Hire for Excellence

4 Questions to Consider Before You Hire

Hiring the wrong person can have significant consequences for your company. The impact of a bad hire affects employee morale, can cause negative client relations, and can even result in fewer sales and lost productivity.

According to a 2013 CareerBuilder Survey, 27% of U.S. employers reported a single bad hire cost more than $50,000. And 41% reported losing $25,000 per bad hire.

The main reasons companies hire the wrong people are:

  • The company needs to fill the position quickly
  • The person wasn’t a good fit for the role
  • The company didn’t test or research the employee’s skills and work results
  • The company didn’t perform adequate reference checks

So, how can you prevent a bad hire?  Below are four questions to consider before you hire a new team member.

  1. What are the key accountabilities for the job?

The first step in a successful hire is to focus on what the job needs versus the personality of the candidate.  Talk to people who have been in the role, or who have supported or managed the position.  Get their feedback on the most important aspects of the job and how each aspect relates to your overall company objectives and profitability.  From there you will be able to clearly communicate the importance of this role to the candidate and outline how this position aligns with your company mission and vision.

  1. What skills and qualities are needed to fit the job and your work culture?

After you have determined the key accountabilities for the job (what the job needs), consider not only the technical skills required but also the desired qualities of the candidate.  In thinking about these qualities within your work culture, determine and outline how your ideal candidate must be able to respond to:

  • Problems
  • Challenges
  • Influencing and collaborating with others
  • Meeting expectations of the job and the company’s policies and procedures
  • Overall pace of the work environment and
  • Common stressors that come with the job
  1. What are the key components of your interview process?

Your business can increase hiring success by having a clear process that you consistently follow.  Consider the following actions after posting the job opening and once you begin to get interested candidates:

  • Set up an initial phone screening to weed out candidates you know are not the right fit
  • Complete an extensive face-to-face interview with the candidates you want to know more about, asking the important questions that compare the candidate’s talent and abilities to the job
  • Clarify and confirm that the candidate’s skills, talents, and capacities meet the requirements of the job through bias-free and validated comprehensive assessments
  • Execute a final focused interview to ask any questions that arise from the candidate’s assessment results
  • Complete a reference interview
  • Choose the best candidate for the job
  • Create and extend a job offer
  1. How do you find the best candidate for the job?

Finding the right candidate for your business begins before you have a job to fill.  The best candidates come from nurtured connections with highly talented people generated over time.  Always be on the lookout for the kind of talent your growing business needs.   Keep a list of your best talent connections and referrals and stay in touch.  You never know when you’ll have an opening or when that talented person is looking for a new job opportunity.

If you don’t have a network of talented people to draw from, ask other people you know if they are connected to talented people they could refer you to.  Vendors, neighbors, mentors, friends, family – even your competition – can help with your talent search.  Be sure to clearly relay what the job needs and the skills, behaviors, motivators and competencies the candidate must possess to be eligible to apply for the job.

Once you have exhausted that list, then turn to the typical job posting platforms most companies use such as LinkedIn, Indeed, local newspapers, etc.

Remember, the businesses who take the time to ensure they have the right person for the job save time, energy, their reputation, and money.  What will you do to ensure you hire for excellence?

Additional Tips for Seasonal Hires:

  1. Don’t take short cuts.

    Start your hiring process early, so you don’t have to cut out any steps.   Set aside the time and resources you need before your next busy season.  Plan and stay connected to your best seasonal workers, and invest in the tools and strategies needed to hire for excellence.

  1. Ask your employees or best former seasonal workers for candidate referrals.  

    Loyal, productive and engaged employees often know like-minded people. Most often they will be inclined to bring people they would want to work with as potential candidates, and that can translate into a successful hire. Why not give them an incentive to do so? Consider starting a referral program that gives employees a small bonus for each of their referrals that successfully work through the entire season.

  1. Don’t skimp training or onboarding.

    Set your seasonal employees up for success.  If you want them to give their best effort throughout the season, make sure they have what they need to succeed.  Your bottom line depends on it. 

  1. Treat seasonal employees like your regular employees.

    If you want to ensure that your seasonal workers fit into and positively impact your workplace culture, make sure your policies, procedures, expectations and methods of appreciation and communication are the same for everyone.  If you do not have written procedures and processes in place, find time to develop them during your non-busy season.