Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

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Making the wrong hire can be costly, so you want to make sure you do everything you can to get it right.

Janco Associates estimates that it can cost two to three times the salary of the employee when you make a bad hire. Think of the lost productivity and higher recruitment and training costs, plus intangibles like the effect on the morale of other employees.

As a fast-moving startup, you need to have the right people in place and you can’t spend all your time searching for the right candidate, yet it’s critical that you get hiring right.

So start by putting some good hiring processes in place. Don’t let one employee, regardless of how trusted, call all the shots. Hiring should be collaborative, with shared impressions. Don’t fall for slick talkers; it’s results you’re after. And don’t place a premium on physical looks; you’re looking for competence. Check references, and put candidates through tests or tryouts to make sure that what’s on their resume is real.

When interviewing, press candidates to identify real solutions they’ve come up with to real challenges. Be sure to have an in-depth conversation with everyone you bring in; don’t rush through interviews because you’re pressed for time. Give candidates a numerical rating or letter grade to avoid subjectivity. But don’t rely too much on metrics; at some point you have to go with your gut and make the call. And evaluate how well your hires work out to see where you need to improve.

Adapted from Why CIOs Hire Bad Employees at CIO Insight.