Hiring the wrong person costs companies not only that employee’s salary and benefits but also:
1. The time their staff spent on the recruitment process
2. The costs of advertising the job online and offline
3. Recruitment Agency fees
4. Training expenses for the employee
5. Lost productivity
6. Negative impact on team morale
7. Management time spent dealing with poor performance
8. The costs of recruiting and training a replacement
In some cases, there could be even more costs such as compensation, severance and legal fees. Given the huge cost of hiring the wrong person, the question is how do you get it right? In this blog post, we provide 5 practical tips that will help you to hire the right people.
1. Identify Needs and Potential Needs as Early as Possible
The sooner you make time to discuss, plan and organise the recruitment/selection process the more likely you are to get the right candidates. Clear planning will help you to identify future needs, current strengths and areas that need to be worked on. For example, one of our clients had lots of applicants for open roles but they were struggling to screen the best candidates. After significant discussion and planning about the best way to resolve this issue, all candidates being considered for interview were asked to take specific aptitude tests and personality tests and this allowed our client to eliminate unsuitable candidates and identify the strongest candidates.
2. Conduct a Thorough Job Analysis
You can’t find the best fit for a particular job if you are unsure about what you need. To find out what you need, you need to conduct a thorough job analysis to establish the essential duties and critical capabilities necessary for success in the role. To conduct this analysis, you will need to work with people in the organisation who thoroughly understand the job in question. These will be Team Leaders, Supervisors, Managers who, from experience, know what is involved in the job and what it takes from an ability, personality, experience, motivation and qualifications perspective to do it to the highest standards or Selection Experts with the same expertise.
The job description/person specification is the foundation of an effective hiring process. Most other activities in your hiring process such as recruiting, interviewing, testing and ultimately selection revolve around finding and hiring the best candidate for the job description.
3. Conduct a Structured Interview Process & Evaluation to Minimise Bias
There are many unconscious biases that can undermine the effectiveness and objectivity of interviews. For example, research by Professor Frank Biernieri at the University of Toledo found that judgments made in the first 10 seconds of an interview could predict the outcome of the interview. These judgements lead to a situation where an interview is spent trying to confirm what we think of a candidate, rather than truly assessing them (Confirmation Bias).
An effective way to reduce our biases when interviewing is to conduct structured interviews (i.e. use the same interview questions and techniques to evaluate candidates). Research has found that structured interviews not only reduce bias, they are also more predictive of job performance, better for diversity and more efficient than unstructured interviews.
4. Objectively identify the personality attributes of candidates
A working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research in the USA showed the significant links between the personality of CEOs and the financial performance of their business. Personality traits are not just important for CEOs, nearly all roles require people with particular personality attributes. For example, high levels of empathy are likely to be much more important for a nurse, teacher or a social worker than it would be for an actuary or a computer programmer. The kind of person you hire will depend on the role and your company culture.
Many companies use interview questions to understand personality traits and values and this can provide insights. However, research has shown that the objectivity of our evaluation of candidates personality attributes can be easily undermined by our unconscious biases.
To improve your ability to objectively identify the candidates with the right mix of personality attributes for your role and company, you can use valid, reliable and objective personality assessments. Reputable personality assessments such as the Hogan Assessments will objectively measure the relevant personality attributes for a role.
5. Objectively test whether candidates have the right ability for the role
To succeed in a particular role, people need to have the right mix of abilities required for the role. For example, investment bankers need to have high levels of numerical reasoning to solve complex mathematical problems and high levels of abstract reasoning to identify market trends.
To objectively identify the candidates with the right mix of abilities for a role, you can use valid, reliable and objective general ability tests and specific aptitude tests. Research has found that one of the best predictors of performance is tests of general cognitive ability. General cognitive ability tests measure a candidate’s intelligence and their capacity to learn. Their predictive power comes from the fact that raw intelligence and the capacity to learn enables motivated people to be successful in a wide range of jobs.