Bad hiring decisions are costly. Each employee is an investment that begins with the cost of screening, and a good employee gives you ample returns. Would you believe research has shown that less than a quarter of hires work out long-term or perform beyond expectations? According to Tony Richards of Clear Vision Development Group, this number need not be true for your organization.
Below, we outline his eight screening tips for solid hiring decisions. By the end of this article, you should have a clear idea of what to look for in a candidate, the importance of background checks, and a list of things to do that will improve your processes and give you exceptional results when hiring for key positions.
What Hiring Managers Should Look For in Candidates
Finding the right person for the job can be difficult. Screening applicants, contacting candidates, and interviewing each person can quickly eat into the limited amount of hours you have to find the right candidate. Here are a few things to look for to help identify the right person without having to spend as much time in the interviewing process.
- College degrees: Applicants with college degrees usually place ahead of applicants without a degree. A degree indicates that the applicant has the ability to complete goals and has a good work ethic. Hiring managers should scan resumes for college degrees that are applicable to the position they are looking to fill.
- Experience: It’s most often helpful to look for work experience that relates to the position in question. Sometimes, an applicant’s experience is a perfect fit while other times, their experience doesn’t relate precisely to the position. As long as the person has a history of steady employment in various roles and positions, this indicates the applicant is versatile, reliable, and could be trained quickly.
- Social media: Researching an applicant’s social media will give you a little more information to determine if they are a good fit for your position. Social media sites can show whether a candidate exercises good judgment, or displays behavior that could be detrimental to an employer’s reputation. It can also help hiring managers to get to know the applicant’s personality before interviewing them, to check that they’d be a good cultural fit.
- Preparation: When it comes time to interview a candidate, aim to hire those who come prepared to a job interview. Preparation shows they are serious about the job and will probably work hard for you if you decide to make them an offer.
- Second opinions: Inviting other hiring managers to join in on interviews can be extremely helpful; involving additional people will give you insights into candidates and qualifications you may have overlooked.
Tony Richards’s Eight Screening Tips for Consistently Quality Hires
Long before you begin setting up interviews, you should have these to-dos lined up to identify your golden candidates more easily. The first four should be completed even before you begin setting up your first interviews.
- Identify the position’s stakeholders. Who are the individuals within your company who are the most vested in the position in question? Who manages or directly reports to the position? Where does the position fit in the grand scheme of the company’s strategy and trajectory?
- Identify the position’s responsibilities. What key results is the person who fills this position responsible for producing? Identify five or six targeted results. This will be useful for future performance measurement purposes.
- Compose a detailed job description. A good job description will include the desired experience level, skill set, and required levels of education and training. This may not be the job description you post, but it should be as detailed as possible. If you spell out what your employees are and are not responsible for, it will be easier to measure their success and to incentivize. Always lay out what additional training and certifications the candidate will participate in once hired.
- Determine performance metrics. This is the goal-setting framework that will be used to determine whether an individual is meeting the desired parameters of success for this position. It will match up with the position’s key results as outlined in to-do number 2.
- Determine a data benchmark. The position’s stakeholders should help collect this benchmark data, which will include standards for communication, behavioral characteristics, motivational rewards, personal skills, and intellectual proficiency. Including the stakeholders in this step will ensure a smooth assimilation of the candidate into the team post-hire.
- Identify your top three. After the first round of interviews, your top-three candidates should start to stand out. You should interview your top three at least three times each before making a final decision.
- Compile benchmark data. Now that you have the benchmark data from the input of your stakeholders, you should assemble the same data on your top-three candidates during the assessment phase. Who best aligns with these metrics?
- Review data and extend an offer. With this process, you will have qualitative and quantitative data to review, which will check or corroborate your gut instincts and protect you from making a poor decision. You should be able to extend the offer with confidence.
While all these areas are important aspects for hiring managers to look through, the most important is a good background check.
Why a Solid Background Check is Important
Performing a thorough background check on a potential employee is the first stop in limiting employee turnover and retaining good workers. Studies show that it costs more than $4,000 to hire a new employee, so be sure to use a good screening service to make this expense worthwhile.
While a background check does take a little time and money, it is essential for the following reasons:
- To verify qualifications: Background checks ensure that all of the qualifications your potential hire presents to you are true. If you don’t verify the education, work history, and identity of your job candidates, you may find yourself looking for their replacement in the near future.
- To eliminate illicit drug users: You need to be sure your new hire does not use illicit drugs. You can’t determine everything about a person in the space of one or two job interviews. With a background check, you can be sure that all of the positive qualities you saw in the interview process will not be marred by unpleasant surprises. A drug screening could save you from a costly mistake for your company.
- To eliminate candidates with violent tendencies: Your new hire should not have violent or confrontational tendencies. It’s important to know your new hire is emotionally stable. Performing a background check will save you the time and money that would result from an incident in the workplace.
In what ways have you implemented these tips within your own organization to avoid bad hiring decisions? Did you find any of these tips helpful? How do you currently vet your candidates to avoid making bad hiring decisions? Share your methods in the comments.