To up your hiring success rate, use the forgotten science of people

Through high school and college, we are required to take several science courses to be a more well-rounded person. Classes like biology, chemistry and physics to name a few.  But I don’t recall anyone mentioning or educating on behavioral science — the science of people and how they behave.

When I discovered behavioral science close to 20 years ago, it fundamentally shifted how I communicate, interact and work with others. I use it in all facets of my life to give me more information to make better decisions and work with others. For example, making talent decisions in our company and career planning with my kids.

Behavioral science fundamentally enhances every relationship you use it in. Let’s face it: the world is becoming more complicated, and that has led to people who are more complicated.

The cool thing about the unbelievable advancement of behavioral science is that you can understand a person from several angles, or lenses, if you will. How they are wired, what motivates them, their emotional intelligence and their soft skills to name a few.

You can agree that knowing how a person is wired will only make getting to know them easier, for example in an interviewing process. Research shows that hiring accuracy goes up significantly when you use multiple behavioral sciences:

  • If you use one science, you have an estimated 68 percent chance of making the right hire the first time.
  • Use two sciences, and the percentage goes up to 76 percent.
  • Use three sciences, and your chance of making the right hire the first time shoots up to around 90 percent.

A couple of takeaways from this research is that moving from one to three sciences increases your hiring accuracy by more than 20 percent. Based on the fact that a cost of a bad hire is three to five times annual salary, increasing the accuracy of your hiring and development using multiple sciences will show significant return on investment and bottom line impact. Over the years, these statistics have been validated time and time again.