8 Reasons Behind Poor Hiring Decisions

Posted on 27 June 2023

​Hiring levels rise as a direct outcome of expanding enterprises. Since each new employee has a significant impact on current workers and the process, careful preparation and the establishment of clear visions, strategies, and procedures are required. It is also critical to identify strategies to get access to the top individuals in the market and to make the company appealing to them after they have been identified. If these considerations are not made, the consequences might be costly. Everyone knows that worker turnover is expensive, but keeping underperforming employees might be much more expensive.

​So what are the most common causes of bad hiring decisions?

Quality is losing ground to speed

According to the Perfect Match survey, one-third of the 85% of HR professionals who claimed they'd witnessed problematic hiring decisions made in their companies related it to the company's need to fill the post swiftly.

There could be several reasons for this rush: personnel are overburdened attempting to fill the void left by the previous incumbent; the line manager wants to see a transition time; or they are anxious about losing the staff budget if the post is not filled fast. Perhaps it is simply pressure from a high member in the firm to fill the post quickly, putting individuals further down the recruitment chain under pressure to expedite the process.

For whatever reason, a candidate who is just good enough may be appointed over someone who could actually make a difference just because of their immediate availability.

Setting realistic timeframes for the process, contemplating an interim, and tighter collaboration between HR and line managers are all things that can assist give the process the time it requires.

Inadequate briefing

Whether you deal with your HR department or a recruitment agency to find applicants, it's critical to provide a clear brief of what you're looking for. Often, a line manager will have strong opinions on the technical competencies they seek, but will not elaborate on the behaviour they seek to establish cultural fit.

This is absurd, given data reveals that more people leave their jobs due to their attitude or behaviour rather than their skill.

As a result, ensuring that the brief includes a detailed job description, a good overview of the company (including culture), and a well-thought-out person specification will all help ensure that everyone, including the candidates, has the best understanding of the role and context from the start of the process - rather than something discovered after they have joined.

A lack of diversity

Line managers should never hire only people who match a specific mould. We all benefit from working with people who have complimentary abilities and ideas, and this does not come from hiring in our image.

If you continually recruit from the same pool of people, your chances of making a step change appointment are restricted, which might result in a hire that does not work as well for the business or the new recruit as it has to in order to satisfy the long-term objectives of both.

Inadequate interviewing and reference checking

Busy managers may not always have the time – or may not prioritise the time – to prepare interviews that will reveal the most complete picture of a candidate. And, for many, references have grown so banal that they no longer seem worth following up on.

However, interviews, assessment exercises, and references are the only genuine opportunities to examine an individual's ability to justify the promises on their CV before committing to recruitment. As a result, they are well worth your time.

One-way interviewees

Some interviewers, we've heard, spend the entire 60-minute interview talking about the firm, the opportunity, and themselves, leaving little time to hear what the candidate has to offer. If all interviews are conducted in this manner, it is unlikely that the hiring manager will be able to make an educated judgement, other than maybe favouring the candidates who proven to be the best listeners!

It is critical that all interviews afford time for two-way dialogues and that candidates are given ample opportunity to establish their appropriateness - or lack thereof.

There are far too few persons participating in the hiring process

While committee choices are certainly vulnerable to criticism, it is crucial that all critical decision makers be included in the decision. If you're searching for an events manager to support a specific team, not involving the team's leader in the process and decision-making is obviously not ideal - but you'd be shocked how often this happens.

Obtaining engagement and buy-in from important stakeholders before and during the process can save a lot of trouble later!

Aptitude and Attitude are not quantifiable

Aptitude and attitude tests will not discover the right candidate on their own, but when combined with the findings of a structured, formal interview, they can be a reliable deciding factor. Without them, an interview decision is frequently dependent only on gut instinct.

Inadequate onboarding

Imagine receiving no communication from your new employers between the offer confirmation and your first day, and then arriving to find few preparations for your arrival.

This is fairly common, and it should come as no surprise that anyone experiencing this will frequently continue to hunt for a new job somewhere in the meanwhile. Indeed, the time between the offer letter and the start date is when your ideal candidate is most likely to receive other offers from their current job or from your competition.

Staying in touch with your new hire before they join, especially during their resignation process, and during that key initial settling in period are all places where close and continuous engagement with the applicant may pay off big time.

​The bottom line

What happens if, after going through the lengthy process of filling a job, you realise that the applicant does not meet expectations? They may lack the requisite abilities, fail to fit in with the business culture, or have behavioural issues that were not identified during the interview and qualification process.

Some individuals can be taught, coached, and mentored; but, some just do not match the role or your business and will have a detrimental influence on the company's bottom line. These applicants will incur costs throughout their employment, including their level of productivity, termination, and having to go through the whole recruiting process again.

Click here to download our latest guide in which you discover the true costs of a bad hire and recruitment strategies to avoid them.
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