’ve seen how important those interpersonal skills are. The resilience, all those kinds of factors are really important through a grant process. But whereas 12 months ago, 18 months ago, they might have had 3000 applications, maybe we’re down to 2000. So, it’s less about sorting the candidates and doing that hard cut-off process, and more into let’s unearth some potential, let’s identify some, some areas of strengths for these candidates. And let’s follow that up in part of the interviews or the assessment centres. So, we’re seeing slight drops in volumes but that’s more because there just isn’t the number of candidates out there, we’re not seeing a drop-off because from that day-to-day process.

Ben 12:38 
One of the things I’ve always talked with clients about Will is, the good thing about testing for emotional intelligence is even if you do have some candidates who come up low in it, remember, it’s something you can develop. So, using that data, not necessarily as a cut-off, not necessarily saying no, but just being informed about the candidates, and what additional kind of onboarding development you might do with them as you bring them into the company.

Marie 13:04 
How do you know they’re open to… I mean, Will made the point at the beginning that, you know, you want to know that the person you’re bringing in is trainable. Some people genuinely are not trainable, right? How can you tell if they are?

Ben 13:17 
I believe everyone’s trainable. Personally, I do know the type of individual that you’re talking about, that’s harder to train. Definitely, I will maybe put his two cents into that question. But, you know, from an EQ perspective, or an AI perspective, you know, certainly, learning to be more emotionally intelligent is more challenging for some than it is for others. I think it’s like playing the piano. It’s a skill, we can all do it. But our attitude and our desire to want to plays a big part in that.

So, Will, is there actually a test for learning potential and assessment?

Yeah, certainly. Maybe there isn’t one assessment but there’s definitely a suite of assessments you can use. And what we say is that there’s sort of different elements of how it works. So, you’ve got your can-do which is your role cognitive ability, do you have the ability to learn? And do you have that baseline intelligence to be able to pick up new skills, to be able to learn the instructions, to not lean on your managers too much? And if you’ve got that, then you can definitely pick up new skills. And then you’ve got the will-do, which is your behavioural assessments or EI, to say that you’re in that right frame of mind to actually learn new skills.

So you, you feel the value in the alignment with the company or role and you’ve got that learning mentality, which is really, really important, and there’s certainly things that can get picked up in the assessments. You can be as bright as you like. If you haven’t got that will-do attitude and that openness to learning, then you probably can’t be developed. But I think that’s really few and far between and what you need is a role in a company that’s going to motivate you. And then you can certainly develop those skills.

Marie 15:13 
Ben, you mentioned that for an AI assessment, you know, don’t focus on the negative because AI can be taught, right? But surely, there’s got to be a cutoff point where you just look at the assessment results and go, “This person just doesn’t have high enough levels of AI.” is there a cut-off and I’m interested to know if there is, what some of the cutoff points other companies are using at the moment?

Ben 15:39 
There are cutoff points that organisations we’ve been working we’d have and often they like them to remain commercial and incompetence for very obvious reasons. But typically, what I see is, they’ll raise the bar on the cutoff when they have more candidates to choose from, or they’ll raise the bar on those cutoffs for jobs that involve high levels of emotional labour, and require high levels of emotional regulation. Roles that in other words, depend on empathy, self-awareness, roles that really require resilience, and the capacity to, you know, tow the hard line with people, whether it be in a contact centre, or something like that. So, yeah, I think it depends, obviously, a little bit on the job as far as I see in the market.

Will, would you like to come to that question?

Will 16:33 
Yeah, I completely agree with you. And I think, going back to my point about the large high volume campaigns, the cutoffs probably changed depending on how many candidates you want to screen out or screen into each stage. I think, in the candidate scares market, then we are seeing a little bit more of less concern with a cutoff, and more of “Okay, what’s the scores? And how can I use the scores in the interview questions?” As an example, out of the Genos to understand more about that candidate. To understand if there’s coping mechanisms, or how they actually exhibit their behaviours in work. So, I think the hard cutoffs become more relevant when you just need to sift out candidates. You know, there’s just no other way of doing it and in a candidate scares market, it’s less relevant.

Is it less relevant or is it just not prioritised?

