How to Avoid Poor Hires

How to Avoid Poor Hires


With the cost of poor hires being as high as 40% of the employees’ annual salary, added to the knock on negative effect on teams, morale and engagement, the ROI of a robust recruitment and selection process, which includes proven talent assessment methods, can be very high.

Despite an estimated 60% of the workforce being actively disengaged, and up to 82% of companies admitting to making a bad or wrong choice of hire, up to 80% of organizations still rely on a single interview to recruit key personnel.  Consequently you will still hear interviewers saying that they ‘had a good feeling about this candidate’ or ‘he was just like me.’  A few weeks in to the new role and these recruiters bemoan the fact that they ‘followed their gut feel’ or ‘recruited a mini me.’

So, here are 10 ways to avoid poor hires:

  1. Ensure your recruitment strategy is robust and has a successful pre-screening process; this may include an application form and telephone interview.  Inappropriate candidates will often deselect themselves at these first hurdles.
  1. An Online Personality Questionnaire as another pre-screening tool will give a comprehensive picture of how candidates are likely to behave at work, how they relate to others, the way they solve problems and approach conflict.  Their reaction to the feedback is also a good indicator of future behaviour.
  1. Utilizing occupational tests, either at the pre-interview stage or at assessments centres, is another way to ensure that applicants are enthusiatic and suitable for the role.  Occupational tests are designed to provide an objective and fair assessment of abilities and aptitude and to find out more about an individual’s own strengths, development areas and blind sports.  There is strong evidence that tests can provide information which is reliable in predicting job success.  Asking candidates to complete tests which mirror the real-life business environment is proving very successful in determining future success.
  1. Increasingly organizations are using 360 Feedback Reviews in the selection process as one of the most powerful tools in identifying key strengths and areas of improvement, as well as the way they are viewed by their own line manager, peers direct reports and customers.
  1. There has been some recent criticism of leadership competency frameworks, however, if an organization uses one with associated behaviours, it is easier for the recruiter to assess the candidate against these desired competencies in all stages of the selection process.  The successful candidate can then identify, learn and adopt the behaviours in order to step up and be continually assessed against those competencies.  However, in the absence of a set of competencies, KPIs and a list of priorities, a manager can easily lose focus and may even become overwhelmed or disheartened at not fulfilling his/her line managers’ expectations.
  1. The most effective interviews are behaviour and competency based.  Nowadays any candidate can download standard interview questions, however, asking them how they have or would behave in specific work situations is very effective in evaluating performance and predicting future potential.  If you need to train up your managers in competency or behaviour based interviewing techniques, Natural Talent can help.
  1. Using an external qualified Assessor is also proven to provide an objective, balanced view and a correct evaluation of all the available data.  Trained assessors are also adept at asking specific pinpointing questions to discover the real motivators of the candidate.
  1. Be honest about the job and any key issues; many companies will paint a rosy picture of the role, opportunities for progression and the company culture.  Almost half of new employees complain that they were sold a very different scenario to the reality of their new position and subsequently will move on swiftly, or struggle to stay engaged.
  1. There is no reason not to ask a successful candidate to spend a day with the team for a mutual evaluation of the likelihood of successful collaborative working.
  1. Around 65% of companies admit to not checking out any references for new recruits.  Following up on even a standard reference with a previous Line Manager can limit costly mistakes.

When companies invest in evidence based selection methods they are more likely to get the right people in to the right jobs, to avoid future expensive performance management issues and high rates of attrition.

Next time we will look at ways to succeed in the War for Talent.

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