3 killer steps to recruit for performance

Recruiting the right people can be very hit and miss for a lot of businesses.

I read somewhere that the average bad hire costs between $60,000 and $120,000 to every Australian business. That’s a lot of fucking money.

So, creating a structure on how to navigate the recruitment and interview process is crucial if we want to mitigate some of that financial risk.

In short, the more bad hires we can prevent, the greater chance we have to not only save money but also accelerate growth by keeping the culture nice and strong.

Many people tell me they have difficulties when it comes to recruitment and that’s because there are a lot of people who are almost professional interviewees for a living.

They have had so many interviews and so many different jobs that they have become really good at the interview process. But the problem comes when they are on-boarded into the position and the cracks start to show.

So how do we get the evidence that can prove they have a performance and skills fit?

I use a three-part process which covers context, process and outcome.


Context is where you say, “Tell me about a time where you had to do X Y and Z”.

“What was the objective?”

Here you are asking for context around a particular skill set. Ask them to set the scene and paint the picture by asking the key questions of, “When was it? Where was it? What was it? How long did it take?”

Asking for context can be asked no matter what question or skill you’re trying to asses.

You could say, “Tell me about a time where you had to do this?” Or, “Tell me about a time where you were wrong?”


Next is process. A good candidate should be able to walk you through the step by step process they went through to achieve the objective or desired result.

It needs to be starting from the first step to the very last step.

So, what you are wanting to do is actually get the candidate to explain the full process they went through to get to the conclusion or result they came to, which will demonstrate to a very high level as to where their skill set is at.


Then you ask, “What was the outcome?”

And here you’re looking at their tangible performance by asking questions on conversation, ROI, statistics, lead generation, what was the cost and how many sales were made?

By doing the step by step process explained, what was the outcome? It’s as simple as that.

Smarter recruiting

So there you have it, by using the context, process and outcome framework you will be in a position to have a lot more awareness and understanding around the person that you are interviewing and potentially hiring.

But it’s important to remember, people can bluff their way through this once. That’s why I use this framework sometimes two, or three, or four times in an interview because this process is really just designed to illicit the truth of, do they have the skills?

And I’m telling you now, if they don’t have the skills and you’re following the process you are going to see red flags. There might be a lot more ‘Ummms’ and ‘arhhhs’ which is going to put a spotlight on the holes and weaknesses which in turn will be obvious in the outcome stages, so you can see if that person has the right skills you need to get the job done.

Context, process and outcome. This will transform the way you recruit so get on it.

Kerwin Rae