Arris Insights

May Employment Trends: How to Avoid Making Costly Hiring Mistakes

In today’s highly competitive job market, you can’t afford to take a lackluster approach to recruitment and hiring. Not only can a bad hire lead to costly turnover, but it can also negatively impact your organizational performance and, therefore, your bottom line.

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, the cost of replacing one of your employees could end up amounting to anywhere between 50 percent and a few hundred percent of the employee’s yearly salary.

Never has it been more important for you to hone in on a strategy to attract, onboard and retain top talent. However, this is often far easier said than done. Fast Company reported that two of the biggest reasons companies hire bad candidates can be attributed to 1) needing to fill the position quickly, and 2) the organization failing to test or research the skills of the candidate well enough.

There are many factors that come into play when determining whether someone is a suitable candidate, including her skill set and background, as well as how well she fits within the corporate culture. To avoid the risk of costly hiring mistakes, there are key steps you need to take – starting with focusing on what constitutes an ideal candidate.

Build a candidate profile
The more specific you are about the background, skill sets and personal characteristics of your ideal candidate, the more likely you will be able to identify and attract similar candidates. Too often, hiring managers cast a wide net in hopes that the top performers will simply come to them. But you need to have a better, more specific definition of the skill sets and experience candidates should have, and what will be expected of them.

Not only does this help you, it also benefits candidates as well. According to Aberdeen Group, there is a disconnect between the expectations of employers and candidates, which contributes to higher turnover. Candidates reported wanting a clearer definition of their role and associated responsibilities.

Put competencies into context
As Lou Adler recently explained in a LinkedIn article, without context, hiring decisions are influenced by personal perceptions and biases, which are the leading cause of hiring mistakes. To avoid this, you must clearly define roles and responsibilities, as well as the required traits and competencies for performing those functions – not just which ones you need, but why and how they will be used on the job. Additionally, how will the success of those competencies be measured?

The article also suggested outlining about five performance objectives explaining the task, an action verb detailing the role, followed by a measurable result.

These are the ingredients needed to create a performance-based job description which allow employers to minimize bias attributed to a lack of context and, in turn, reduce their risk of making costly hiring mistakes.