Will 17:33 
Oh, it maybe, maybe less prioritised? Yeah, absolutely. So, if you look at a standard high-volume campaign, let’s say you’ve got 2000 applications, you might do early screening, and you might want to get rid of 30 to 40% of those candidates to manage you through to a video interview stage or assessment centre, those kinds of things. I think once your numbers are lower, what we’re seeing is people are not really changing how many people they’re taking through to the assessment centre, because they’ve still got the same level of roles. We’re just seeing fewer at the early stages being screened out.

Marie 18:13 
But is it still important? Like is scoring well in AI still important?

Will 18.19
Of course, yeah.

Marie 18.19
Can they afford to not test them for emotional intelligence?

Will 18:23 
Look, I’ll go back to grads because I’ve been looking at them recently, and been looking at lots of data that the AAGE have put out.

Marie 18:33 
Who is that AAGE?

Will 18:35 
AAGE is the Association of Australian Graduate Employers.

Marie 18.40

Will 18.40
So, they work with lots of lots of the grads teams across Australia and we’re the industry body for that. So, they do a fantastic survey every year out to employers and they look at what are the skills, what are the methodologies you’re using for your programmes, costs, all those kinds of things.

Marie 18.57

Will 18.57
But in their most recent survey, the employers were saying one of the key skills that’s being lacked is emotional intelligence. So, I think it was something like fifth in the list of behavioural skills or elements that were being missed by the grads that they’d hired. So, it’s really important, but yet only 20% of them were actually actively using an emotional intelligence test, it Genos or any of the others. So, there’s a real disparity there to say we know it’s really important, but also, we don’t want to test for it, or we don’t want to spend the money on testing for it, potentially. So, I think that’s a good example. And it goes across lots of other types of roles as well is if there’s a test, you know, you want to test cognitive ability and behaviour and EI, unfortunately, a lot of the time the EI is the one that will get dropped.

Marie 19:56
Is it an expensive assessment?

Will 19:59 
No, not at all. You know, the EI… I love it as an add-on because, you know, it’s less than half the price of a typical behavioural assessment, for example, and it gives you such rich data. And I think it’s up to us to educate the market and go. We know how important EI is. And we, we know the stats around EI being… for leaders EI being more important than your cognitive ability, because you’ve got to motivate your teams, and you’ve got to understand people. And I think we do see that shift over time. And we’re certainly doing more EI assessments than ever before. But it’s slow. It’s a slow change.

Ben 20:42 
I’d like to contribute to the conversation from a research perspective on that one, the data that we have suggests that emotional intelligence accounts for more than a third of what it means to be an effective leader. So not looking at emotional intelligence on your leadership candidates, by example, means you’re really not looking at one of the most fundamental parts of effective leadership, and not only in leadership, but things like aged care, heightened emotional environments, high stakes environments, education, police and emergency services, working in a contact centre, where you are, you know, helping disgruntled customers. And imagine working in a Quantas customer care, or Qantas Call Centre at the moment, you know, that’s going to require high levels of well-being and resilience. And so if soft skills and well-being are very important to the role, if they are, then I really don’t think you can afford not to look at emotional intelligence, particularly because it isn’t, as we were saying an expensive thing to do.

Marie 21:44 
I wonder whether… I mean Will’s example was around grads? Is it the case, Will, that, you know, EI is tested or more of a priority in leadership roles than say, if it’s a grad role?

Will 22:01 
Yes, yes, and no? We certainly… we try and promote it into leadership roles wherever possible because I think it adds that extra data point. So yes, you’re using it alongside maybe a general, general behavioural assessment, that the rich data that you can get out of an EI specific assessment definitely makes a big difference. So yes, they’re adopting it.

And I go back to Ben’s point, where we’re also seeing is in those contact centre environments, and those kind of things that, that traditionally haven’t been used. But the results that you can get out of that is outstanding. We’ve got some fantastic data from certain clients that, you know, their retention rates have gone up so much, just by using an EI assessment, because as Ben was saying, you’ve got to be forced to have difficult conversations, maybe you’re chasing payments, maybe you’re obsessing customers, that ability to be able to handle those discussions, and be resilient in yourself, has led to far fewer people quitting. And the payoff for an organisation there is not just the savings in “Now I don’t have to hire 50 people a quarter. I can get away with hiring 10 people a quarter.” But it’s actually what we’ve been told is that the team leaders and the managers in those situations can actually spend their time developing the people improving their processes, improving their outcomes for the customers, rather than spending the whole time recruiting.

