Hiring a new employee is a stressful experience for human resources professionals, department leaders, and employees who will be taking on excess work during the training and onboarding period. This stress and frustration are exacerbated when the new hire doesn’t work out and leaves soon after starting.
To reduce the instances of employee turnover-- both in a new hire and seasoned employees who become fed up-- hiring managers need to avoid making errors during the hiring process. Here is a look at the impacts of poor hiring as well as five of the most common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them.
The Impact of a Bad Hire
Businesses with low turnover rates seem to be the most successful, and the reasons behind this make a lot of sense. Losing an employee can have an impact on:
Employee morale - your employees are impacted by turnover regardless of the situation leading up to the departure. If they are filling the gaps until a new hire can take over, they may feel stretched thin. They may develop concerns about job security our poor management or anxiousness about dealing with a new person.
Productivity - if a position goes unfilled for too long, someone else may need to fill the gap in addition to their own work. They may have to balance their workload with training someone new. Hiring managers are stretched thin as they juggle selecting candidates with running a department.
Revenue - Ultimately, a bad hire impacts revenue. The hiring process is costly, and the overall impacts on morale and productivity can have a detrimental effect on the bottom line.
To lessen the impact on one’s business, ensuring they hire the right person for the right job is of the utmost importance.
Common Hiring Mistakes
Hiring should be a straightforward process, but it often throws a lot of curveballs that hiring managers aren’t prepared to deal with. Here are some of the most common mistakes made during the hiring process.
Rushing the Process
In attempts to reduce the negative impact of having an empty position, hiring managers often try to rush the hiring process. Despite the obvious good intentions, pushing the process along can have disastrous results. Limiting the time applicants apply or hiring someone you’re unsure of just to get it over with will usually result in a quick turnover and lots of employee dissatisfaction. Instead, allocate plenty of time to find the right person for the job. If necessary, hire an intern or temp to pick up some slack while other employees temporarily fill the missing position.
Not Clearly Defining Expectations
The interview process isn’t just for you to vet a candidate; it’s the candidate’s opportunity to assess the role. For a successful hire, you must have a clearly defined job description and understanding of what happens on a daily basis. If employees are expected to work overtime during the busy season then let them know in the hiring ad and during the interview. If they’ll have to step outside their usual role and help other departments, make the expectation clear.
Failure to Check References
While you should listen to your instincts about a candidate, don’t ignore common sense in their favor. Always check the references. You may think that checking is a waste of time, as people will only provide references they can count on, but that’s not true. People often fill in previous employers who have a very different idea about their quality of work or add fake references thinking you’ll never check.
Not Having a System
To ensure you’re hiring the right person, you must have a standardized evaluation system in place. Add weighted marks to different qualifications. Capture both quantitative and qualitative information. You may find that the person you thought was most qualified is actually second or third down the line. Having a standardized approach gives everyone a fair shot and reduces inconsistencies and bias.
Not Considering the Whole Person
Look beyond how well someone fits a role on paper and look at the person behind the resume. Find out a bit more about their goals and values. Assess how they’ll fit in with the company culture.
What motivates them? A person may be qualified for a position and seem like a great fit, but these hidden factors can ultimately derail your employer-employee relationship. On the other hand, a person might not seem a good fit, but in fact, can be a great addition to your team.
Consider this scenario - a military veteran applying for a customer support role. Your first guess might be that it is a bad fit. Your company wouldn’t be thrilled with somebody with a different set of soft skills would actually harm your usual company’s voice when addressing customers, right? But, what you didn’t consider is that the army teaches the officers discipline and a good sense of appreciation of others. They know how to let other people feel valued through non-financial symbolic gifts and ways, not usually seen in other industries.
Take the time to look at the candidate as a person rather than someone filling a job.
By avoiding these hiring mistakes, you can hire top talent and fill a position with the person who will do it best.