4 easy strategies to avoid hiring disasters

Often, people who sweep you off your feet with their interview performance might turn out to be hiring disasters when you review their actual performance. The cost of a bad hire is something that worries HR managers and line managers alike. It is a huge headache for the person who makes the final decision and affects future hiring.

So how do you circumvent the trap of false first impressions to make sure that you are not forced to regret your decision? Here are four strategies to avoid hiring disasters.

1. Create a test that simulates actual work as closely as possible

After screening for the first review, ask candidates to perform a skill-based task under the same goals and constraints they might face while at work. Test relevant skills and industry knowledge over a period of at least two hours and see how they perform. Note their approach to solving regular challenges for depth and breadth, and assess their experience. Be open to taking questions during the test and observe the person’s ability to solve challenges with minimal assistance. If you are hiring more than one person, ensure that everybody does the same task to figure out who shows the best judgment. This will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

2. Frame your questions properly

Asking questions the right way is important to ensuring that you hire not only for aptitude but also for soft skills. Soft skills can determine how a person builds the network he needs to perform well at work. It can also help you determine whether the person will stay sufficiently long with the company to deliver return on investment. Ask behavioral competency-based questions with a flexible approach, without sticking to a limited set of pre-set questions. Ask follow up questions based on the candidate’s answers. Judging behavioral competency is essential to understanding whether the person will fit well in your organization’s culture. Involving multiple interviewers can provide valuable perspectives that one person might miss. It is always important not to fall into the time trap and cut short the interview process.

3. Provide detailed and optimised job descriptions

Hurriedly prepared, inadequately detailed job descriptions waste the time of HR and hiring managers. Although this point might seem obvious, managers often do not spend adequate time in drafting a well thought out job description. A good job description must be jargon free and to the point. It is always advantageous to highlight the constraints and challenges upfront. The key is not to provide a romanticized view of the job.

4. Remember to leverage technology and content

With a variety of technology options available, you can build intelligent screening mechanisms on the careers page of your company’s website to streamline hiring, reduce the cost of hiring, and weed out wrong candidates before the interview process starts. Optimised content on your company’s website can help candidates decide whether your company is a good fit with their personality. Companies with low attrition hire people who are not just the right fit for the company culture, but also help enhance the culture.

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