How can you overcome the Peter Principle?
The Peter Principle is a well-known theory about organisational dysfunction that is well-know by managers all over the world. Find out more more about this theory and how you can avoid this bad pattern by outsourcing the management of your recruitment.
What is the Peter Principle?
The Peter Principle is a rather pessimistic concept in managerial theory. It's the idea that people often get promoted past their level of competence. It happens like this: a person who is very competent in a lower level job is deemed able to take on a higher level role. However, they are not competent enough for the more advanced position and this is how a pattern develops in which people are repeatedly promoted until they hit their skill set threshold.
The end result? Many people in higher level positions are incompetent and a drain on the company's productivity.
Overcome the Peter Principle in the following two ways:
1) Make sure your employees fit the job descriptions
First things first, John Reh in The Balance advises that employers need to start making job descriptions crystal clear for each employment position. This is useful for both hiring and promoting staff. The job descriptions should clearly lay out what the expectations are for the person in the role.
Next step? Know your employees. Your HR team should frequently be keeping track of employees' skills, talents and personalties. Once you're aware of what your employees bring to the table and what the positions require, you can begin putting the puzzle pieces together.
2) Bring in better recruitment practices
Now for the more obvious solution: be more intensive in your recruitment process.
Be imaginative in your questions and steer clear of the old "strengths and weaknesses" question.
One major faux-pas that recruiters can make is asking questions that can be anticipated, according to John Sullivan, Ph.D., a Harvard Business Review contributor and internationally recognised professor of management at San Francisco State University. Sullivan recommends being imaginative in your questions and steer clear of the old "strengths and weaknesses" question.
Another way to discern the competence of a candidate is to take a "job content approach," Sullivan calls it. This involves getting them to identify problems on the job. For example, the recruiter could ask: "Please walk me through the steps of the process that you'll use during your first weeks to identify the most important current problems or opportunities in your area.""
To learn more about effective recruitment techniques, contact Flexi Personnel to get access to Recruitment Consultants who have years of experience in hiring and can help you employ the best practices to get your company the most qualified candidates.