A lot of bad hires have to do with a lack of a standard interview process. In addition to not having a standard interview process, interviewers at many companies ask the wrong questions. They fail to ask questions that evaluate if the candidate would be a good fit for the company culture as well as the job requirements.
First, companies need to break down the responsibilities of the job clearly, and not be to broad in the job description. Being more specific will allow better hires because candidates who better fit what the company is looking for will apply. Then to get an even better idea of which applicants will be a good fit for the job and company, companies should evaluate candidates during the sourcing/screening process, not during or even after onboarding . Further, evaluations should consider the candidate’s soft skills and experiences rather than just their technical skills.
Job seekers do research on the company and job before applying, so use this opportunity to put the most relevant information on the company’s website and social media. Companies should consider investing in a career site if they don’t already have one and make sure to put a clear message about what it’s like to work at their company/organization. By making and advertising a brand for themselves, a company will make better hires because people will know the company better. To make a successful brand, one must pay attention to the management and communication of the company’s brand to ensure a positive image and reputation. Candidates are shoppers too, so they are looking for a job somewhere that they feel good about working. They’ll be able to evaluate a company based on the language used in job postings, as well as reviews by former and current employees. If a company treats candidates with respect in every interaction during the application process, they are likely to make better hires.
Further, if a company doesn’t already have one, they should institute a referral program. People won’t want to refer someone bad because they don’t to hurt their own reputation or risk their job, so people hired through referrals will be happier and more successful. Additionally, the candidate likely knows about the company through who referred them and will know better if its the right fit for them before making it through the application process.
Have two to three interviews for candidates, rather than just one. Also, involve multiple members of the staff in the interviews and hiring decision to avoid bias and to ensure a team dynamic.
Be proactive in recruiting by reaching out to potential candidates first. Perhaps find out where some of these potential candidates spend their time (e.g. online groups, professional associations, conferences) and spend time there too. When you meet someone you’d like to work with, save their contact information. Then when a job opens up that they would fit, you can reach out to them.
If possible, do a “non-traditional” interview, which allows you to spend time with the candidate outside the office and see how they act in their normal daily life. One example of this is taking the candidate to lunch for an interview. Another is after reviewing the resumes, calling candidates whose resumes you’re interested in for a quick chat before scheduling the first interview.
Keep track of what is working for your company and what is not in hiring. Continue and build on what’s working and avoid repeating what doesn’t work.
The ideal team player includes a combination of these three qualities: humility (care about others more than themselves), hunger (want to work harder and contribute more), people smarts (common sense and emotional intelligence). Overall, companies should look for a balance of those qualities when hiring.
A tip specifically for small businesses/startups:
Decide if you need to hire a full time employee or if a freelancer or independent contractor would be able to do the job just as well and save you money on payroll taxes and benefits, health insurance, and paid vacation.