Ben 23:27 
There are really three big outcomes our research suggests improves from hiring for emotional intelligence. One is productivity. The second is you should see reduction in absenteeism, sick leave, particularly in roles that involve high levels of emotional labour and regulation. And thirdly, you should see improvements in talent retention, because people are happier doing the work.

Will 23.48

Marie 23:49 
So, what does the research show then in hiring the emotionally unintelligent?

Ben 23:56 
Will, I’ll let you come into it in a moment. I wanted to share. Again, I think there’s a couple of things to think about here. Sometimes getting it wrong with emotional intelligence in a small business can have a big impact because critical roles in the small business if you don’t get them right, they can be really bad. And it can be very costly I think when you hire an unemotionally intelligent person into a role that requires good interpersonal skills, obviously.

So, you know, a case study I can think of is an aged care facility that had an unemotionally intelligent kind of head nurse running a facility and I just saw how this particular person’s behaviour caused people to make mistakes, caused people to hide things and just caused other unemotionally intelligent behaviour to be demonstrated towards the residents. So, when we hear in the Royal Commission around aged care about elder abuse, by way of example, that was some of the stuff that was going on in this facility because of the unemotionally intelligent behaviour of the boss so to speak, making it almost okay to be that way yourself and there were people in this facility being that way with each other with residents and indeed, with management more broadly.

Will 25:19 
Yeah, and I think just adding into that, and without wishing to be in any way political, but you just have to look at the parliamentary commissions in Canberra and New South Wales and that risk of that culture across an organisation from unemotionally intelligent people. And I think we’ve probably all had those bosses or colleagues or people we’ve worked with we got away, “I wouldn’t like to work for you.” And we know what the impact of that can have. And let’s be frank, if we’re in a candidate-driven market, and you hire a bad apple into a team, whether it’s small or large, and they’re exhibiting that emotionally unintelligent behaviour, then people are going to leave and you’re going to be back to square one.

Ben 26:09 

I’m happy to be a little bit political for a moment. I mean, the Liberal Party in Australia is going to pay a very high price for putting Scott Morrison in the prime ministership. I mean, that person on almost every test of emotional intelligence that you can anecdotally see, you know, that was demonstrably bereft of self-skills. And I think more and more of the issues that caused are going to come out in the press, and are going to, you know, see the Liberal Party, but be put back politically in Australia for quite some years to come.

So what’s the cost of it? Well, you know, again, in those critical roles, it can be really demonstrably evident to your clientele, to your staff, and sometimes it can wind you up in the papers, as we’re seeing some of the unemotionally intelligent decisions being made in the New South Wales State Government, recently to around hiring decisions, Will …

Will 27.13

Ben 27.13
… jobs for mates by example. I mean, that’s, you know, where emotions are getting in the way of good decision-making. That’s unemotionally intelligent behaviour.

Marie 27:25
Yeah, so I guess the cost then is, you know, there’s the cost of losing good people. And then recruiting, you’ve got reputational damage, that is incredibly costly to improve from a comms and a PR perspective. And then there’s the organisational and cultural damage, which, again, is a very long-term fix. So, I guess, you know, it baffles me to think that at the selection stage, EI can be dropped. I mean what… are you guys happy to share from a cost perspective or a time … what are we talking about? What can businesses be up for to run these assessments?

Will 28:04 
All it depends a bit on volume. But let’s say, you know, average around 60ish dollars to do emotion intelligence tests in 15 minutes

Marie 28.13
Sixty bucks?

Will 28.12
Yeah, sixty bucks, exactly. So, it’s not a big expenditure. It’s not time-consuming for candidates. You can give some really good feedback to the candidates. Once they’ve completed as well, it really opens up for development. And if you think of that damage that can be done, the return on investment there … with assessments in general, and particularly EI, let’s say, into leaders, the return on investment is probably about as good as you can get at any point in any process in any part of the recruitment process. You know, even at the top end of doing some really in-depth leadership assessments, you might be looking at maybe $500, to complete four or five assessments, that return on investment is just crazy when you account for that person running teams of hundreds and millions of dollars of revenue and all those kinds of things.

