Joe Sefcik believes the most common mistake credit unions make when seeking new hires is not realizing the best sequence that will lead to the fewest hiring errors.
The best sequence, he says, “places objective and unbiased screening tools early in the selection process—before involving personal contact and emotions,” says Sefcik, founder/president of Employment Technologies Corp. “Early interaction can inadvertently inject biases that lead to hiring mistakes. By using the most objective and accurate screening tools first, credit unions can reduce potential bias and human error, and make better hiring decisions.”
Employment Technologies Corp. specializes in employment simulations, which combine advanced technology with realism. They also give candidates a realistic preview of a job’s functions and employers insight into job candidates’ future performance.
“Employment simulations create a virtual workplace where applicants can interact with members and co-workers and perform actual job tasks,” Sefcik explains. “When you hire an employee, what better way is there to predict how that person will interact with your real members once they’re on the job?”
He says simulations are more engaging than traditional tests. “It’s not just words on paper or on a screen. Simulation immerses them in how the job works, and it calls for on-the-spot responses. It’s perfectly aligned with today’s digital world.”
Tellers, for example, need good service and people skills. Simulations engage applicants in what successful tellers do: handling cash, using product information to up-sell and cross-sell, using account histories, and relating to members. Detailed reports are instantly available showing information such as:
- How many cash handling errors they make;
- Customer service and sales aptitude;
- Keystrokes, navigation, and multitasking abilities; and
- Time to complete. The simulation stops automatically if candidates exceed the 45-minute time limit.
Sefcik says simulations help prevent “faking,” where people select the answer they think employers most want to see. “If you’re taking a traditional teller test, you know the credit union is looking for answers that convey friendliness and attention to detail, so you give responses that suggest you have those qualities. But with simulation, you can’t fake it—you have to perform.”
Not choosing job candidates wisely leads to low performance and high employee turnover costs. Sefcik says a typical credit union will spend 25% to 50% of the cost of a teller’s annual salary to replace that person. That includes costs for recruiting, training, evaluating, and lost productivity.
Sefcik likens employment simulations to what would-be pilots undergo. “They show who can, and they show who cannot. The goal is to give you the most effective person for the job, not somebody who says all the right things but can’t perform.”
Next: Managing performance