Tips for avoiding a bad hire
Issue: Over the past year, an unusually large percentage of new hires have not worked out and have left your organization. This has been costly, especially when considering recruiting expenses, lost productivity, and the negative effect on employee morale. What can your organization do to avoid making poor hiring decisions in the future?
Answer: The average cost of a bad hire can equal 30 percent or more of that hire’s first-year probable earnings. Fortunately, organizations can prevent the costs associated with poor hiring decisions by recognizing the challenges at different steps of the talent acquisition process. The following tips, compiled by PI Worldwide, can help organizations avoid the most common mistakes:
- Clearly define the requirements of the role. The first critical step in the hiring process is to define what would make someone successful in the role. Yet, different stakeholders often have varying perspectives on what this means. By using a job analytic, organizations can objectively align all stakeholders on those activities that are most important for success in a given role. Having an agreed-upon job target sets the foundation for a successful hiring strategy.
- Write an accurate job description. Hiring managers often make the mistake of focusing more on activities and tactical goals than on detailing all of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) that an employee will need to be successful in the role. A well-rounded job description clarifies the needs of the job for both the internal team and external job seekers.
- Define what makes a strong candidate. When analyzing the results of the recruitment effort, managers will in many cases identify several candidates who meet the minimum requirements of the job but who will ultimately be a poor fit. To avoid this scenario, consider behavioral tendencies and attitudes in defining what makes a strong candidate and compare applicant profiles against the job target to determine compatibility.
- Incorporate behavioral data into the screening process. Since the average talent manager may receive 100-150 applications per position, the right technology solution can help organizations manage volume in the hiring process. However, with some technologies, organizations run the risk of eliminating good-fit candidates while retaining applicants who prove to be a poor fit. Using a quick and practical assessment to measure a candidate’s behavioral assets adds data points to the decision-making process. This helps ensure that hiring managers aren’t passing over the best candidates and continuing to interview poor-fit candidates.
- Conduct better interviews with data-driven, behavior-based questions. When hiring managers lack the training or practice opportunities to conduct effective interviews, they often resort to generic interview questions that don’t evaluate the candidate in the areas that matter most. Using assessment data to inform the interviewing process can help all members of an interviewing team develop structured behavioral interview questions to determine job and culture fit with greater accuracy.
- Align the job offer with the candidate’s motivating needs. In today’s hypercompetitive market for top talent, the key to getting a candidate to accept a job is presenting an offer that resonates with their innate motivating needs and drives. Organizations that do not align an offer with the behavioral profile of the person risk losing a strong candidate.
- Customize a new hire’s onboarding plan and learning objectives. Once the hiring process has culminated in a great new hire, managers must embark on getting that individual embedded in the culture and productive as quickly as possible. A common misstep is when managers don’t continue to leverage the data and insight collected thus far to customize the new employee’s onboarding plan and learning objectives. This unnecessarily puts the employee’s success potential and job satisfaction at risk.
Source: PI Worldwide, 6 Laurel Ave., Wellesley Hills, MA 02481; telephone: 781-235-8872.
Reposted with permission from Wolters Kluwer.
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