5 Tips for Better, Smarter Hiring Decisions

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We all know the cost of making bad hiring decisions. According to the Harvard Business Review, as much as 80% of employee turnover is a direct result of poor hiring decisions. But having open positions creates gaps in productivity, which puts undue stress on remaining employees, leads to errors, and creates an overall sense of frustration and burnout. Despite this, you do not want to rush the decision-making process.

So what’s the answer? The old adage says to hire slowly, but I say hire smartly. Here are five tips to improve your candidate selection process the next time you have an open position to fill.

  1. Don’t overlook the references. Instincts are powerful, but they can’t tell you about an employee’s past. Take the time to check candidates’ references. No matter how well you think you know the candidate, talking to the people he or she has worked for will uncover new insights. References are invaluable free resources that can prevent costly mistakes.
  2. Bring in an outsider. Bring in a third party perspective during the interview process, like an employee from another function, to add a valuable perspective. If the role is highly cross-functional, bring in a rep from the major functions to weigh in on your top candidates. This can be extremely valuable in selecting the right candidate.
  3. Date before getting married. Structure your interview process so it represents actual scenarios this person would need to succeed in. For example, when filling a sales role, have the candidate present one of your sales tools. Another option is setting up a trial period so the candidate can start working with the team for up to 30 days before converting to full-time. This allows both sides to evaluate the fit.
  4. Get data-driven. Don’t rely on just your gut. As part of the interview process, use an assessment tool that will provide insight into a candidate’s cognitive abilities, behavioral traits, and interests. This is a valuable, non-subjective way to compare strong candidates.
  5. Check in early and often (and cut your losses if necessary). Sometimes, even with the right processes in place, you can still hire the wrong candidate. Set up regular check-ins during the early weeks of employment. But if problems arise, you must address them quickly. After pinpointing the exact problem you’re having with the employee – and trying to improve the situation – don’t hesitate to let people go.

Once you’ve mastered the selection and hiring process, you can continue to improve your employee experience as you gain insight into the entire employee lifecycle — from onboarding to exit surveys, culture, and employee engagement, as well as ongoing pulse surveys. Implementing your employee listening strategy with state-of-the-art survey tools and a powerful reporting platform, as well as gaining the valuable insights you need to build an exceptional workforce, is made simpler with our Newmeasures assessments. Get in touch with Powers Resource Center to get started!

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