4 Strategies to Avoid a Bad Hire

By | | HR and Management Tips

Do you want to splinter the team’s healthy dynamic? Throw a wrench into the workings of a thriving, productive workforce? Maybe you’re all about marring the company’s reputation or looking for a way to drive your best employees away. Because who needs upbeat morale anyway, right?

Of course, you’re not seeking any of those horrific scenarios, but a bad hire can leave your business facing such nightmares and more. And we haven’t even mentioned the cost of a bad hiring decision. The time, the money, the energy invested and now gone with nothing to show for it. Then, it’s back to the drawing board, with high hopes that the next hiring decision pans out better.

There are ways to lessen the chances of a costly, morale-defeating bad hire.

1.   Align the description to the role 

This first crucial step begins long before the first interview is scheduled, with an accurate, detailed job description. Putting together a realistic job description will start the hiring process off on the right foot. Not only will it bring in candidates qualified for this position, but it will also aid those perusing resumes and conducting interviews in narrowing down the search to the best candidates.

Avoid generic or copied job descriptions –unless the goal is to entice every candidate looking for any job.

2.  Market to the appropriate target audience

Are you advertising where your perfect-fit candidate is likely to see the listing? Making strategic decisions about when and where to post open positions will aid the search for qualified, experienced candidates who fit the finely tuned job description.

3.  Don’t rush the process 

When “quickly” takes precedence over other considerations, the odds of making a poor hiring decision increase dramatically. The higher-performing the business or the open position, the less likely a rushed decision will result in the right candidate getting the job.

Even in urgent situations with immediate needs, exercise caution in the hiring decision. For instance, never skip the background and reference checks. And resist the “warm body” mindset that settles for an immediate solution that will soon lose its appeal.

4.  Look beyond the skills to consider the “civility factor”

Having the right skills is only a piece of the puzzle. Christine Porath suggests one be on the lookout for “signs of civility” throughout the interview process. Posing hypothetical questions such as “How would you handle…” or “What would you do if…” will give insight into whether their past behavior matches the values you are seeking.  “Don’t just accept the first answer — ask for 2–3 examples.”

Porath suggests asking each candidate applying for the job the same questions in the same order, choosing open-ended questions such as—

  • What would your former employer say about you — positive and negative?
  • What would your former subordinates say about you — positive and negative?
  • What about yourself would you like to improve most? How about a second thing? A third?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with stress or conflict at work. What did you do?
  • What are some signals that you’re under too much pressure?

Because staffing has been A.R. Mazzotta’s business for over 50 years, we’ve created a finely-tuned strategy that strives to make right-fit hiring decisions every time. We deliver one promise to every company and job seeker we work with – unparalleled service with focused attention on YOU. Connect with our team today.