Marie 29:09
Yeah, it seems like a bit of a no brainer. And from an assessment point of view, from the candidate experience point of view, what’s involved, like, I know, with some of the assessments that Genos does, you have to go out and get, you know, other people on your team to comment on you or to provide insights into your behaviour. With the selection assessment. Is that the case too?

Will 29:29 
No, no, it’s, it’s something you do generally at home. You just get sent a link to complete an assessment.

Marie 29.37

Will 29.37
And you’ve got all of the instructions. You sit down for 15, 20 minutes. You answer a series of questions and then the reports are available immediately for the recruiter. So, it shouldn’t take long. It shouldn’t lengthen your recruitment process. It’s not a bad candidate experience. I always find candidate experience when those things that if you communicate why you’re doing something…

Marie 30.00

Will 30.01
… and the value to it, most candidates don’t mind. Completion rates are extremely high. You know, we regularly see completion rates for clients in sort of the 90s. So, it’s not off-putting for candidates providing you tell them the steps in the process while you’re doing it. The amount of time they need to commit, it’s not like the old days where you were having to commit two and a half hours to complete a whole range of assessments without an explanation. We’re talking 45 minutes is about the boundary, really, for candidates for mid-tier roles to say that’s acceptable.

Ben 30.41
I’d like to talk just a little bit about clients who I think are doing it well and putting into perspective. There are a lot of organisations around across Australia and around the world who do tests for emotional intelligence on the way through.

Marie 30.53
But at the selection stage?

Ben 30.55
Yeah, absolutely. Obviously, there are more who could do but there are a large number that do. I think those who are doing it well, also interviewing and sometimes role playing for emotional intelligence as well. So, if it’s really critical to a roll, I’d really recommend not only using a psych assessment, but then following it up with some EI based interview questions. And if you like even some sort of EI based simulation activity that involves influencing someone shifting their perspective, helping them through a challenging situation, something like that.

When I interview for emotional intelligence, I like to test people’s knowledge. I like to look at their… whether they’ve kind of engaged in any EI development at all, whether they’ve applied it. I find that that sort of scaffold, if you like, can really help give a great level of insight into a candidate. So, let’s say you were interviewing for self-awareness, for example, emotional self-awareness, I would say to a candidate, tell me what is self-awareness? And why is it important? Question like that? It’s an easy question to answer. But what I’m really looking for there is the knowledge of the candidate, do they really know what self-awareness is? Can they define it well?

Then I might follow up with a follow-up question,”Tell me what sort of things have you done to improve your self-awareness in your career so far?” candidates might talk about 360 feedback, doing a DISC profile, engaging in some form of development at work. And then the real kicker question that I like to ask at the end of that, then is, oh, that’s very interesting. Tell me, what have you learned about yourself? How have you actually enhanced your self-awareness as a result of those things? And that’s a big question that I find you get a lot of varying levels of depth too

Marie 32.39
Okay, good to know, Ben, because usually my question is, “Do you have good interpersonal skills?” “Yep. Yep, I do.” “Excellent!” And then we just move right along. But what… in those questions, for example, that that you ask, can someone not say, “Yeah, I know exactly what self-awareness is, and nail the definition, but then have actual no self-awareness of themselves.

Ben 33.02
Exactly. And that’s why that scaffold is so important. So some people have a good definition of it, that can actually talk about what they’ve learned about themselves from, say, applying development techniques to their self-awareness. So their answers will be very superficial. Whereas somebody who has a lot of depth and has actually done the work might say, “I’ve learned that I’m very defensive when people give me criticism. And what I do about that now, is, I go to my response rather than my reaction. You know, I’ve learned that when someone criticises me, it’s much better to lean in, ask open questions, explore it in a little bit more depth, try and suspend my judgement.” That’s a kind of a more thorough answer to it, somebody who, who perhaps provide some more light on response to that question, will say something like, “I’ve learned that I’m a bit extroverted and I like to socialise at parties, you know.” “Okay, thanks for that.”

