Selecting and hiring the perfect employee is a difficult task, but if done right, it is one of the most important moves you can make for your business. In today’s economy, there is no room for bad or even marginal hiring decisions. Therefore, your selection process must have little tolerance for errors. Unfortunately, as Peter Drucker emphasized, “One third of all hirings are total failures.”
Here are a few of the common mistakes that contribute to those failures:
1. Falling for the halo effect. The “halo effect” refers to the tendency to focus on how much you like the candidate rather than how well the candidate fits the requirements of the job. Studies have shown that the majority of hiring decisions are made within the first 10 minutes of an interview. Indeed, the first impressions of hiring managers in initial interviews may drive the entire hiring process because they expect—and perceive—better answers from candidates who make a favorable first impression. As a result, many managers make hiring decisions based on style rather than substance, and pass over highly qualified candidates.
2. Lack of a job description. It is essential to accurately visualize the roles needed to meet the company vision. Each of the positions must contribute to the accomplishment of the mission of the organization. It is critical to capture all the requirements of the position, and be able to articulate them in such a manner that personnel can be recruited, trained, and measured against the criteria. If you choose to execute a hiring process without an accurate job description, you have already increased your chances of a bad hire.
3. Failure to prescreen. There are many opportunities to prescreen candidates. The first level is the careful scrutiny of the resume itself. Read between the lines and make sure that you do a thorough job of comparing the resume to the position description. A telephone prescreen will quickly identify the suitability of a candidate. As you listen to the responses, also listen for the tone of voice and enthusiasm. Pay attention to phone etiquette. Use prescreening to smoke out salary issues early.
4. Lack of preparation. Hiring managers and interviewers are often so busy that they do not think about conducting the interview until just before the applicant arrives. If you do not prepare properly, you end up winging it—a sure recipe for another failed hire.
5. Failure to test. It is absolutely essential that, as a minimum, you evaluate intelligence and personality as part of the selection process. It is too expensive to find out later that the candidate does not have the smarts to learn the job or doesn’t fit the culture of the company or the rest of the team.
6. Failure to reference check. When done well, the reference checking process helps hiring managers screen in qualified candidates who are good fits for the job and the organization and screen out unsuitable individuals. Do not eliminate this step just because the candidate appears good.
7. Rushing to hire. You must be responsible to your employees, your customers, and yourself to know ahead of time who you are hiring. The hiring process is an exercise in completing due diligence. Each step in the hiring process is vital to the success of hiring the right person the first time.
Bad hiring decisions result from a failure to do something you should have done. Whatever happens, do not deviate from the requirements that you established in the beginning. Resist the temptation to hire someone just because you need to fill the job. A hasty hire will result in a hiring mistake that will cost you money and more time. A disciplined hiring process is designed to aid the well-seasoned judgment of the hiring manager, not replace it.
Debra Thompson is president of TG & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in Human Resources for the Graphics Industry. Debra can be reached at 877-842-7762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information at www.myprintresource.com/10139915.