How to Minimize Hiring Mistakes

If you are a business owner or a hiring manager and you’ve hired more than say 5 employees, you may have had one or two hires that didn’t work out so well. You’re only human, right?  Well, we all know that the cost of making a bad hire can be costly and damaging to your organization.  Here are some tips from columnist Lou Adler in a recent Inc. magazine (March 2015) that we have paraphrased below.

  1. Don’t be seduced in the interview. It feels great when a connection seems to be made and the conversation is lively in the interview, but remember that what you want are performers in the organization. The big talkers may be just that. Sometimes the quiet ones have the most potential to become your stars. Or as my father used to say, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.
  2. Are you sharing enough details about the job in the interview for the candidate to get a real understanding of the role? All candidates, almost by definition, will be excited about the job during the interview. But remember that most candidates get better and better with every interview. You want to find the candidate that understands the requirements and is best suited to do the job.
  3. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to do this job, unless you’re hiring for NASA. I personally like to work with very bright people and have had that opportunity on many occasions, but very bright people fail and/or quit jobs probably just as much as the rest of the workforce. Everything else equal, ask yourself if this is someone you’d be happy having lunch with 2-3 days per week for a long time. That’s our acid test for cultural fit.
  4. Are you ignoring key success metrics in your candidates? Sure, your candidates must be expert in the application of Microsoft Excel pivot tables, for example, but are you trying to quantify some of the softer skills needed for success in your organization? Try to define those metrics and then put those into play on future hiring decisions.

If hiring new team members continues to be a big challenge for your team, we’d be happy to have a conversation about those challenges and how we may be able to help.  This year we are celebrating 20 years of helping clients find great candidates for their organizations.

And if you’re reading this shortly after the posting date, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!


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