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Hiring Practices… Why People Get it Wrong | Clarus Advisors



Hiring Practices… Why People Get it Wrong

It is costly to make a bad hire.  The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of that persons first year’s potential earnings.  This is in terms of training time and dollars, lost sales, reputation risk and fraud to name just a few.  Given the high cost of a hiring mistake, why do so many hires go wrong?

Based on my experiences it is an inverted assessment process.  Most managers look at a persons qualifications first and foremost.  Then “sell” the benefits of their company to the desired new hire.  Little time is spent on values, desire, capacity… the decision is driven by perceived competence to do the job.

So how do you fix the issue?  Re-engineer your hiring practices.

  1. Values First: Does the candidate’s values match the company’s values?  This is not a check the box answer.  Any savvy candidate can regurgitate your company’s value statement.  You need to test their values for confirmation.  This can be determined with outside personality testing or by asking open questions that drill down into the candidate’s mode of decision making.
  2. Desire: It is assumed that if a candidate is applying for a position… they have the desire.  But do they?  Getting a higher level job, with size-able responsibilities may sound nice… they like the idea of the challenge and the higher pay.  But are do the job requirements match with their desire to do what is required? Again, detailed questioning is called for.  For example, if it is a “hunter” sales position… questions would revolve around prospecting methods, philosophies, and actions.  If they source business from the office and you need them on the road… there may be a mis-match.
  3. Capability: This is where most managers start, but really it should be considered last.  If the candidates value system or desire does not match the company.  The candidate will fail regardless of how well they can do the task.  Conversely, If the values fit and the desire is there… but they are slightly short on qualifications – do they have the capacity to learn (in the time-frame required)?  In most cases, if the values and desire match your needs – that candidate will rise to meet the challenge.

In short, everything begins with making sure your new hire’s values match the company’s.  Without that match… challenges that de-rail the new employee and potentially the company are almost assured. Take the time, ask deep-probing-open ended questions that get to the candidates way of thinking – rather than “selling” your company because you have a “qualified” candidate.

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