16th October 2019 - - 0 comments

Attracting, hiring and retaining the right people for your business can be a long, costly and exhausting process. The right hire will become a brand ambassador for you and will help to grow your business whereas the wrong hire can be a drain on resources and morale. Due to the uncertain nature of the labour market and particularly in a tight labour market it can be tempting to fill the vacancy with the first applicant who you think will be a good fit for the role. How then can you avoid making the wrong hire?

The first step in any recruitment process should be to get the applicants CV, but how can you tell from a CV if an applicant will actually know what they are doing, or if they will be a good team member and organizational fit? You will need to bring them in for a least one interview either face to face or virtual but even this is not fool proof. What happens if you ask the wrong questions, or rely too much on gut instinct? You could of course use a Recruitment agency who has staff trained to interview candidates to ensure that only the top tier applicants make it to your desk but if you want to go it alone, here are our top tips on how create a process to help you avoid making the wrong hire.

Develop interviewing skills through training.

There are many psychological mistakes that interviewers can fall into such as the ‘similar to me effect’ where people tend to give people who have similar traits and mannerisms to them a higher rating or ‘The Halo/Horns Effect’ where a single trait or impression of a person (where positive or negative) can then overshadow their other traits and behaviors. To ensure that your staff don’t fall into these traps, it is a good idea to make them aware of these cognitive biases and to have them take notes or rate the candidate during the interview and have more than one interviewer. This way they will be less likely to make these mistakes and they are able to compare and contrast their ratings of the applicant to reduce the likely hood of you making the wrong hire.

Create a standard process for interviews.

The point on interviews is to get a better understanding of the applicant’s soft skills, such as conflict management, team and organizational fit etc. Although unstructured, conversational interviews tend to feel more organic and will help the applicant to relax and be more open with you, research shows that structured interviews are 81% more accurate than unstructured ones. To help create more structure you should ask all the applicants the same questions, in the same order and focus the questions on core job competencies. You should also create a standardized ranking system and have all interviewers use this so you can compare candidates easily and effectively.

Develop interactive job simulations.

A job interview, as previous stated is a great way to gain a better understanding of an applicant’s soft skills, but to get a better idea of their technical ability, an interactive job simulation will help to test for these skills. This involves putting them directly in the role and environment they will be working in, or as close to it as possible and assess how they perform against core job competencies.

Although you can never accurately predict how successful a person will be in their role, by training your interviewers, by standardizing questions and having applicants go through a job simulation you can reduce the risk of making the wrong hire, saving time, money and effort.

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