Having reached an overall conclusion as to the workability of L. Ron Hubbard’s management system, it is time to take care of the babies in the bath water.
First on the list is Hubbard’s main principle regarding recruiting staff to an organization. He writes that one should hire based on results and not based on personality*.
I used to run a recruitment company for 10 years (U-MAN Norway) – from 1990 until 2000. The recruitment business is rife with opinions on how to conduct interviews, what to emphasize when evaluating a candidate etc. But nowhere did I see such a cut-to-the-chase as Hubbard’s.
U-MAN originally based its recruitment services solely on the OCA test (The Oxford Capacity Analysis is the test devised and originally copyrighted by Julia Lewis-Salmen and used by the Church of Scientology). Although the OCA test is a remarkable tool for assessing personality, it is a far cry from a whole recruitment process.
For the first half of the 90’s U-MAN sold the test and was happy doing just that. But sometimes the candidate we recommended turned out to be a mis-recruitment. Perhaps 10-20% of the time. It is a testament to the excellence of the OCA test that such a high percentage of recruitment success was achieved with the test as the main focus.
An effort was made to come closer to 100% recruitment success.
And the Hubbard’s recruitment focus was stressed, and very rightfully so, by the owner of U-MAN International, Mårten Runow. With the focus of uncovering the actual production record of a candidate during the interviews, the success rate of our recruitments jumped to a whooping 93% – probably the highest in the industry.
I have later done recruitments without the OCA test and with the main focus on the candidates earlier results. From this I conclude that one should be able to achieve some 85%-95% success without the use of personality tests but with the main focus on earlier results.
Further progress was made with the use of even better reference checking and with devising specific skills tests for various jobs. We finally reached a success rate of 97,4% before I left the company in 2000. I believe this to be by a margin the best recorded success rate in the industry.
It is not that other recruitment companies didn’t focus on an applicants proven production record. They sometimes did, but never consistently and earlier results were often overshadowed by other factor such as personality, school grades, presentation skills etc.
The moral of this blog post would be that a company would do very well by shifting the focus in recruitment to a diligent uncovering of a candidates earlier production results.
The way to do this is quite simple (here’s a WOIM list):
Recruitment interview (in part) Ask the candidate for his/her main results in life What is he or she is proud of achieving in life? Emphasize results created for others [?] The candidate has earlier job experience [1,3] Earlier job positions Ask what results/products the candidate was supposed to produce Ask how the candidate would measure those result Ask the candidate to draw a graph showing production over time Ask the candidate to explain any ups or downs in the graph Ask for a reference that can verify these results
There is of course a lot more to the whole recruitment process, but with these data, you can better evaluate which candidate to hire.
*) After having spent more than an hour trying to find the exact reference where Hubbard describes the main focus of recruitment, I gave up and realized again the need for the project LRH4ALL.