You are here

Hiring Exceptional Employees Through Behavioral Science by Seth Burr

From the Blog
Hiring Exceptional Employees Through Behavioral Science by Seth Burr
How are you hiring? If you're still matching bullet points from a job description to bullet points on a resume, you're doing it wrong. You have to hire smarter.

My friend, business partner and fellow LABUR co-founder, Darrin Lang, recently wrote about how hard it is to make great hires. And I couldn’t agree more. Making a great hire – someone who is going to be loyal and perform out of passion and shared goals with a company – is not an easy find.

The same is true for great leaders.


A team rises or falls by its leaders. If a leader is too busy to communicate, they are too busy to be an effective leader. Delegation and trust are huge qualities to look for in any hire, but most especially in a leader. And, I firmly believe in the adage that a ‘fish rots from the head.’ Meaning, if the leader has not properly set the course, success for the team is unlikely.


Making great hires is closely tied to the leadership representing the company and conducting the interviews, and we oftentimes forget these leaders are only making a few hires a year. They are not professional interviewers, nor do they know what they’re looking for before they sit down with someone. So, they wing it, and six months down the road they have an employee they don’t know what to do with and a position that still needs to be filled.


You have to hire smarter.



The Human Domain


There are countless interview methodologies out there – STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) – and different coined terms – EQ (Emotional Intelligence), but it all boils down to this: In an interview, your mission is to determine who the person is. What motivates them? What do they already know? What can they be taught? Are they willing to learn? Who are they and will they get along with everyone else already working here?


At LABUR, we call this LABURin2itive. It’s part intuition, part data points we collect.


By drawing on this proprietary data, and with an acute attention to the less measurable human component and soft skill factors, we source talent for our clients using real-time metrics that match candidates with projects that align with their unique attributes, not just their skill set.


In our industry, not enough people are tapping into these perceptions to help make great hires. And in the human domain, you have to think human.



Behavioral Science


In addition to the value-based approach to hiring and interviewing, which we boil into LABURin2itive, it is also important to landmark actionable behavior.


A key way to measure loyalty, or how much respect and emphasis people are putting into a relationship with you – especially in a position of hiring – is response time.


For instance, a key first benchmark for professionals interested in consulting for LABUR is their timeliness to complete initial documentation for us, one part being a reference sheet. Their response time to this alone indicates future behavior. Right off the bat, we know what a person is going to be like to work with down the road. It tells us the value they are placing in the relationship with us and what their priorities are. It also indicates the level of respect they are placing in the relationship. When people respond in a timely manner, it tells us they understand our purpose.


There is no right or wrong, but soft data points can be captured and stored, or they can be ignored.


Honing in on people points – also referred to as soft skills, behavior and emotional intelligence – is key to hiring today. Without it, we’d simply be matching bullet points in a job description to bullet points on a resume.



About Seth:

For nearly a decade, Seth Burr has worked to establish LABUR as a leading business and technology consulting firm, bridging the gap between strategy and execution. Proudly, the firm has been acknowledged by Staffing Industry Analysts as one of the Best Staffing Firms to Temp For (2017), and was also named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list 3 years in a row and Boston Business Journal’s Pacesetters list for 2 years.


As the Chief Operating Officer for LABUR, Seth is at the helm of driving business transformation through the use of technology, behavioral analysis and assessment techniques unparalleled in the industry. He is exceptionally passionate about people and keeps the candidate and client experience close to the initiatives and processes he drives.


Burr’s commitment to constant improvement and service is best exemplified in his volunteer efforts. In addition to veteran career coaching and serving as an Advisory Board Member to Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program dedicated to healing the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families, Seth is also a Big Cheese Reader for Boston Partners in Education.


Follow him on Twitter, @sethlabur.