Ali Gordon | 29 April, 2021

Human resource and staffing agency, Robert Half International, recently released a study exposing that 3 in 4 senior managers have made a bad hire at some point, and these poor hiring choices are becoming increasingly costly to companies of all sizes. If you have been burned by bad hires, there’s a chance you need to reassess your employment process and solve one or more of these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Using an Inconsistent Process

Whether you are a small company without an HR team or a larger business with a more established employment process, it’s possible that internal inconsistencies are hindering you from making better hiring decisions. If your hiring process differs from person-to-person within the organization, you may have problems assessing quality in each step of the hiring process. 

Also, a pre-employment screening system that changes from hire-to-hire offers no way to determine if you are getting consistently qualified candidates--and you may struggle remaining compliant with legal mandates. For example, say you sometimes use an online background check but other times social media or public records tools; or some of your team hires with one tool, as others use a different one. These separate approaches would screen for different things, may deliver results on varied timelines, and could end up with different quality outcomes. They also may or may not violate legal regulations.

Especially if your team is smaller and hires without the support of a fully staffed HR department, your company could lack quality and efficiency by having a different process from person-to-person and hire-to-hire. Inconsistencies in your hiring process can put your company at risk for hiring negligence or discrimination lawsuits, so ensure you are using pre-employment screenings and pratices that protect your company from the inside. 

Mistake #2: Failing to Accurately Assess a Role

Does your hiring process include role assessment throughout the life of a position in your company? A strong hiring practice is to assess a role for advertisement, ensuring it accurately reflects the position and includes anti-discrimnation measures like gender neutral job descriptions or listing salaries and benefits. This helps you cast a wide net to draw the interest of more candidates, and, in some cases, it may even be required by law. 

However, this assessment should also happen after an employee has left and a position needs to be filled again. Update job descriptions, determine if the requirements still match the role, and ensure that your internal assessments consider how your company has evolved. If you’re being burned by bad hires, it could be that you haven’t accurately determined what you need in a given position and better ways to articulate that in job advertisements as your business grows. 

Mistake #3: Using a Difficult Hiring Platform

At a time when unemployment and under-employment are at dramatic highs, recognize that applicants are likely filling out multiple applications for different roles. If your hiring technology for initial applications doesn’t make the process clear and simple, you may simply be missing out on qualified candidates who can’t afford to take time figuring out a difficult platform. Make sure the tech tools you’re using for each step of the application and hiring process are user-friendly and smooth for candidates. When you can minimize barriers in the application process, you may draw more candidates and better hiring options for a role. 

Mistake #4: Missing Out on Internal Candidates

Missing the talent right in front of you is another mistake companies make in their hiring processes. Hiring qualified internal candidates for a role is a great way to continue growing your business from within and decrease bad hires--these teammates are already proven, so it may be time to promote them! It’s important to treat promoted teammates with the same enthusiasm and respect you might for an external candidate, including fair salaries and processes.

The Cut explains the benefits of internal candidates, while warning against policies that penalize an individual with unfair promotion practices: “It makes no sense that [companies] pay an outside candidate, say, $90,000 to do the same work, but [a qualified internal candidate is] only worth $60,000...Internal candidates already know the organization and how it operates, unlike external candidates who will be learning the culture and players from scratch...history with the company should be an advantage…” Really work to understand and develop the employment value of the people already on your team and recognize the potential benefits to everyone involved when you can hire from within. 

Taking this approach also creates a broader benefit to your brand. If you’ve only ever considered your company image as important to your customers, you may be missing out on some of the strongest ambassadors you have...and limiting the candidates who may be interested in your company in the future. This can also lead to poor hires and hiring options. According to Glassdoor research, “69% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.” When you hire from within and create a work culture popular among employees, you will attract skilled new hires and build a reputation that stands out among qualified candidates. Don’t forget to use digital profiles, online surveys, and your website hiring page to amplify the perspectives of your satisfied employees!

Mistake #5: Practicing Poor Interview Habits

Outdated or poor interviewing habits can also hold back your hiring process. Consider reviewing the little things in your systems: make sure you’ve scheduled enough time for an interview, ask questions that set candidates up for success explaining why they are qualified, and make sure you know why you are asking each question in an interview. Don’t forget that impressing prospective employees is incredibly important. Hiring a new employee is about cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship--not ownership--and their view of your company will matter just as much as their qualifications and performance for you. Transparency and authenticity can go a long way in helping you stand out to talented candidates once you’ve reached the stage of interviewing and conducting background checks.

 eKnowID offers consistently accurate and high quality screenings, finding 25% more red flags than other services and returning 90% of background checks within 4 hours. Our screening processes use state-of-the-art technology and personal touches to ensure we meet high performance standards and help protect companies from discriminatory, inconsistent, and poor pre-screen hiring practices. 

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