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5 Common and Costly Hiring Mistakes

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Employees are one of a business’s most important assets, and hiring the correct employees for your business can be crucial to your success.

According to the Harvard Business Review, almost 80 percent of employee turnover can be related to poor hiring decisions, resulting in disruption in business, job dissatisfaction and a high turnover in staff for your business.

Opinions differ vastly on the cost of replacing a bad hire, however the minimum cost is said to be one-third of the employees annual salary, substantially increasing based on seniority within the organisation.

So, how do business’s go so wrong in hiring the wrong person? Some common mistakes, and how to avoid them include:

  • Hiring too Fast: When short staffed, the pressure is on finding a replacement. This can affect the way you hire and result in a poor fit. It’s important to give your recruitment process time to attract quality candidates, and always interview a number of applicants who meet your skills requirements.
  • Hiring based on resume alone: An employee is more than just a resume, and appropriate qualifications and experience is not enough to translate to a successful hire. Cultural fit is a key component of success, as the new employee should fit the group and not just the role. Ask direct questions in an interview which can help you assess the candidates suitability to fit your culture.
  • Talking instead of listening: You should be prepared to spend most of the interview silent. There is a time for “selling” your business to the candidate, but it shouldn’t overtake the candidate “selling” themselves to you! A good rule of thumb is you should spend about 80% of the interview listening. Ask targeted behavioural questions, and let the candidates do the talking. This provides you with opportunities to assess their personality and gain insights into their behaviours, attitude and potential for success.
  • Taking the candidate at their word: Don’t settle for vague or general responses to your questions. Ask follow up questions, or for demonstrated examples to illustrate their point. Always conduct quality reference checks, including questions which cover the key aspects of the role and validate the information provided in the interview.
  • Not having a solid induction program: Your job isn’t done once the candidate has signed their contract. Having a clear and comprehensive induction program is critical to the early success of a new employee. This will help employees get up to speed quicker, increase engagement and learn how to adapt their work style to fit in with heir new team and manager.

How you can prepare for better recruitment before you start:

  • Know what you want and need in your role: Before you recruit, review any existing job description, and assess the skills and experience you would like to add to your team. Be clear on which elements are essential and which are desirable.
  • Look past their resume: During an interview, assess their ability to work in a team, collaborate and communicate with others, and how they respond to differing leadership styles. These soft skills can greatly affect their organisational fit and the ultimate success of your recruitment.
  • Don’t recruit solo: Have a team in place for the hiring process, and ensure all have a good understanding of the role and what you want. Take advantage of resources already in your organisation, eg: referrals from current employees.
  • Be prepared to sell yourself to the candidate: Quality candidates can be hard to come by, those available may have multiple job offers. You need to sell your organisation, benefits and why your number 1 candidate should chose you over the competition. Whilst salary is important, be prepared to talk about why your employees come to work every day and why they chose you over the competition.

By Natalie Collinson, HR Manager at DFK Crosbie

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