Recruitment seems like such an easy thing on the surface. It’s as simple as Jim Collins writes in his book Good to Great, right? “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Well anyone who’s been responsible for hiring the right talent into the right roles for any length of time will tell you it’s certainly not as easy as it sounds. Here are a few deadly hiring sins to be conscious of.
The Seven Deadly Hiring Sins
Hiring Sin #1: Don’t just find a warm body.
We’ve all been there; your department is running so lean you can barely keep up, and then your most reliable team member puts in their notice or goes out on an unexpected medical leave. The urge to get your team some relief by just filling that hole with the first willing person that comes along can be overwhelming, but DON’T do that. The wrong hire will cost you triple in time and effort, and it won’t be long before you feel more buried than you were to start with.
Hiring Sin #2: Don’t hire someone without clearly detailing the expectations for the role and how the person’s performance will be measured.
You may have an amazing culture and a million reasons why candidates should want to join your company, but if you do a great job selling the company and culture, without ensuring the person understands what they will truly be responsible for doing day in and day out…..you may be setting yourself up for turnover from the very beginning. You’ll start hearing things like: “I didn’t realize the travel would be this heavy” or “I didn’t sign up for this!”
Hiring Sin #3: Don’t ignore a gut feeling.
So you’re in the middle of an interview that is going pretty well…..except for that tiny nagging feeling that something is just a little off about this person. You can’t put your finger on it, but you detect that they aren’t telling the truth about something or they seem too good to be true. If you have that feeling, it’s best not to ignore it. It’s easier to brush it off and focus on how well everything else went in the interview, but you’ll regret not honing in on your suspicion.
Hiring Sin #4: Don’t forget to examine the long term goal.
Do you ever hear hiring managers outline their needs by saying, “I need someone just like (fill in their favorite A player’s name here……we’ll use Susie)”? Well, Susie may have been, or may still be, a great fit for the role, but it’s important to understand not only how the role is currently designed, but also how it should be designed according to company growth plans. Did Susie have the skills to advance and grow? Even if Susie was a star employee, was she fulfilling the key targets that the role was designed to deliver for the organization? Maybe Susie just had great organizational skills that complemented her manager’s lack of skill in that area…..thereby causing a search for a specific talent that doesn’t take into consideration the actual long term needs of the company. Every time you fill a position, you should be evaluating how it fits into the big picture.
Hiring Sin #5: Don’t hire too fast (or too slow)!
Speaking of growth, you can easily get caught up in hiring too fast, especially when sales really start to churn. It’s always a good idea to keep close tabs on your individual employee cost ratios. The last thing you want to do is get caught up in ramping up your sales team, only to find that you suddenly have salary costs that don’t support enough revenue generation. On the flip side, there’s another land mine in hiring too slow. That’s a surefire way to de-motivate a solid team that is performing at max capacity.
Hiring Sin #6: Don’t hire without getting some feedback from others internally.
Lots of studies have been done around job interviews and personal bias. People are naturally drawn to others who are like themselves, but every organization needs diversity of thought. If you hire a bunch of clones, it’s likely your business will suffer in the innovation department. It’s good practice to be intentional in coaching about bias. You should also involve other stakeholders in the interview process, which will help take a little pressure off of you, as well as ensure others feel good about the hiring decision that’s made.
Hiring Sin #7: Don’t hire someone without an onboarding plan.
A quick way to increase your turnover rate is to hire someone and think that’s where it ends. You landed the right person in the right seat on the bus, and they should thrive from here right? Without an onboarding plan, your new hire doesn’t have the playbook on how to win within your organization. There are so many factors at play when people take a new position, and you certainly can’t plan for everything. However, setting someone up for success ensures the best possible outcome. If you are re-locating someone, you might want to consider the family. Are there resources you can provide to help the spouse find work in the area? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a simple, thoughtful plan to get him or her acclimated will pay dividends later.
One of the deadliest hiring sins? Recruiting without AgCareers.com’s expertise. Check out our services that range from job postings to salary data and everything in between.