Hiring do’s and don’ts
How do managers choose which job candidates to hire compared to say, how they choose a new copier machine? Sure, HR professionals and department managers may have had all the interview training, but what are some of the real factors they use in picking the best person for the job? If they make strategic business decisions more prudently than people decisions. they are not alone, says Michael Gravelle, vice president of The McQuaig Institute, as reported in PROFITguide.com, an online business success newsletter.
“Typically people spend more time selecting a photocopier than they will on hiring decisions,” says Gravelle. The wrong hiring decision can cost your company big time. According to Gravelle, replacing an employee can cost anywhere from 25 to 150 percent of an individual’s salary. Gravelle reveals what he considers the five most common hiring errors and how to overcome them.
1. Being unprepared. Managers often don’t take the time required to determine exactly what they want in a candidate.
2. Being overwhelmed by gut feelings. Studies show many interviewers make an emotional decision to hire someone within the first 10 minutes and then spend the rest of the time justifying that decision.
3. Succumbing to the “halo effect.” Letting one factor influence everything else, such as “He went to Harvard, he must be smart,” or “She worked for IBM, they train people well there,” is not a wise way to choose.
4. Overselling the position. Once settled on a suitable candidate, interviewers tend to go into sell mode, says Gravelle, omitting significant challenges of the job. New employees who receive unpleasant surprises on the job tend not to stay long.
5. Placing emphasis on can-do, instead of will-do. Can-do qualifications such as education and technical experience should not outweigh will-do such as attitude, motivation, and temperament.
How can you reduce hiring blunders? Here are Gravelle’s five tips to hiring and keeping the best.
1. Ask the right questions. Keep in mind if you ask hypothetical questions, you’ll get hypothetical answers. Likewise, typical interview questions, such as “Where do you want to be in five years?” or Why do you want this job?” won’t reveal information on how they will perform. Past performance is the best indicator of how an employee will behave in your organization. Include questions that begin with “Tell me about a time when …”
2. Take a second look. Consider using assessment tools, such as skill or behavioral tests. Ask candidates back for a second interview. Also, consider inviting colleagues and peers who will work with the individual to sit in on the interview and offer you feedback and insight.
3. Give potential employees an assignment. Similar to the traditional “typing test” given to administrative assistants, it allows you to observe the individual doing the job and assess capabilities first hand.
4. Conduct pre-emptive reference checks. Early in the process, ask potential employees for the names of references to signal your intention to check on past performance. Then, steer clear of candidates who can’t supply solid references.
5. Match your employees and supervisors. Studies show the key reason people leave a company is a conflict with their direct supervisors. “People leave people, not companies,” says Gravelle. Consider comparing the behavioral profile of a candidate with the profile of the prospective boss.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Quality Publishing
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group