How to Avoid Making Bad Hires

If you read our earlier blog on the cost of making a bad hire, you know that a LOT goes into the recruiting process, and hiring managers are up against a whole bunch of obstacles that make finding candidates a stressful and inefficient process. And if you were left wondering, “What do I do next?”—Don’t worry! We come to you with a solution. To avoid making a bad hire, follow these 6 steps.

1. Know how often you hire

Your hiring needs depend on a number of things—how big your company is, if it’s growing in size, if it’s shifting in its offerings and capabilities. Knowing how often you hire can help plan out resources to support the business. If you’re at a mid-size company and you’re hiring 5-15 people a year, is it worth bringing in a corporate recruiter or partnering with a staffing agency? Think about the budget you have for additional staff while keeping in mind the opportunity cost of making a bad hire. It’s worth taking on the investment of recruiting support if it saves you the qualitative and quantitative costs.  

2. Take the time to properly vet your candidates

Another way to say that is don’t rush the process. Have your candidates meet as many people on your team as is relevant to the role. Ask a mix of behavioral and technical questions. Take the time to listen to what their interests are and make sure they’re a good match. Call their references.

3. Streamline your recruiting cycle

Have you ever lost out on a great candidate, one who was really interested in the role and perfect for the position, simply because they accepted another offer? Define the reasons for this. Were you waiting too long in between interviews? Were you unclear about your interest in the candidate? Today’s job market is highly competitive, and waiting too long to hire the perfect candidate can be your detriment. We realize that “take the time to properly vet your candidates” and “don’t take too long to hire the perfect candidate” can seem like contradictory advice. So here’s a breakdown of what we mean. In order to vet your potential hire, you want your candidate to meet with as many people as possible. How are you facilitating that process? Are they meeting with one person at a time over a 6-8 week period? Instead of leading them along for such a long period of time, consolidate your interviews. After the first round, you should have a sense of how you feel about the candidate. If you love them, then fast track them. Be willing to move around your internal people to set up a longer interview in which the candidate meets with multiple people at a time. If you’re interested in the candidate, show them, and be diligent with following up. Make sure you have the support in place to wrangle schedules. If your executives can’t make an in-person meeting because they are traveling, connect via video conference.

4. Don’t oversell the opportunity

A “bad hire” doesn’t just mean that they are underqualified for the role. Turnover also happens when people don’t feel like they’re being fully utilized, or they’re seeking professional development that doesn’t exist at your company. We recognize that as a hiring manager, you’re eager to find the right candidate—one who is a great influence on your team and can do the job well. Because of this, it’s easy to get really excited about the role and sell more of an opportunity than actually exists. If there really isn’t a lot of room for growth and promotions at your company, are you willing to tell a candidate that? Or do you fall into the trap of trying to sell the position and not being highly realistic?

5. Don’t over-rely on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a rising trend, and if you’re using AI in your hiring process, it’s because you want to save time. That’s great! But remember there are nuances to hiring, and AI can’t always capture that. You may get 100 keyword optimized resumes, but are you getting the best 100 candidates? Make sure to leave some room to read between the lines. Don’t get hung up on job titles and keywords.

6. Work with a recruiter

Even if you have an HR department, recruiting candidates isn’t all that an HR department does. HR encompasses so many things—compliance, company culture, employee engagement, personnel management. A great benefit of working with a staffing agency is that they have really captured their market, have a vetted pool of active and passive candidates at their disposal, and are great at what they do. They do this for a living—they’re vetting and sourcing, reading between the lines of resumes, qualifying intangibles. They can help you hire the right person, not just the right resume.

Trust us, working with a recruiter will make your life much easier. Get in touch with us.