Hire the Right Person
Have you ever fallen victim to the “warm body” syndrome, employing someone simply because he or she had a pulse?
When you’re in desperate need of help, hiring just anyone is a tempting onboarding tactic, but it’s one that should be avoided at all costs. Why?
Because the true cost of a bad hire can be astronomical, running as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars when you factor in such variables as training, severance pay, mistakes, failures, repercussions to other staff/employee culture, missed opportunities and even lawsuits. So, tough as it might be, always avoid hiring just anybody. Instead, hold out for the right person, and you’ll reap the rewards that come with a smart hiring decision.
That said, many of us know what it feels like when we’re being pressured to fill a hole in our workforce. But remember, it’s when we’re under such constraints that it’s more important than ever to control on-boarding impulses and maintain clarity relative to hiring objectives. When you’re faced with a vacancy on your team, the following tips can help:
Create and stick to your hiring goals. One of the best ways to make sure you get the right person in the right position is to outline what you truly want with a thorough job description. Much more than just some advertisement you’ll post on a job board, the job description then becomes a roadmap for interviewing candidates and determining if they've got what it takes for the position. For example, if you really need someone with strong teamwork skills but are interviewing an individual who operates like the Lone Ranger, this candidate is an unlikely fit — and that job description, outlining the desired qualifications, serves as a handy reminder of that fact. Don’t compromise your own needs for the sake of hiring just anyone.
Pay attention to any red flags. Whether it’s an obvious lack of communication skills, a spotty employment history, or a clear inability to fill out the application properly, these and myriad other “red flags” shouldn’t be ignored. Overlook warning signs or your gut’s intuition, and you’ll pay for the mistakes later.
Don’t cave under pressure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen managers or leaders hire just “anyone” because they were afraid the right person would never come along. Then, next thing they knew, in walked the perfect candidate. When internal or external forces are pressuring you to make a serious, yet speedy hiring decision, and no one currently fits the bill, do your best to relax and not be reactive. The right person will always come along. Plus, if you remain steadfast in your resolve to recruit and onboard the right person, this will reflect upon your own reputation, credibility, and overall success as a leader.
Appreciate the short-term costs. If your company loses a few thousand dollars while you’re looking for the perfect person for the job, consider this interesting tidbit: 80% percent of turnover is directly tied to bad hiring decisions, according to The Harvard Business Review. Add that to all the other hard and soft costs of any unfortunate hiring decisions you’ve made, and you might suddenly be grateful for the short-term pain that comes along with choosing the right person and securing long-term gain.
What are some additional red flags that might signal someone’s a wrong fit for the job?