Perhaps they were dazzled by an impressive resume and overlooked key requirements for the job. Maybe they were tight on budget so they hired someone on the cheap, when much more experienced (and expensive) talent was needed. They could have been influenced by someone to make the hire, rushed through the recruiting and hiring process, or simply were fooled by a candidate.
Regardless the reason, a bad hire is bad news. If you botch hiring, it can cost your organization in lost productivity, time and money to recruit and train another worker, lowered employee morale, damaged customer relationships, and lost sales and legal issues. So it’s a job that you need to take seriously, and one that requires time and effort. After all, new hires should strengthen, not weaken your team.
Here’s what you can do to ensure that you hire the right people for your team:
- Know what you need. Identify the knowledge, skills and experiences that a successful employee will need. Use pre-employment assessments to screen candidates, and prepare yourself to conduct effective interviews. However, don’t focus only on the hard skills needed for the job. For new employees to succeed on your team, they will also need to possess soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, leadership, decision-making and self-motivation. Make sure that you are asking the type of questions that assess people’s aptitude in those areas.
- Be honest about the job. Give candidates realistic expectations about the work, their career opportunities and the organization. If you pull a bait-and-switch once they’re on the job, they won’t stick around. Remember that while you are trying to find a good fit for your team, they also want your team and organization to be a good fit for them. Which is why you should …
- Let candidates interview you. The typical “Do you have any questions for us?” usually isn’t that effective. Instead, explain to candidates that part of the interview will consist of them interviewing you, and ask them to prepare a list of questions to ask.
- Find evidence that candidates support your mission. Passion for the work goes a long, so candidates should show a desire to want to learn more about your industry and business. If they are opposed to the kind of work you do (e.g., they are vegetarians and you are the No. 1 beef distributor on the East coast), there are going to be problems. Look for signs that they are positive and enthusiastic about your business.
- Don’t overlook attitude. Here, we aren’t talking about happy, shiny extroverts that greet everyone with a hug and a cheer. We are talking about generally positive, enthusiastic people who show a willingness to learn, be part of a team, and adapt. A new hire’s personality, demeanor and attitude should mesh with your team; otherwise, you will waste too much time battling miscommunication issues and conflicts.
Finally, don’t stop “recruiting” once the new employee starts. Make retention a priority, and take the necessary steps to keep your new hires satisfied and engaged. Check in regularly to see how things are going in those early days, offer plenty of training so that they can learn to excel at the job, and troubleshoot issues that pop up. They need to feel needed and appreciated if they are going to stick around for the long haul.
Photo Credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/chain-1446690