How to Avoid a Costly Hiring Mistake

It is far too often that companies fall into the hiring trap where they bring on a new applicant -“ take them through the rigors of training and on-boarding -“ only to find that they were the wrong person for the job. Time and money are wasted and the empty chair remains. If your company is one of those fortunate enough to be hiring again, there is much to consider.

Now, there are an enormous number of people seeking employment. And the number of resumes you receive for your job opening can be overwhelming.

To hire successfully, you need a two-fold approach. First, you need clarity about the kind of person you are seeking; then, you need an on-boarding plan to help get your new hire up to speed faster than ever before. To successfully avoid misemployment, companies must consider some basic tips and techniques in the process.

Don’t Rely Entirely on Experience
Conventional wisdom is that prior experience will prepare someone to hit the ground running. All too frequently, “experienced” job seekers don’t live up to their claim. Ten years of experience can be one year of bad experience repeated ten times. Effective hiring has less to do with experience than it does with potential.

This is not to say that experience should be completely disregarded-”it is more that experience should not be a sole determinant in making a hiring decision. Past experience does not necessarily equal future success. Hire based on potential first.

Consider Using a Personality Assessment
The information from an in-depth personality assessment can provide you with insights to make a better-informed decision.

Will the individual fit in with your culture? Work well with others on your team? Connect with his or her manager? Those are the important nuances that can make all the difference as to whether an individual will ultimately succeed.

A validated personality profile can provide you with a measurable, objective view of an individual from a personality standpoint and give you a clear idea of how this person is likely to operate in the workplace.

Use the Interview Process as an Opportunity to Address Concerns
Sometimes, a new employee’s best performance is in the interview. So use the interview to probe those areas that may concern you.

With the insights you received from the personality assessment, you can then delve deeper into the candidate’s strengths and potential limitations by asking behavior-based questions.

For example, if you have concerns about the applicant’s level of resilience or how they deal with rejection, you can ask questions about situations where they struggled or faced disappointment. You can also ask about how the applicant felt in that situation. And what he or she did to make sure the situation wouldn’t happen again.

Knowing the answers to these questions beforehand will help you bring on the right people and avoid the wrong ones.

Find the Right Fit and Coach for Success
As a manager, you want to ensure that your employees hit the ground running, so prepare them by giving them the right tools to be successful. By doing so, new employees will know that your company is committed to their success and is willing to invest in their future. By coaching new employees as soon as they start their new jobs and setting up a training program with milestones, they will understand how to avoid potential clashes and adapt their work style to fit in with your organization’s culture.

Patrick Sweeney is the president of Caliper, an international management consulting firm. Caliper is headquartered in Princeton, N.J., with offices across the U.S. and in a dozen international locations. Patrick can be reached at [email protected].