Hiring the wrong person can have a huge financial impact on your business. Taking a thorough look at the way you go about attracting and selecting the best applicants is an investment that will pay dividends, says Serenity Gibbons, writing for Forbes.
Gibbons quotes Tony Hsieh, CEO of online retailer Zappos, who once said his bad hire decisions had cost the business more than $100m. So how can you avoid expensive mistakes and build better practices for finding the right candidates for your organisation?
FOCUS ON OUTCOMES
Gibbons refers to Dane Palarino of the DAP Consulting Group, a firm set up to help companies steer away from pricey mis-hires. He believes the focus needs to switch away from the person and onto the outcome you want them to achieve – something executives frequently forget.
“The most important thing is to identify people who have muscle memory for the tasks and objectives needed to succeed in your role — have they done what you need them to do in the past?” says Palarino.
Bearing that in mind, Gibbons – a campaigner for economic equality of rights for all persons – offers three key pointers for leaders to remember when setting up employment strategies.
1) Offer a better experience to attract top candidates. If a genuinely talented person is on the lookout for a new position, it’s probably not because they need a job – they will be seeking to improve on the one they already have.
It’s fine to tick off whether they have all the skills you are looking for, but to excite their interest, you need to explain exactly what outcomes you would expect from them in the 12 months ahead.
2) Face-to-face interviews are worth the investment. It’s easy to read about someone’s “hard skills” on a CV or written application, but meeting them in person will give you crucial insight into their personality, behaviour and “softer skills” like organisation and communication.
A piece of paper can tell you if someone has the necessary degree qualification or driving licence, but when someone is in the same room you can read their body language, assess their listening skills and watch how attentive they are.
“Although it’s expensive, flying six top applicants out to your location, instead of two, triples your chances of finding the right fit,” says Gibbons.
3) Make positive onboarding a priority. The period of integration after someone is hired is just as important as the selection process. This is when both employer and employee find out whether they made the right choice. Making it a thorough, focused and structured period – perhaps with mentorship or training – will influence how well the employee engages with your business.
A report by the Society for Human Resources Management says employees are 69% more likely to stay in their jobs for three years if they enjoy a great initiation period.
Getting your hiring right every time is a tough task but, by investing in your approach and attitude, it is possible to cut costly errors and increase your chances of scoring the best candidates.