Obviously, employers are always keen to make successful hiring decisions. However it is common for a new hire to be unsuccessful in probation. This is often because it transpires that they don’t actually have the skills and experience needed for the job.
Why does this happen?
There are two potential answers to this question:
- The criteria for the job was not correctly defined at the start, and / or
- The questions during the selection process did not successfully establish the skills and experience of the candidate.
A great deal of management time and effort (and often direct cost) goes in to recruiting and onboarding a new employee, so when it doesn’t work out, more management time goes in to dealing with the problem. There are often direct costs in paying notice in lieu and untaken holiday when the leaver is processed. You then end up doubling the recruitment costs and time for filling that role, when you repeat the process to recruit a better replacement. So, getting the selection process right, makes business sense.
Tips for making successful hiring decisions:
- REALLY think about the job you need to fill. Consider the skills and experience that person needs to have.
- Create a job ad and job description which clearly articulates the qualifications, skills and experience you’re looking for. This will enable potential applicants without the skills you need to self-select out of the process.
- Involve more than one person in the shortlisting and interviewing process and spend time preparing together.
- Devise interview questions which are open and based on the candidates’ experiences. Plan to have a two-way conversation with them about it, so you can assess them against what’s required.
- Probe the candidate on their experience to ‘drill down’ in to the detail. This will eliminate any potential embellishments, assumptions or misunderstandings about the experiences they have actually had.
- Ensure all candidates are interviewed in the same robust way, regardless of whether they are recommended by a contact, or you have worked with them before.
- Ensure one of the interviewers is taking notes of the candidate’s responses (the content, not their opinion about it). This will serve as an accurate reminder about the candidates, so you can discuss your thoughts about them effectively afterwards.
- If you’re in doubt about a candidate, ask them back, or meet them for coffee so you can ask them more about the areas where you feel less convinced. Or involve a third interviewer to do this – prepping with them about the areas of focus/concern.
- Do not appoint someone just because they are the best in an unsatisfactory group of candidates. If they do not have the essential skills and experience, and these areas cannot easily be developed or trained upon joining, do not appoint them.
Not everyone has a natural ability to interview well, but training or coaching can help your managers run an effective selection process, so they can find the right person for the job.
If you or your team need support in making more successful hiring decisions, get in touch.