Have you ever thought you hired the workplace version of John Wayne, only to find out you’ve been duped and ended up with a Woody Allen? Poor hiring decisions are costly mistakes that can range from 150% to 300% of an employee’s base salary. Financial losses include expenses associated with hiring and training, low employee morale and decreased productivity. Plus, poor hiring choices frequently lead to damaged client relationships, loss of new business and business in general, unemployment and more. The bottom line is that bad hiring decisions can make or break a business.
The two most common hiring traps are hiring in a hurry and hiring the résumé rather than the person. Companies that don’t have succession plans or fail to practice cross-training often rush to relieve the pain of the empty chair. Businesses that ignore the hiring process in the interest of expediting it are far more susceptible to missing important clues that could prevent a poor hiring decision. For example, studies on the behaviors of job applicants report that more than 65% of all candidates do not prepare their own résumés. Even more unsettling for prospective employers is that more than 45% misrepresent their credentials with one or more “tall tales.” From reporting academic degrees never achieved and embellishing roles to listing completely fictitious positions, many of today’s job seekers will do whatever they can to appear qualified.
A third and very common trap is to hire on the basis of job descriptions. These typically list a subjective interpretation of required skills and experience. By highlighting only hard skills, they leave out the most critical elements such as key performance objectives, behaviors, values, character traits and soft competencies — the defining criteria that lead to effective performance.
With the war on talent in full force, there is tremendous pressure on hiring managers to keep their organizations fully staffed and productive. But how does one meet these demands without falling into hiring traps? After more than two decades as a recruiter, staffing agency owner, and leader of the KeenHire™ strategic hiring and retention initiative, I’ve developed an arsenal of practical tips and “insider” tools that empower business leaders with the ability to make informed decisions about their most important resource — their people. Today, I share these with you in a simple step-by-step format.
WHAT IS AN INTERNAL HIRING PROCESS AND HOW DO WE CREATE ONE?
If you hire someone you don’t really know, for a position you have not thoroughly defined, chances are that neither the person nor the position will deliver. Hiring the right people requires implementation of a comprehensive internal hiring process that selects the best and eliminates the rest. And it all starts with benchmarking. Whether you are benchmarking the role, the top performers in that role, or key traits of the best performers in the company as a whole, the first step is creating the model of what right looks like. Companies that take the time to do so fully understand not only who they need; they also why they need them. These are the companies that excel in the employee-selection process and the capacity to build a dream team.”
WHAT RIGHT LOOKS LIKE
Before you evaluate your immediate needs