by Ward Davidson
One of the most important challenges you will face is hiring and integrating new employees. A hiring mistake can be very costly.
What is the cost of hiring a bad employee?
Managers spend more time parenting the bad employee, than focusing on developing and motivating new talent and existing top talent. It is axiomatic that it is easier to not hire an individual than hire him or her and face the legal risks of termination. Rejecting the problem employee during the hiring process creates minimal exposure. The real exposure takes place when you hire the bad employee and subsequently fire him or her. In virtually every case, the company failed to understand the profile for the successful candidate. Instead, the managers relied on their gut reaction and were motivated by the need to get a warm body in the door.
Stop hiring the best candidate and hire someone who can deliver results.
Interviewing should be fun for the interviewer and the interviewee and will be if you follow a process rather than asking random questions that have nothing to do with success in the position you are trying to fill.
Defining the job and identifying what needs to be accomplished to achieve success are critical components when choosing a candidate. Once the job is defined, each candidate can be evaluated for the potential to succeed in the job rather than being compared to other candidates. If the interview is focused only on skills, the interviewer will be forced to make a decision by comparing candidates to each other based solely on skills.
Screening resumes is not a selection process, rather an elimination process. During the screening process you are comparing candidates to each other based on skills. Once you have narrowed the field through elimination, you will be able to begin the selection process by comparing each candidate to the job.
When screening resumes, all you want to do is eliminate candidates who lack the basic skills to do the job. You’ll make sharper hiring decisions if you try to understand the risks involved in hiring each candidate instead of trying to predict who will be successful.
During the interview, the biggest mistake made by businesses large and small is reacting to your first impression. It is human nature to be impressed by someone you like and to be turned off by someone you don’t like for whatever reason. You will make a big mistake and find that, if you like someone you will ask easy questions, if you dislike someone, you will ask hard questions
It’s one thing to have the skills to do the job; it’s better to have the skills along with the desire to succeed; it’s best to find someone who has the skills, has the desire to succeed, and possesses an uncompromised work ethic.
An individual with no work ethic will drag you and the organization down. He will demand management time and will only do the job under constant and close supervision. Worse, he is almost impossible to fire. Every time you put pressure him to do the job, he will step up and deliver since he has the skills. You want to scream: “Could you please be incompetent long enough for me to fire you!” You are better off with someone who does not have the skills and has never been burdened with competency. At least you can fire him for not doing the job.
Three key points:
- Define success in the job and interview for success
- Create an effective job description, not a person description
- Interview beyond skills to uncover motivation
Ward Davidson is a SCORE LA workshop presenter and Principal at DCS (Davidson Consulting Services), one-on-one consulting for all business people related issues.