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Choosing Your Talent Wisely The First Time

What does it take to Build the right team?

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 percent to 300 percent 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 deteriorating client relationships, loss of new business, unemployment, and more.

The bottom line is that bad hiring decisions can make or break a business.

You may have asked yourself the question, “Why did I make such a big hiring mistake?” You may also have asked yourself, “How can I avoid having this happen again?”

The two most common hiring traps are hiring in a hurry and hiring the resume rather than the person. Companies that don’t have succession plans in place or that 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 otherwise 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 resumes. Even more unsettling for prospective employers are the findings that more than 45% misrepresent the credentials on their resumes 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 hiring trap is to hire based on a job description. These typically list a subjective interpretation of required job 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? With more than two decades as a recruiter, staffing agency owner, and leader of the KeenHire™ strategic hiring and retention initiative, I’ve developed an entire arsenal of practical tips and “insider” tools that empower business owners and HR executives alike with the ability to make informed decisions about their most important resource – their people.


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