The following is the third in a series of blog posts about the most common hiring mistakes that employers make and some suggestions on how to avoid them. You can find the previous articles here: Part 1 Part 2
Mistake – Allowing Urgency to win the battle with Common Sense
This is probably the most common and, certainly, the most understandable hiring mistake. Most experienced managers have made this mistake, often with good reason. Does this scenario sound familiar? An employee resigns or is terminated for cause. Maybe another employee is out on maternity leave for the next 8 weeks.
So, your five-person team is now a three or four-person team, but the amount of work hasn’t changed. The duties of your former employee(s) are split up among the remaining team members, who are becoming stressed out and performance is starting to suffer. You need a talented warm body right now before you lose the rest of your team to exhaustion or depression. In most of the cases Managers tend to expedite the hiring process by over stepping hiring methods and lands up recruiting a wrong or average performing candidate. As the pressure mounts to fill a key open position, the time available to make a hiring decision appears to shrink. Blindly taking all representations made on a resume and/or in-person interview as fact heightens the risk of making a bad decision.
Solution: You need to take the time to screen your preferred candidates as thoroughly as possible to eliminate those that have serious “issues”, and help you make the best hiring decision based on reality. In the interim, you may also want to consider bringing in a contractor to help keep up with the amount of work to be done. This is a great way to see how someone will work without having the administrative headaches associated with hiring and firing a new employee who doesn’t work out as planned. Contract-to-permanent employment situations are more common today than ever before and offer a good compromise to the more traditional staffing or permanent recruiting options.
Similar to the “Urgency”-related error is what I’ll refer to as the Justifiable Excuse hire; when blame (in in the mind of the hiring manager at least) can be applied to the trusted reference.
Mistake – The “I hired this person because I got a great referral from __________”
Referrals tend to be among the best and most trusted sources of candidates and for good reason. Many companies encourage referring family and friends of current employees, often offering bounties for those who are hired and remain for 3-6 months. A great example is Hewlett Packard, who recruits almost 40% of its new employees through such a program. There is no harm in hiring a close family member or friend, but the fatal error is not screening these referrals as you would other candidates.
Simply because someone is referred by one of your key, top performing employees does not guaranty that he or she is cut from the same cloth. Check out any family and friend referrals just as you would a candidate with no prior connection to your organization. Various recruiting and placement agencies report a fairly high percentage of false information presented in resumes and job applications. In a recent study conducted by Kelly Services, as many as 15 to 20 percent of job applicants try to hide some dark chapter in their lives.
For some positions, one out of three resumes submitted may contain false information. In order to arrest this situation today companies are hiring professional employment verification companies to dig in additional information about their potential hire. While this may not be a confirmation that the candidate shouldn’t be hired, it is cause for concern and something that should be explored more thoroughly before moving forward.
Solution: Take your time and do your homework up front. No matter how much time and effort it may feel like you’re saving, making a bad hiring decision will always cost you more than becoming temporarily backed because you’re understaffed.
If you would like to alleviate many of the up-front hiring concerns, perhaps it makes sense to engage a third party. Ztek Consulting has been providing Staffing, Recruiting, and Recruitment Process Outsourcing and Consulting services for more than a decade. Trusted by some of America’s largest and most reliable companies for Technology, Finance & Accounting and Process Improvement professionals, Ztek offers a variety of flexible, cost-effective solutions for companies looking for guaranteed expertise on-demand.
Call or email us today to discuss how Ztek can help your company too.