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The Best Employees I Never Hired

Cream.HR
Published April 2, 2013

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There are many times in an employer’s hiring life where choices are second guessed. Often these feelings come when doubts arise about hiring a not-so-good employee. But what about missed opportunities, where quality candidates may have been looked over?

Catching key all-stars can make your business. Here are a few ways to avoid losing the best of the best:

Target Your Advertising

According to a study by Jobfully, 40% of all jobs are not listed, which skyrockets to 70% when you include the number of candidates hired whom the employer knows. Sound familiar? If so, you could be missing out on stellar candidates. Casting a wide net to attract a variety of applicants can be a beneficial, and often missed, step.

When sourcing, use networks to find candidates; through employees, trade groups, industry contacts, etc. At some companies, over 46% of hires are referrals, so it is important to get to know your (and your competition’s) network.

The average cost-per-hire ranges from at least $3,300 for clerical staff to $43,000 for executives. If you’re spending less you may not be allocating enough towards finding the right people. You may claim a limited budget, but considering that the cost of a bad hire has been listed at well over $300,000, spending less at the beginning to hire a top performer seems like a wise investment.

Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

Psychometric assessments are invaluable at identifying the diamonds in the rough by screening for personality traits, not just skills on a resume. According to Dr. Jacob Hirsch,”A large body of research now indicates that measures of cognitive ability and personality are powerful and efficient tools for predicting performance…psychological assessment remains an invaluable tool for identifying the top performers and making an informed decision.” Using this methodology can mitigate the risk of missing the great candidates from the pile.

Another good opportunity to not lose high quality applicants is to make sure that your hiring managers are well versed in the job and organization before beginning to hire. Training for hiring managers can increase the quality of employees hired by almost 33%. Since these managers are already on payroll, increasing their knowledge base can be a win win for their experience and also for improving the hiring process.

In 2012, there were, on average, 118 applicants for every job. Only 35%  met the requirements set up by the employer. While an argument can be made of candidate quality, this is a two way street. It is very important for the employer to ask intelligent, job related questions when interviewing a candidate. Identify not just the skills and culture fit, but  ascertain the candidate’s growth potential for the position and for the company, long term. Assessing a candidate’s ability to iterate is a far better measurement of success than simply box-checking for a laundry list of ‘requirements’.

Candidates That are Often Overlooked

While bias should always be avoided in the hiring process, there is a growing trend showing that employers do not want to hire people who are currently unemployed. However, there are 3 unemployed people for every job opening, now. These numbers are now so large that perfectly skilled people might be unemployed, at no fault of their own. It is critical that employers keep reservations to a minimum and give candidate’s the ability to explain employment gaps, as there are many reasons people are let go in today’s society.

The hiring process is often very subjective due to the lack of ‘proof’ that an applicant will turn out well. Yet, less experienced candidates bring fresh blood and no bad habits. Ask yourself, is it more important to find someone who can do one thing perfectly or someone who can iterate, learn and adapt to change? Instead of hiring based on 15 years experience in doing one specific task, think about how job requirements change daily with consistently changing technology.

Alternately, ‘overqualified’ candidates can be overlooked in their own right. An employer may discount this group because they are ‘set in their ways’ or will come at ‘too high of a salary cost’. However, studies show that often a candidate changing jobs later in life may have motivations other than money. Additionally, at the end of the day they may require less training, reducing the time to hire.

Regardless of the type of company, when looking for your next employee, maintain the most inclusive hiring process possible and always keep an open mind. Your company’s next superhero might just be waiting for you to give them the right opportunity.

 

 

 

 

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