What keeps business leaders up at night? A wrong hire definitely tops the list. Not only is a wrong hire costly, it can prevent you from achieving your goals and objectives.
Hiring is Like Dating
Remember your first date? You already knew that the person met the critical essentials—education, interests, and personal appeal. And then there is the question of chemistry. Does the person fit with you, your friends and your family? Will this relationship work or is it doomed to fail?
Strange as it sounds, hiring a new employee is very much like the dating universe. Once you determine that they have the qualifications, you need to discern how they will fit. Will they:
- Be the leader that their team can look up to?
- Keep everyone motivated and engaged?
- Act as a poison in the organization and erode team spirit and productivity?
How can you tell this on the first and second and even third interview? What are the ways to gauge intent and assess the candidate’s motivation? In short, how can you prevent a hiring mistake?
7 Steps to Prevent a Hiring Mistake
- Conduct a Historical and Critical Challenge Assessment
Don’t leave hiring to chance and first impressions. Consider hiring your next employee a science and use proven techniques to hire well.
- Know Your Teams’ Strengths and How to Complement the Group Dynamics
Strong leaders know areas where they have limited depth. Look at these gaps and decide if the new hire will fill in these weak areas. This assessment of “the weak points” will create the right blend for peak efficiency and ultimately, profitability.
- Define the Expectations and Deliverables of the Role.
Whether your team is meeting with candidates face-to-face or via a phone call, it is important that they ask the same set of questions. This consistent process will minimize variation and eliminate biases. Use the expectations and qualifications as a means to develop the right questions to assess the candidate’s relevant experience and depth.
- Seasoned Subject-Matter Experts Are Ideal Interviewers for the Screening Process
Job candidates always want to present themselves in the best light. They may gloss over their failings and exaggerate their accomplishments. Savvy subject-matter experts can see through this smoke-in-the mirror effect. They can ask the hard, technical questions and can quickly assess the candidate’s depth of knowledge. They can also ferret out those candidates who are coming to the interview for “window-shopping” and simply looking for a counter-offer.
- Check References
Do a thorough check of their references. Give the reference the full details and demands of the position. Ask them to provide you with an objective and unbiased perspective when answering your questions. Emphasize the importance of having the right person in the role—not only for the candidate, but also the hiring company.
- Don’t Judge on First Impressions
Great personalities can be enchanting, but they can prevent you from getting the right person for the job. Sometimes, the best candidates are the ones who do not project themselves in a polished fashion. They might not have stellar presentation skills or the ability to be glib, but they might be exactly what you need for your next level of success. That is why it is so important to stick to pre-defined criteria and a tight screening process to avoid the hiring pitfall of judging on first impressions.
- Enthusiasm, Attitude and Purpose Can Outweigh Experience
Don’t overlook candidates who don’t fit the mold. Although they might not have every skill covered, they may have a unique appeal, perspective or communication style that could enrich the team. When people are tightly aligned with a companies’ mission or purpose, their drive to succeed is highly contagious throughout an organization and may compensate for lack of depth in certain areas.
Hiring well is an art as much as it is a science. Do your homework. Prepare your team. And get the person who can help your organization reach the next level of success.