Understanding how to improve the hiring process is good for the bottom line. According to a recent Careerbuilder.com survey of the cost of a bad hire, forty-one percent of the companies that responded estimated that a bad hire cost in excess of $25,000. Twenty-five percent estimated that the cost was in excess of $50,000. That’s an expensive mistake and one that can be avoided by hiring the right person the first time around.
Any medium-sized company and above would do well to follow the model of leading consulting services firm Deloitte & Touche USA. During the interview process, HR managers make sure to introduce applicants to all levels of their firm’s employees, from novices to senior executives. This allows the potential new employee to get both a great sense of the company’s corporate culture as well as extract the kind of information that an HR manager may never think of including.
The other reason to make sure the hiring process experience is a positive one for all applicants is that applicants talk. Beyond the person that is hired, the many other finalists for a position become, essentially, PR emissaries for the company, telling their friends and colleagues about the work experience. So it is critical for a company to treat all applicants with the knowledge that they will be propagating a brand of PR about the firm, and to control as much as possible, the message those people will be communicating.
Ranking Potential Candidates
Another great way for companies to improve their hiring process is to go into the process with an agreed-upon, universal ranking system.(2) A lot of time can be wasted later on, trying to remember the relative qualities of individual candidates. But with a solid, easy-reference ranking of each potential employee, completed right after the initial interview, that comparative job can be made much simpler.
Which brings up another important bit of HR knowledge. In many cases, the best people for a job are not the ones that are most likeable. Going into the interview process, there must be not just a clear listing of the competencies being sought, but also an understanding of the “softer skills” needed. These latter abilities are more behavioral than technical, and are much harder to teach.
”How Much Does a Bad Employee Cost the Boss?” CareerBuilder.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. <http://www.careerbuilder.ca/Article/MSN-732-Workplace-Issues-How-much-does-a-bad-employee-cost-the-boss/>.
(1) Bloomberg Business Week – “Best (Hiring) Practices”, August 10, 2006, Retrieved July 2, 2011 from http://www.businessweek.com/careers/content/aug2006/ca20060810_662254.htm
(2) Harvard Business Review – “How to Prevent Hiring Disasters”, May 27, 2010, Retrieved July 2, 2011 from http://blogs.hbr.org/hmu/2010/05/how-to-prevent-hiring-disaster.html