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5 Tips to Avoid a Bad Hire

By April 8, 2014 No Comments

Throwing Your Money AwayThe costs associated with a bad hire are staggering.  An NBRI study has found that even for low-paying roles – between time and cost associated with training, loss in productivity, interviewing, employment ads and various HR-related activities – a bad hire can mean a loss of $25,000.  The company takes a far bigger hit, financially, when the bad hire holds one of the highest-paying jobs.  In those cases, among professionals earning up to $233,000, a bad hire can cost the company as much as $300,000.

Identifying and avoiding a potential bad hire should be happening in the screening and interviewing stage.  Below are the most common ways the interview process falls short, letting the bad-uns slip through, and suggestions for how to avoid this trouble going forward.

  1. Interviewing and assessments are being done too quickly.  Yes, filling vacancies is generally a time-sensitive thing.  But making a rapid decision can lead to a bad hire, and ultimately to your having to fill the same position twice in a matter of months.  Try a trial periods or using an interim to fill the role when possible.
  2. Screening practices are lacking.  NBRI found that among the top reason that companies make bad hires is because they’re working with unqualified candidates.  This happens frequently when there’s a lack of focus on the most important criteria.  It may be that your team is most focused, for instance, on an applicant’s level of education rather than his years of relevant experience.
  3. The interviewing process is unstructured.  Recruiters and hiring managers are able to make the most unbiased and informed decisions about candidates when a set of standardized questions around critical competencies is used on everyone.  When the process is more informal, results tend to be less reliable.
  4. There’s a lack of focus on the candidate’s attitude.  The candidate may have a laundry list of accomplishments, but if his temperament would make him a problematic fit with your existing team, he will probably be a problem before long.  A Leadership IQ study found that a whopping 89 percent of new hires fail because of attitude-related issues rather than a lack of technical skill.
  5. You’re not asking for enough samples of work.  Past performance is one of the top predictors of future success.  If your candidates can possibly provide samples of past work, you should have them do so.