Ask any company owner or president and they will tell you that the single most important part of running a business is making good hiring decisions.
Having the right person in a role, and reducing attrition is categorically essential for success. Simply put, great people get great results.
However, if you ask 10 different people what the key is in making informed hiring decisions, you are likely to get 10 different answers.
For as long as I have been recruiting, it seems like I have been on a quest for the answer to this million-dollar question; how to make the best possible match, between a candidate and a position.
What if I told you that there is a selection method that has been successful 97% of the time?
Would you be interested in hearing more?
I recently heard from an HR executive that I have had the pleasure of working with for the past few years. He shared with me a selection method that he has been refining over the past two decades that has substantially improved his company’s accuracy of hiring and resultant attrition rates. I knew I had to find out more!
Matt Ohrt is Director of Human Resources for Merrill Steel, and he has a solid 20 years of Human Resources experience under his belt. Matt has been responsible for hiring in excess of 1,000 people over the course of his career, and has developed a unique formula that results in remarkable success rates in terms of screening candidates for skill sets, personal characteristics, and the cultural fit needed for a particular role.
By creating a philosophy of “Consensus Decision Making”, as opposed to the more common “Majority Rules” philosophy that is typically the norm in corporate settings, Matt has been able to foster an environment in which members of a team are highly involved in the selection process and subsequently, are fully invested in the final candidate’s long-term success within the organization.
The beauty of this process is that it can be utilized for any position, at any level, within any organization. If you are selecting a Vice President, a cross functional executive team can be assembled and trained. Similarly, if you are selecting a Custodian, the Custodial team, along with the Manager and a member of HR, becomes the selection team.
For many years, Matt utilized the techniques outlined in steps 1 – 3. These proved to be more effective than the traditional approaches, but there was still something missing. It was only in the past 5 to 6 years that steps 4 (Team Interviewing) and 5 ( Consensus Decision Making) were added. This resulted in solidifying the process and it was then Matt began to measure the method’s overall effectiveness. By utilizing all 5 steps to form a complete methodology, Matt and his colleagues have achieved a startling record of 46 successful incumbent placements, with only 1 fail. Although this process seems to be at a stage in which it has been refined by fire and is nearly perfected, Matt continues to read, learn, and make adjustments to the training and overall Selection Method when opportunities arise. Please note, in this instance, “successful” is defined by having the candidate remain in the role and a good culture fit for at least 1 year. To date, they become above-average performers.
What do you think of this approach to interviewing?
I would love to hear other HR professionals thoughts on implementing this process and improving hiring strategies to improve retention rates.
Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, a leader in executive search since 1999. ISC has the following teams of recruiters; Sales Recruiters, HR Recruiters, Financial Services Recruiters, Construction Leadership Search Consultants and Energy Headhunters. Ann can be reached via e-mail at or direct dial at 888-866-7276.
Matt Ohrt started his career in the auto manufacturing industry with Tenneco Automotive, a tier one supplier to Toyota and other auto manufacturers. Matt was then recruited by Toyota Motor Manufacturing to work in Georgetown, KY facility. During his tenure at Toyota, he had the opportunity to experience first-hand the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Toyota’s unique approach to Human Resources. Matt’s other experience includes serving as the Director of Team and Culture at Badger Mining Corporation – winner of the SHRM and Fortune national #1 Great Place to Work awards, and at Ariens Company as Director, People and Culture in which he led the company’s effort in Lean and Continuous Improvement. Currently, he leads the HR, Safety, and Leader Development functions at Merrill Steel as the Director of Human Resources.
Matt’s background has afforded him unique insight to approach Human Resources strategically and to lead in a way that change is accepted and embraced. His experience includes roles in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Training and Facilitation, and Lean Manufacturing.
Matt’s educational background includes a BS in Psychology from Western Illinois University and a MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa. He is currently working towards completing a PhD in Organizational Leadership and plans to attend the University of Indiana – Wesleyan to achieve the terminal degree. Additionally, Matt holds a Lean Manufacturing Certification from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Zappos Culture Camp.
Matt welcomes all invites to connect at his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-ohrt-6a1335b/.