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Blog:Recruiting quality

The single biggest driving force behind the exceptionally high levels of quality and consistency we achieve at KnowledgePoint is our people. All the airtight systems, quality checks and automation in the world are only as sure as the hands that follow them. That’s how KnowledgePoint routinely achieves quality levels1 of 100%, on time dispatch of 100% and a zero cost of resolution for our customers. We hire the right people2.

It’s estimated that hiring a top performer is worth 10-100x their salary. When you look at that in terms of the impact on our customer’s business the number is even higher because we supply what they sell on to their customers.

A few years ago, when KnowledgePoint began looking at how to bring our quality levels up that last 1% to 100%, the first thing we realised was that after twenty years of manufacturing we had the right systems and processes4 in place. The only remaining variable was human error. That’s when we began to look deeply at the difference between our top performers and those that aren’t as strong.

The result was clear. We can give them the skills they needed to do the work, we can motivate and reward them in different ways, but the difference between good and great is attitude. The attitude that they’ve spent decades cultivating before they join KnowledgePoint. For better or worse. That’s when we started recruiting quality:

Explore before you recruit

We spend time with all our strong prospects exploring their background, interests and aspirations, before they enter the recruitment process in earnest. This is to make certain that we only ever recruit good people, with a strong work ethic and a great attitude.

Set clear expectations

There’s no point in overlooking the fact we need a special somebody at KnowledgePoint. We make it very clear before someone even becomes a candidate that there is a high expectation to be met. This sets the stage and in the past it has certainly put people off. People that probably wouldn’t have met those standards on the basis they didn’t even want to stay in the process.

Bias potential over experience

Somebody can have done a job for a long time without having ever delivered truly great quality levels. Better to recruit with a small bias towards potential. People that believe themselves, and that you believe can achieve more, will pay attention to what they’re doing. Your bias towards their potential will give them a bias towards their work.

Search for naturally high standards

The right people have good habits ingrained in them. These habits will naturally display themselves in everything a candidate does. Look at how they’ve prepared, the amount of thought they’ve put into the interview and any indication that this is consistent behaviour. This is especially important for roles that need little to no experience but a lot of training on the job.

Understand consistency

We are in an age where it’s becoming more acceptable to have spent less time in each of your roles and a special candidate may have moved more frequently to search out bigger challenges and rewards. It’s important to understand that consistency can transcend tenure. Search for the threads that are woven through someone’s career, their consistent focus.

I’ve worked with a lot of people and I think I have quite a good understanding of the characteristics and behaviours of a decent person. I still have a gut feeling that I tend to listen to but the proof is in our success.

Having a plan to recruit quality has driven the highest achievable standards5.

Three years after our initial work and we have customer satisfaction6 levels in the 90s for our managed accounts. We use the Net Promotor Score measure. The last customer we lost was because they were acquired and dissolved. Incidentally by another one of our customers. Recruiting quality has enabled KnowledgePoint become the sector leader.

So, the next time you’re searching for someone who meets some specific criteria you’ve created and has all the experience in your job description just remember that there’s nothing more valuable than their quality and that’s nowhere to be found on paper.

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