Will 34.05
Yeah, I think that’s right. And I think when you look at that general behavioural assessment, so we do a lot of recorded one-way video interviews. And for example, if you’re asking a behavioural question, and you might allow the candidate, say, three minutes to do a response, we normally find that the best answers are those that cuts off around that one minute, one and a half, because they understand the question, they get to the point, they don’t repeat. And then you know, that they’re truly understanding rather than just throwing as much stuff at the wall as they can in the hope that they nail a response.

Ben 34.40
Hey Will, just to sort of pull things to a close, I’d love to ask you about without naming the client. Can you think of an organisation that has included EI assessments in their process that has then gone on to realise some really demonstrable benefits from it, what those benefits were

Will 34.58
You know I think that the one that instantly springs to mind is the one I mentioned earlier about the contact centre. That has been a stronger case study as we’ve seen across any of the tools we’ve used because of the payoffs. So, you know, their retention has changed so much. I can’t remember the stats, but I think it was something along the lines of they were typically hiring 70, 80 people a quarter, and that’s down to single figures, around 10 a quarter now. So, the sheer savings from having to run those assessment programmes. And we know that the cost of replacing someone is about 50% of their salary. So if you’re paying someone, you know, I don’t know what a call centre, let’s say 60,000 in a call centre, well, that’s $30,000 to replace that person every time in terms of recruitment costs, and the development cost and the training, the disruption to the business, all those kinds of elements.

So if you can reduce that by 70, 80%, that’s a great payoff. But then you get the other side of the business, spending their time doing things that are other than recruitment. So, if you can get your managers focused on how am I improving the customer satisfaction score, how am I improving my internal processes, all these things will continue to contribute to retaining your talent, getting better customer outcomes, all those kinds of things. And then the payoff you have there, well, that we can’t recalculate it, but it becomes ridiculous.

I think that is, that is the perfect example of moving from a model of we want to find some with the right skills, and they have to be able to answer the phone and talk to someone versus actually putting some science behind it. And we know what we’re really looking for in this role, and that we had to work with them and tweak the assessments over time. Because that’s the point, as we learn more we tweak and we refine, and we improve the outcomes year and year and year. I always say to our clients, particularly in sort of the bigger enterprise space, if you’re still doing the same process, two, three years on without any additions or amendments, then we’re probably not doing our job right because as we learn more about the people you’re hiring and the outcomes you’re getting from that, we should be giving you that feedback loop to continuously improve.

Marie 37.23
Can I ask for those people who might be listening and thinking, “Okay, well, this all sounds great but I’m, I’m recruiting right now. And if I was to do this, or if I was to introduce these kinds of tests at the, you know, at the early selection stage, I’d have to do it pretty quickly.” Is it hard to get these assessments set up and to get going with them?

Will 37.43
No, if you wanted to give me a call this afternoon, Marie, we’d be having a testing out this afternoon.

Marie 37.48
That quickly?

Will 37.49
So we can get out to candidates, we’ve got everything templated easy to get people doing. And in the meantime, we train you on how to use the report, how to understand the outcomes, all those kinds of things.

Marie 38.00

Will 38.00
But absolutely, it happens all the time. You know, people contact us and say,” I have a live job role.”

Marie 38.06

Will 38.06
What do I do?

Marie 38.07

Will 38.08
And often what people do is they send us a role description or a PD.

Marie 38.10

Will 38.11
And we will have a look at that. Make a recommendation of the right fit assessments.

Marie 38.16

Will 38.16
And work with you to get it live.

Marie 38.19
That’s great.

Ben 38.20
I can attest to that. I’ve done it to Will in his team before myself when we’ve wanted to hire a candidate into one of their fired organisations.

Marie 38.28
Thank you very much, both of you. I think that was really interesting to learn what the impact is of getting it wrong, but thank you both so much for joining.

Ben 38.37
Thanks Marie. Thank you, Will.

Will 38.39
Thank you, Marie. Thank you, Ben. It was great to… great to be here.

Marie 38.41
Great to chat. Take care.

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