4 Signs To Watch Out For To Prevent Bad Hiring Decisions

Bad hiring decisions could cost a company dearly. A bad hire is an expensive bet which you are sure to lose. To give you a perspective of what or how much you stand to lose on your bad hiring decisions, add your first-year attrition or turnover rate with the percentage of persons whom your company would not rehire.

The resultant number is the Bad Hiring Rate (BHR) of your company. Next, multiply your BHR with the total payroll increase offered to new hires. This way, you will be able to estimate the total cost incurred by your company for bad hiring decisions.

For example, let us suppose a company has hired 200 employees in the previous year. The turnover or attrition rate is 10%, and the percentage of persons that they would not rehire is 10%. So, the calculation would work out to (10+10)%*200*$80,000 as average payroll. That’s a staggering $3.2 million of wanted resources — not to mention the demotivating effect of bad hires on the other employees and the company.

Therefore, there is a cautious line that one should tread while hiring candidates. Fortunately, you will notice clues at every step of the recruiting process that indicate that you are about to make bad hiring decisions. If you keep an eye out for these clues, you will avoid ending up with a bad hire and eventually save on your precious resources. The best thing, however, is that most clues are obvious and their status can be changed easily. Here is a look at the four most obvious clues of a bad hire:

1. There is disagreement within the recruitment team about the job requirements.

Disagreement within the hiring team is the ‘numero uno’ cause of a bad hiring decision. It means that your hiring team is not on the same page about the job requirements, and they end up with a bad hire. This decision can prove to be very expensive for the company, as you would have to spend extra resources on training them, counselling them or maybe having thm exit them from the company.

However, the solution to this problem is very simple and easy. Before starting the interview rounds, or even prior to the entire recruitment process, the interviewers or recruiters must agree on what would be the duties of the person for the given job role during their first year at the office. This step would then ensure that the hire is successful. Generally, there are five to six Key Performance Objectives (KPOs) or Objectives and Key Results (OKR) that describe the main objectives of the job as well as the critical subtasks. Highlighting and emphasising on these KPOs will keep the hiring team on track and prevent any bad hiring decisions.

2. Candidates give vague answers.

You will recognise a vague response the moment you ask the candidate a specific question. For instance, ask the candidate, ‘why do you want this job’, before formally giving them the offer. An appropriate answer should be one that includes comprehensive details of the work — the KPOs, as well as the kind of leadership the new company has, followed by an overview of how this new company can offer growth and development opportunities for the candidate.

This answer is a true indicator that the candidate has researched the new company and is highly excited with the scope of work rather than the monetary compensation. Inversely, if the responses are vague or lack the ideal KPOs as discussed above, it would indicate that the candidates are more inclined towards the monetary compensation at hand rather than the scope of work.

For such candidates, the only motivation is the money they earn, and therefore, they will face problems with job satisfaction and challenges. Plus, in the long term, these candidates can prove to be a bad hire and will add up to your attrition rate.

3. Interviewers use unrelated or vague evidence to rationalise their hiring decision.

Ideally, good physical evidence is the one that includes proper metrics, dates and precise details of the applicants work performance, which is most comparable or matches the required OKRs and KPOs mentioned in the job description. This evidence is important to precisely predict the past performance of the candidate.

Without this information, it can be difficult to arrive at a conclusive decision about the candidate whom you are about to hire. And if you end up hiring such a candidate based on their genetic competencies or under emotional bias, their flaws and incompetency will eventually show up when they join the floor, resulting in an expensive bad hire.

4. The most suitable candidates either reject the job offer or opt out early from the process.

It has been observed that not all candidates who opt out of the recruitment process are ineligible or unsuitable for the job. Most of the time, even the strongest of candidates either opt out of the process early or altogether reject the job offer. The reasons for this can be attributed to the long and unstructured sourcing and recruitment process, wherein one has to clear many rounds of tests and interviews before the main interview.

To avoid such an eventuality, hiring managers and recruiters should agree on their best or the most suitable prospective candidates before contacting them for the interview. It will help you keep a track on the progress of such candidates during the recruitment process, or you may even customise their recruitment process for such candidates. It will not just ensure a better candidate experience but will also ensure that only the right candidate goes through the rigours of the interview.

Most of the top prospective candidates who agree for the interview, usually complete the rigorous series of assessments and interviews and accept the offer. Also, if top candidates accept the job offer, then it is a positive indication of an efficient recruitment process and highlights the abilities of the hiring managers and recruiters in attracting the best talent for the long term.

Bad hiring decisions will not just disrupt the work environment, but will also hurt your company financially. So, emphasise more on planning your hiring strategy and the process in detail, well in advance, to avoid the possibility of ending up with a bad hire.

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Shalini L
Shalini L

One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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