Whatever position you work in, most of us have seen or experienced a bad hire within our organizations – that bad apple that starts to smell after a while, but somehow goes unnoticed for a long time. Bad hires are often made due to some common mistakes that anyone can make. Luckily, these common mistakes also have actionable solutions, so you can prevent future bad hires from walking through the door. Here are five of the most common mistakes we’ve seen that can lead to a bad hire – and some methods for preventing those mistakes in the future.
Mistake 1: No clear description of the position. If you only have a vague idea what the positon requires and a very general idea of the type of person that would fit that role, how on earth can you possibly set anyone up for success in the position? It’s easy to associate the activities of the job to the person’s education and experience, but that only tells a small piece of the story.
Solution: Remember to emphasize the temperament – the personality – of the person who would fit into the role. Don’t stop defining what the position requires, the activities that it entails, the qualifications necessary, and the required knowledge, skills and abilities that the employee will need. But remember that lining up a candidate’s personality to the job requirements is a great way to make sure they find intrinsic motivation for the things that they do.
Mistake 2: Not using a validated assessment. It’s common for candidates to put their best face forward during an interview, only for the hiring manager and staff to realize months down the road that the employee’s true personality doesn’t match with the impression they gave off during the interview.
Solution: Use an assessment tool that will provide valid information about a person’s natural temperament. A person can have all the knowledge and skills required, but if their temperament doesn’t fit the position, then it can lead to a nasty surprise in the future.
Mistake 3: Making up your own general interview questions. This can easily happen by starting with some standard interview questions and then going off-track throughout the interview. The conversation might feel like it went great – but are you sure you got the information you needed? And if your questions aren’t standardized, how do you compare one candidate’s answers to another’s?
Solution: When using an assessment tool to identify if a candidate is the right fit, use the interview questions that come with the candidate’s report. Each question will have a direct correlation to each personality trait, which simplifies the interviewing process and keeps the conversation on track.
Mistake 4: Not considering your organizational culture. It’s important not only to make sure the candidate has what it takes to be the best match for the position, but also how they’ll communicate and work with other employees. It’s easy to hire someone with all the right knowledge, skills and abilities, but culture fit can influence workplace morale, productivity, and whether an employee stays or leaves.
Solution: Identify the personality profiles you have within your organization. How do they complement one another and draw on each other’s strengths? What sort of personality traits are required to communicate effectively with the other members of the team?
Mistake 5: Unsuccessful onboarding. If the training and information required to be successful in the new position isn’t adequate, new employees will be at a disadvantage. They may stumble to figure things out on their own, and they might find it challenging to fulfill even the basic requirements of the job.
Solution: Use coaching-focused reports that your assessment tool should offer. Based off of your new employee’s assessment results, these additional reports provide insight and direction for coaching and development. Hiring managers, supervisors, or close-working staff can use this information to support the new hire and help get them acclimatized faster. The sooner they’re feeling confident in their abilities, the sooner they start doing work they’re going to love.
We all strive to be successful with hiring great people into our organizations, so it’s important to have some items in your toolbox that can make it happen. Although these mistakes are easy to make, they’re also easy to recognize and prevent. Make sure to watch out for these common mistakes when you’re hiring, and you’ll soon see a lot fewer of those bad apples.
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