Couple In Kitchen Using Laptop with Yellow Oops Road Sign on the ScreenSales talent discovery system Sales Genomix recently created an infographic, “Prevent Unforced Hiring Errors.” And while the data and advice in the graphic are targeted toward sales professionals, in many ways, the information can be useful for all industries when it comes to the hiring process.

Many different people (and businesses) have many different definitions of an “error” when it comes to hiring a new employee. This is often because, as weird as it sounds, a successful selection process is relative to a business. The 8-steps-to-a-successful-hire approach may work well for one organization, but may be the complete opposite of what another needs.

Still, some errors can be “universal” and negatively affect almost any company’s selection process. A few include:

  • Failure to pre-screen candidates
  • Developing a small candidate pool
  • Solely relying on interviews to evaluate a candidate
  • Excluding background checks
  • Hiring for “Halo Effect”
  • Too many criteria
  • Lack of emphasis on cultural fit

Preventing hiring errors is not only crucial for the success of a company, but for its pocket book(s). According to the National Business Research Institute (NBRI), depending on the position, a bad hire can cost a company anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000. Bad hires can also negatively impact client relations, employee morale and decrease sales.

So, how does Sales Genomix’s infographic say you can prevent unforced hiring errors, which ultimately will help decrease the number of bad hires? In three simple steps:

1. Understand and adhere to success factors. Success factors? Well, yes…the components of a hiring strategy that causes it to be successful. The infographic defines these three factors as:

Always be recruiting: Companies need to always be looking for top talent.  Many talented job seekers are passive and a great deal of them are also employed, yet open. For example, a CareerBuilder survey reported that more than one-third of healthcare workers planned to look for new jobs this year, and another 82 percent said that even though they aren’t actively looking for a job, “they would be open to a new position if they came across the right opportunity.”

The infographic explains that if companies want to catch the big fish, they must keep their nets out at all times.

Study failure to understand success. The infographic notes that top and bottom performers look alike; the best possess skills the worst don’t. Study the qualities (and lack thereof) of both top and bottom performers to understand how to eliminate those with the “worst” qualities and maximize those with the “best’ during your intake process.

Assess skills, not personality. The opposite is a very common error in the hiring process. Personality tests don’t paint an accurate (or scientific) picture of whether or not the candidate has the skills to do the job. Focusing on job and/or knowledge skills testing will produce a better quality hire.

So, after completing step 1 and making sure your company understands the factors of success, it’s on to step 2.

2. The 30-30-30-10 Rule. Instead of making sure their hiring techniques are multi-dimensional, a lot of companies put all their eggs in one basket. Many companies heavily rely on information from resumes and skip background checks. Yet, the infographic explains how, in 2012, SHRM reported that 53 percent of all resumes contained false information. Hiring managers also select which candidates to hire based off his/her own image. The manager worked at a staffing company for three years and so did this particular candidate, so she must be a “good” worker and suitable hire.

The infographic asks companies to break up its decision making process into four sections:

30 percent: Can do—The actual skills and talents a candidate possesses

30 percent: Will do—All other required job functions a candidate is willing to do, even if he/she doesn’t have the experience

30 percent: Will fit—He or she fits properly into your workplace culture

10 percent: Gut feel—Your instinct on the candidate overall

You’ve got steps 1 & 2 down, now to put on the finishing touches:

3. Inspect what you expect: If you want a stellar recruitment process, you’ll need to constantly monitor those who produce it. The infographic advises to have all recruiting metrics due Fridays at 5pm, similar to expense reports, call reports and forecasts. Then, you can keep track of your company’s metrics throughout the year as follows:

Weekly: Number of potential candidates found and interviews scheduled each week

Monthly: Talent was interested, expressed interest and is worth pursuing for next step in hiring process. How many interviews conducted?

Quarterly: Have a “replacement plan” that consists of two names and numbers of people who can replace a new hire in case of turnover.

Annually: Conduct stay interviews and assess career path, especially probability of turnover in the next 12-24-36 months.

UNFORCED HIRING ERRORS infographic



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