In business, few mistakes are more costly than hiring the wrong person. Those costs compound by the day and impact every aspect of company performance, at a time when human innovation is critical to business success. That’s why, despite rising unemployment rates driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an increase in pressure on HR departments to hire the right talent. 

Recruiting and hiring a single employee can cost as much as USD$4,129, according to estimates. The right hire will deliver a substantial return on this initial investment; the wrong hire will cause further loss. What’s more, replacing an employee costs 21% their annual salary on average, Forbes reports, increasing the costs associated with making a bad choice.

On the other hand, developing a strategic recruitment process can drive organizational improvements and financial gains. HR teams need to apply the same rigor their colleagues in other departments apply to critical business operations: optimizing costs, analyzing results, and continuously optimizing processes.

In this article, we explore how you can determine the right recruitment process for your organization, one that minimizes the possibility of a ‘bad hire.’ You will also be able to access our hiring manager’s guide to writing compelling job descriptions, ensuring the candidates you connect with are the best fit for the job from the start. In the end, you’ll have a clear plan of action for minimizing bad hires and maximizing good ones.

guide to writing a successful job description
guide to writing a successful job description

looking for detailed insights to create attractive job descriptions that will resonate with qualified candidates? our guide on writing job descriptions is the resource you need.

what leads to bad hires?

It’s a well-known fact that hiring successful employees creates organizational value, and hiring unsuccessful employees can hurt your company culture. So, why do so many organizations approach recruitment in a fragmented or even haphazard way?

The main reason is a disconnect between HR resources and hiring managers. In this regard, we’ve identified four key factors that contribute to bad hiring processes and, as a result, bad hiring decisions:

  •  hiring managers don’t realize the cost of a bad hire.

When HR teams put hiring managers in charge of their own recruitment, they often don’t realize or communicate the compounding effects poor recruitment practices can have on the organization. As a result, hiring managers can be less stringent in their selection process.

  •  hiring managers don’t know how to identify a good hire.

It’s a misconception that the hiring manager is best fit to recruit a new member of his or her team. “A lack of interview training has been the bane of great business strategic plans for decades, yet it continues to be ignored,” Hunt Scanlon reports.

  •  hiring managers feel rushed to fill a position.

Companies hire new employees in times of need, so there’s always internal pressure to get it done quickly — their staff is overextended, for example, or if an employee has left abruptly, leaving a critical role unfilled. Hiring managers can be hasty in their hiring decisions, shrugging off candidates’ shortcomings and even overlooking red flags as a result.

HR teams don’t communicate employee performance metrics to hiring managers.

Hiring managers who don’t understand employee performance metrics will not know what qualities to look for in a new hire. HR teams may have vague metrics or may fail to communicate valuable metrics to hiring managers successfully. They may not have a standardized interview process based on clear metrics, either.

The hiring manager makes the bad hire in each of these scenarios; but the results are similar when HR teams manage the hire entirely, failing to communicate these points successfully with hiring managers.  HR teams must set hiring managers and subsequently new employees up for success. They must ‘team up’ with hiring managers as well—especially during the interview process, where both interview skills and subject expertise are critical. Next, we’ll review how both parties can accomplish these goals.  

how to hire the right person every time.

Bad employees can drive down productivity, hurt morale, and even drive away both clients and good employees once hired. But a lot of wasted time and resources go into creating that bad hire in the first place—time and resources that can be realigned to ensure only good hires come through. Some of these include:

  • preparing internal resources and branding materials
  • creating a job description, posting advertisements, and other outreach
  • screening and interviewing potential candidates

As a trusted human partner and global leader in the HR services industry, Randstad supports people and organizations in realizing their true talent potential. We understand success in these initial efforts are critical to ensuring the long-term success of your company and your employees. That’s why we’ve identified four ways that you can ensure your hiring managers reach, discover, and select the right employees, every time:

  •  optimize the job description and advertisement.

Job descriptions and advertisements are gateways to new candidates, so ensuring they work in your favor is critical. They make the difference between choosing from a handful of great candidates versus a handful of poor ones. As you begin, think holistically about the needs of your team and organization. 

  •  share your company and its culture accurately.

Just as managers get frustrated with bad employees, new employees perform poorly when the company culture isn’t what was advertised. In fact, 92% of employees rate both their overall corporate culture and teamwork within their department as important to them, Forbes reports.
Make sure potential candidates reading your job description will understand your company culture as they consider you, and then communicate key aspects of company culture during the interview. Establishing realistic expectations about the role early will prevent “poor fit” candidates from slipping through. A tool like Modern Hire, which allows managers to pre-record their own interview question answers so they can visualize the right candidate, can help determine what those expectations should be.

  •  formalize interviews to address key aspects of the job.

Too many companies lack a standardized interview process. This prevents hiring managers from communicating and receiving critical information, including details about the candidate’s behavior, situational responsiveness, and technical aptitude. What’s more, hiring managers cannot accurately compare the results of multiple interviews if they are not conducted based on identical standards. McKinsey recommends standardized assessments as a structured approach to gathering information about potential hires. "If there isn’t direct science linking the assessment to job performance or to the characteristic that matters for the job in question, don’t use it,” they explain.

  •  look for universal qualities of successful employees.

In addition to finding employees with the right experience and skill sets, hiring managers should know to look for key characteristics that every new hire should have—no matter the position. These include natural talent, a willingness to learn, empathy, and confidence in their ability to make decisions. Similarly, hiring managers should know the qualities they do not want in a candidate, and why, by naming them and defining them ahead of time.

a successful hiring process is within your reach.

Improving your hiring process isn’t just a good idea—it drives real business value, including additional revenue. Recently, a fast food chain formally revamped its entire hiring process to be more targeted and efficient. The results included a 30% increase in service speed and a 5% increase in revenue across their stores.

But 100% success rate for new hires starts with getting the right candidates through the front door—and that begins with your job descriptions. Take the next step in your recruitment journey: download our free guidebook for writing compelling job descriptions.

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