By Linda DeLuca, Executive Coach – Do you know the true cost of your hiring mistakes? The most common figure sited from the U.S. Department of Labor states the cost of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings.
That was 2003. More recently, CareerBuilder surveyed 6,000 hiring managers worldwide and found 27 percent reported a single bad hire costs more than $50,000. No matter how you slice it, that bad apple cost you a bushel.
Yes, your hiring mistakes will cost you financially . . . and more. Your bad hire can cause productivity and morale loss beyond the individual. Negativity is contagious and your bad apple can indeed spoil the whole bunch (you’re welcome for the earworm).
You know the impact a bad hire can have on your organization. Therefore, it’s important to do what’s within your control to avoid the following mistakes:
Mistake #1. Relying too heavily on static job descriptions.
Jobs as we know them are changing. Fewer jobs are static with clearly defined and specific responsibilities. More work is defined by job families (a collection of jobs in a career path). People work on projects with less static roles.
Traditional job descriptions are, by nature, inflexible. Their failure to align with the agile roles we play is compounded by the gaps that are left. Most job descriptions focus on responsibilities, experience, and training — which are important.
What about the day to day life this person will experience? What characterisitic do they need to be successful working in the role? With the team? Will they need to be detail oriented? Will they need to think strategically? Understand how the ideal candidate will like the role — not just if she is qualified. This understanding is critical to her success and yours.
Mistake #2: Not recognizing your first impression bias.
Your thorough preparation has brought you several strong candidates for the role. You’re about to begin the interviews. Within the first few seconds of meeting each candidate, you’ve made up your mind. Whether it’s the firm handshake, the comfortable pre-interview chit-chat, or strong eye contact — you’ve decided based on your ‘gut.’
Obviously, in only a few seconds, we can’t truly know the other person. What we have done is use our cognitive biases and filters to form a snap judgement. The Fearless Leader recognizes those judgments may or may not be accurate. Unfortunately, if the judgment is negative, it can be difficult to shift.
Mistake #3: Over reliance on training and experience.
Too often, a candidate is given high marks for checking the right boxes. Yes, training, education, and experience matter. But that’s only part of the picture.
The interview is an opportunity to dig deeper into that experience. You should not only understand your candidate’s skills, but more importantly, their style, behavior traits, and interests.
Don’t miss the opportunity to listen carefully to their story. Let your candidate talk freely about the problems they faced, the approaches they took, and the results they experienced. Within those stories lie the gems to help you identify your ideal candidate.
Any leader with experience has certainly observed or experienced these mistakes and many others. Hiring your next team member can be easier, especially if you use a tool that can help you interview better and hire smarter.
Having a high performing organization begins with selecting the right people. As a leader, you want to make smarter hiring decisions and build a strong team.