As a hiring manager, you know that hiring the best employees is the key to success for your company. The pressure to hire the best candidate can create a stressful situation. Bad hires damage your company, while you waste time and money trying to find a replacement. You are not alone. Even the top hiring managers make hiring errors, especially when trying to hire too quickly. Here are three blunders you might be making when trying to hire too soon and what you can do about it.
Too Much Emphasis on Experience and Academic Credentials
Do not rush and fall into the trap of thinking that a candidate familiar with your industry will hit the ground running. Although industry knowledge is helpful, it is not a predictor of success. Honestly, if a candidate has a fixed mindset and approach, industry experience can be a drawback. You will then have the tremendous job of re-training the candidate to your company’s way of doing business. Grades and academic performance are not reliable predictors of success either, ask Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell or Bill Gates. None of these industry leaders possess a college degree.
It is better to ensure there are characteristics that your top performers share and are the foundation of your culture. Focus on cognitive ability. Can a candidate ask the right questions, consume information, and adjust their point of view or actions as circumstances dictate? Can they separate vital information from needless data? Cognitive ability is a must in today’s business environment.
Reliance on Gut Feelings
When you are hiring, and you are in a hurry, you may have the temptation to rely on your instincts to find the best candidate during the interview process. Your instinct kicks in, and then you find yourself scrambling to find evidence to support your feelings while ignoring evidence to the contrary. This confirmation bias is why many hires do not work out.
When interviewing, spend some time finding information that will cause you to overturn your original conclusion. Ultimately, you might change your mind. Avoid subjective bias by using structured interviews. Ask all candidates the same questions, then use a scorecard to grade the candidates according to tangible markers for success.
Failure to Conduct a Test Drive
Do not be in such a sprint that you forget a vital component of the interview process: the test drive. Reading the resume, conducting the interview, but failing to do a real-world simulation of the actual work tasks that the candidate will perform, can have disastrous consequences.
Once you slash your list down to a few promising candidates, put together test assignments and compare the candidates’ performance. Your test can range from a few hours to a few days in the office environment.
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