21. 04. 2018

How to avoid making a bad hire

A poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a company more than £132,000 according to Perfect match: Making the right hire and the cost of getting it wrong. That’s £132,000 that could go towards training, employee benefits and more! So, how can you avoid making such a terrible decision and what are the things to keep in mind.

Beware the ‘halo effect’
The ‘halo effect’ is a form of cognitive bias in which ‘the brain allows specific positive traits to influence the overall evaluation of a person.’1 And this type of bias happens a lot more than people might think and you’re more often than not unaware you’re even doing it. Say you’ve gone through a number of disappointing interviews and you’ve resigned yourself to never filling the placement. When your next candidate appears being friendly, positive and with pretty good CV to boot, you think you’ve found the hidden gem and hire them immediately. But what’s happened here is you’ve overlooked all the other requirements you need in the role because they’ve impressed you in certain respects. You imagine they’ll be great in every respect. Potential problems weren’t even considered. And this is a classic case of the ‘halo effect’.  The key to dealing with the halo effect is to put in place a structured interviewing and hiring process which is the same for every candidate. This could involve a scoring system or evaluation process.

Determine just how important the role is to the business
Think about this role two to three years down the line. What type of position do you want the person to be in? How will the role grow if at all? Or could you potentially use a freelancer, contractor or temporary hire? Of course if this is a temporary position then you should be honest about that when advertising the role.

Be honest about the needs of the position
Before you’ve even posted the ad, you need to be 100% certain about what skills your new hire needs to have. A job description outlining all of the duties, responsibilities, salary and hours needed will help you stay focused during the interview process and find someone who ticks all the boxes.

Look past the CV
When we find a perfect CV it really is just the start of the recruitment process. Our aim is to strip away the ‘job applicant facade’ and get to the root of why they are applying for a particular job. Understanding who they are as people and what drives them. This can be much more telling when determining the suitability of a person for a role.

Check out their body language
It’s time to start hiring for attitude as well as aptitude! Look at how a candidate introduces themselves or reacts to questions. Get them comfortable with your line of questioning to ensure you get to see the real them! If they remain engaged and professional you’re onto a winner!

Give them a task to do
Seeing their skill set first hand is a great way to determine their suitability for a role. If they need to be able to write, a short 10 min task shouldn’t be too taxing for someone with this experience or enthusiasm.

Don’t treat each vacancy as an emergency
Unless the employee is 100% right for the position, don’t employ them just because you need someone straight away. You’ll waste everyone’s time including the new employee who has more than likely left their previous job to take this one.

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