Hiring the wrong people can be disastrous for the new employee, the boss, and the organization.
He's late for work every day. He ignores your directives. Other employees have to make up for his poor quality work. Your staff is wondering how he got hired and, frankly, you're asking yourself the same question.
Hiring is likely to be a manager's most important responsibility. While making the right hiring decisions can make your job a dream, choosing the wrong people can lead to a workplace nightmare.
The most common reasons why the wrong people get hired are some of the easiest to avoid. Take time to inventory your own hiring practices, checking to see if any of the following problems are contributing to costly hiring mistakes in your organization:
1. You don't have time to do the job right. The pressures of time and expense can easily get in the way of putting together a quality, systematic approach to staffing. Yet hire a $35,000-per-year employee and the five-year investment is nearly $210,000. If you were choosing a $200,000 copier you'd probably assemble a task force and spend a week or more investigating options before making a recommendation. Taking the time to hire right will prevent hasty decisions that may result in costly bad hires.
2. You don't know what you're looking for. If you don't have a clear idea of what you're looking for, you probably aren't going to find it. Too often, employers jump right into interviewing people before defining the duties of the job and qualifications candidates need to fill it.
3. You're looking for the wrong things. Make sure the characteristics you're looking for are the ones that make the biggest difference in effective job performance. "Enjoys being with people" is not the same as "provides exceptional customer service."
4. The best candidate doesn't know about the position. Who are you looking for? How do you reach them? More importantly—how do you appeal to them? If you're not effectively marketing your jobs to the right candidates, you'll find your competition hiring the best people while you sift through applications that just don't provide what you need.
5. You base hiring decisions on "gut" feeling. Many hiring decisions are based on gut feeling, often within the first 30 seconds of an interview. While handshakes, posture and grooming are all important, they are not in themselves reliable predictors of success. Research has consistently shown that managers who are not trained in interviewing do no better than random choice in selecting the best candidates. Well designed tests and assessments enhance your opportunity of making a good hiring decision.
6. The wrong candidate didn't get enough information to say no. When you're sold on a candidate, it's natural to touch lightly on the tough challenges of the job. But no matter how qualified, some candidates are simply a bad match for your culture. It's better to have the wrong candidates decide they don't want the position after the first interview than after the second week on the job.
7. You mistake credentials for accomplishment. The resume looks golden, the titles and experiences are impressive, and the history is all there— in fact, it looks like the candidate is doing you a favor by accepting a senior position. But if you don't conduct a rigorous evaluation of the candidate's skills and abilities, you may end up stuck with a poorly performing senior employee and the unenviable task of removing him or her and finding a replacement.
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