How to Avoid Poor Hires

How to Avoid Poor Hires

How to Avoid Poor Hires

Despite unemployment rates rising rapidly due to the negative impact of Covid-19, many organizations are still hiring.  With the majority of interviews being held remotely, there is an increased risk of making a poor hire.  The cost of making a poor hire can be as high as 40% of the employees’ annual salary, added to the knock-on negative effect on teams, morale and engagement; therefore, the ROI of a robust recruitment and selection process, which includes proven talent assessment methods, can be very high.  Since the onset of the global pandemic and the resultant major increase in remote working,  Gallup has suggested that only 15% of workers are actively engaged, and there are some suggestions that as many as 80% of workers would like to leave their role, highlighting the challenge of presenteeism whilst employees continue to work from home with many still juggling home schooling with their day job. 

Even before coronavirus accelerated the digital transformation of many organizations, up to 82% of companies admitted to making a bad or wrong choice.  An astonishing 80% of organizations still rely on a single interview alone to recruit key personnel.  Interviewers are still heard saying that they ‘had a good feeling about this candidate’ or ‘he was just like me.’  A few weeks in to the new role and these recruiters will often bemoan the fact that they ‘followed their gut feel’ or managers ‘recruited a mini me.’ 

So, here are 10 ways to avoid poor hires:

1. As the volume of applicants for most roles has increased dramatically over the past year, ensure your recruitment strategy is robust and has a successful and/or automated pre-screening process; this may include an online application form, followed by an initial telephone interview.  Inappropriate candidates will often deselect  themselves at these first hurdles.

2. An Online Personality Questionnaire as another pre-screening tool will give a comprehensive picture of how candidates are likely to behave at work, how they relate to others, the way they solve problems and approach conflict.  Their reaction to the feedback is also a good indicator of future behaviour.

3. Utilizing occupational tests either at the pre-interview stage or at online assessment centres is another way to ensure that applicants are keen and suitable for the role.  Occupational Tests are designed to provide an objective and fair assessment of abilities and aptitude and to find out more about an individual’s own strengths, development areas and blind sports.  There is strong evidence that tests can provide information which is reliable in predicting job success. Asking candidates to complete tests which mirror the real-life business environment is very successful in determining future success. 

4. Over the years there has been some criticism of leadership and management competency frameworks, however, if an organization has a framework with associated behaviours and values, it is easier for the recruiter to assess the candidate against these desired competencies in all stages of the selection process.  The successful candidate can then identify, learn and adopt the behaviours in order to step up and be continually assessed against those competencies.  However, in the absence of a set of competencies, behaviours, KPIs and a list of priorities, a manager can easily lose focus and may even become overwhelmed or disheartened at not fulfilling his/her own line managers’ expectations.

5. The most effective interviews are behaviour and competency based.  Nowadays any candidate can download standard interview questions, however, asking them how they have or would behave in specific work situations is very effective in evaluating performance and prediciting future potential. 

6. If you are interviewing and are uncertain about the candidate, involve a colleague and/or HR.  Always, always, conduct at least two interviews.

7. Using an external qualified Assessor  is also proven to provide an objective, balanced view and a correct evaluation of all the available data.  Trained assessors are adept at asking specific pinpointing questions to discover the real motivators of the candidate.

8. Be honest about the job; many companies will paint a rosy picture of the role, opportunities for progression and the company culture.  Almost half of new employees complain that they were sold a very different scenario to the reality of their new position and consequently may try to move on swiftly or struggle to stay engaged.

9. Despite the challenges of remote working, there is no reason not to ask a successful candidate to spend time with the team virtually for a mutual evaluation of the likelihood of successful collaborative working.

10. Around 65% of companies admit to not checking out any references for new recruits.  Following up on even standard references with a previous Line Manager can limit costly mistakes. 

When companies invest in evidence-based selection methods they are more likely to get the right people in to the right jobs to avoid future time-consuming and expensive performance management issues and high rates of attrition. 

'Thank you for conducting the online tests and interviews for the position of VP of Sales.  It was illuminating to find that our chosen candidate was actually not a good fit.  Fortunately with your useful insights and feedback we've got the perfect match.'  CEO

Stay safe, stay positive!

About Jill Maidment

Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Career and Transition Coaching, Business Coaching, Resilience Coaching, Life Coaching 

Executive Assessment, 360 Feedback, Face to Face 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning

Leadership Training, High Performance Leadership Development, Management Training, Leadership and Management Team Development, Board Facilitation, Coaching Academy