Making sure that a prospective employee is highly motivated and a good cultural fit for your business before they are hired will help ensure they accept accountability for their performance, and significantly raise the probability that they will be engaged, productive and stay for the long haul.

So how do you assess a person’s accountability?

1. Vision & Values Alignment
Firstly, it needs to be acknowledged that a lack of accountability in employees is often a symptom of misalignment between the goals and motivations of a business and those of an employee. In order for people to feel accountable for their jobs, they need to feel committed to the vision and values of a business, therefore the first step is to ensure that the vision and values of the business are communicated to your current and prospective employees.

2. Behaviour Predictors
Assessing someone’s level of accountability is then a matter of gauging their values and determining whether they are aligned with that of your company. A skilled behavioural interviewer will be able to assess a prospect’s values through their actions and the behaviours they exhibit. Often they will do this by asking questions about past, real-life situations with the assumption that past behaviour is likely to determine future behaviour. For example, if one of your company’s values is honesty, ask a candidate to describe a time when a negotiation didn’t work out in their favour. You’ll be able to tell if their example is authentic and whether they are honest about their shortcomings. Then ask them what they did about it. This will determine their problem-solving abilities as well as their resilience.

3. Combining Qualitative with Quantitative
In addition to the behavioural interview, reference checking, psychometric testing and credentials verification can be utilised to support your assessment of talent. This combination of quantitative and qualitative assessment will help to build an accurate picture of the ‘person’ behind the ‘candidate’, and establish their true potential for performance, accountability and sustained cultural alignment.