Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Eric Lawton. His opinions are his own.
Do you look around at your workforce and want to sigh? Or, maybe, you are just tired of the alarmingly high turnover rate at your company. Well, neither of these are ideal situations, especially if you are hoping to run a successful business. So, if you are stuck with yet another dismal employee, you need to ask yourself: what am I doing wrong?
Believe it or not, you have to shoulder some of the blame for lackluster workers. Even if an employee is a total dud at their job, you have to remember that you are the one who chose them for that position. So, your first step to correcting your employee problem is to take a closer look at your hiring process.
To get a better idea of how to improve these particular proceedings, here are all the mistakes that you may be making.
Let’s imagine that you want to hire someone to fill the position of sales manager. Now, do you actually know what is required for this particular position? Most people assume that they are aware of the skills and traits necessary for success but this isn’t actually true.
If you don’t have too much experience in sales, then turn to someone who has been doing the job for a while. It will help if you speak to someone who has experience in the industry you are currently engaged in. Then, have a frank discussion about what it takes to excel at such a position.
Once you have built a more credible depiction, you are going to need to describe these requirements in a good job description. To start with, make sure you list the vacancy under the right title. Now’s not the time to get creative – stick with a term that everyone is going to understand.
Then, you need to carefully list out exactly what the job entails and what kind of skills or candidate you are looking for. The more specific, the better. At the same time, don’t use language that can turn certain people off. This includes terms such as “best of the best” or “perfectionist”.
Particularly when trying to fill a technical position, it can be tempting to only focus on skills and credentials. While there is no denying that these details are important, they aren’t the only things to look for. Research has found that in many instances, personality can be just as important as capabilities.
A comprehensive study found that 81 percent of new hires crash and burn because their personalities aren’t a good fit for the position or the company. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the person you want to hire is the smartest, most talented candidate around. All this means very little if they can’t work with others, take criticism, or regulate themselves in a professional setting.
So, the next time you are considering a candidate, make sure to focus on his or her behavior and disposition as well. Are they pleasant or temperamental? How do they address the people in your office, including you? All these little details will make it easier for you to compile a more complete picture of the candidate.
The problem with most interview processes is that they are restrictive. That is to say, you only end up spending a few hours in the company of the person you would like to hire. As such, it isn’t nearly enough time to get a proper feel of what they’re like. This is where reference checks come in.
If you have a tendency to forego reference checks, you need to put an end to that practice. Furthermore, reading recommendation letters isn’t enough either. To understand who you are hiring, it is a good idea to pick up the phone and talk to a candidate’s references. After all, it is more difficult to lie over the phone than in a letter.
You may also want to take it one step further and head to a search people website. This will provide you with basic background information about someone. It is often a good place to start the verification process of a candidate and determine just how legitimate they are.
When you are desperate to fill a vacancy, you may end up waxing poetic about your company. This is something that also takes place when you are faced with a rockstar candidate. Problem is, this strategy reeks of desperation. Not to mention, the balance between employer and employee doesn’t get off to the right start either.
There is also the fact that when you build up your company too much, the reality can’t possibly compare. You may preach about this business nirvana but your candidate will end up finding out that it is just like any other organization – there are ups and downs. It is this discrepancy that may result in them quitting shortly afterward.
So, make sure to always let the candidate market themselves to you rather than the other way around. While showing a certain level of enthusiasm about your business is a good thing, you should stay away from being overly optimistic. Stick to the facts and the right candidate will be able to tell if this is a good fit for them or not.
Are you making unilateral hiring decisions in your company? If so, that may need to change. Now, if you are hiring someone who will be directly working with you, this autocratic form of hiring may go off without a hitch. If there are other departments involved, though, this may not be the case.
So, speak to the head of the department that will be dealing with the potential employee personally. You may want to ask them to sit in on the interview or, at the very least, get their opinion. Keep in mind, they know exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. As such, they may be the best judge of candidates too.
Are you guilty of making any of these mistakes? If so, you might have discovered the reason(s) for why you end up with the wrong employees. On the bright side, you now know exactly what to fix in your hiring process to ensure a better outcome.
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