Picture two executives sharing with me two standard frustrations with hiring qualified personnel. I am certain recruiting agencies, and staffing consultants’ have heard the same. These senior managers expressed their aggravation with the cost of their hiring process, and the poor outcomes received. Yet, they do little to change. Whether you are looking for new sales hire, replace the CFO or find an executive assistant, here are three ways to reduce your frustrations:

Three common statements on hiring frustrations
  • “How can I minimize the cost of hiring the wrong person for the job opening”?

As I mentioned in this earlier bog, Four Ways to Avoid Making Bad Hiring Decisions, many managers hire on “gut instinct” which is 86% ineffective. The process begins by looking at the resume, conducting a brief interview and, once they “feel good about this new candidate,” make an offer soon after the first meeting. One CEO of a major organization told me it cost him over $50,000 to hire, train a new employee who, after eight months on the job, was terminated. One suggestion to reduce your “false positive” hiring selections is to use employee assessments. Both the CEO and the VP of human resources did not, in this example, and were exasperated with the investment costs. At the time, they had no other alternative and were fearful they would repeat this costly exercise.

  • “I do not know if the people I have are the people who can take my company to the next level.”
  • “How can I determine, objectively, if I have the right employees in the right positions”?

These two statements are very common among owners and CEOs. How can managers evaluate competencies, reveal the predictability of success of a hiring candidate and, ultimately, improve the hiring process overall? Competencies include both skills and willingness to succeed in the position. These behaviors are difficult to uncover on a resume or in a brief interview. Fundamentally, the process begins with an understanding of behaviors and the “comfort level” of the employee or hiring candidate. Are they open to change? Are they burned-out? Are they willing to learn new skills and give up unproductive behaviors? A few managers are not prepared to change their hiring practices or add additional checks and balances to improve outcomes, even though the process they use is flawed. Some do not require staff accountability or budget for skill improvement programs beyond the hiring process. If you feel the cost of training for new skills is too high, consider the cost of NOT training and keeping unproductive or unmotivated employees on your payroll.

If you have been experiencing some of the above situations, you are not alone. If you are interested in making a change, here are three steps you can use to improve your hiring process and minimize your risk:

1) Know your challenges and your impact costs: measure your costs. There are costs associated with any decision (usually hidden and opportunity costs). What are your costs of doing nothing? Or, are your costs (your “pain”) high enough for you to to make a change?

2) Use Assessments: to evaluate current employees, uncover performance insights and competency evaluations in a pre-hire selection process. The effectiveness is between 80-85% which substantially reduces the high cost of bad hires. Assessments can also reveal:

  • Behavior Styles: why is this important? What role does behavior play in business? Quite a lot. One is how we communicate; which in business is rarely screened and often overlooked. Understanding how your employees communicate with one another and with prospects provides a fundamental insight into your business relationships. Suppose some of your employees are poor communicators, have internal issues and have difficulty getting along with others? Ever hear of “Staff-Infections”? It is the opposite of staff competencies. Negative relationships like these will have an adverse impact on your business. Moreover, you may never see it. Being aware of your employee’s ability to communicate will provide you with tools to improve internal operations and relations with prospects and clients.
  • Match Competencies and Behaviors of the individual to the position requirements: imagine having an assessment that will objectively provide a match (or a mismatch) of new hires and current employees. Would this tool help your selection process?
  • Team Analysis: is designed to measure, alignment or “gaps,” between management and staff on issues that are both important and effective. Imagine if a manager thinks he has communicated what’s relevant and efficient, yet his team has an entirely different plan! What do you think the impact will be on your forecast? How would you know? There is a tool that measures separation or “gaps” of importance and effectiveness that may exist on your teams and provides steps to build alignment.
  • Evaluate your sales team: this short assessment provides a good overview of your sales staff on Skills, Staffing, Structure, and Strategy.

3. Find a trusted advisor: the importance of a trusted advisor can not be stressed enough. Many CEOs and owners are “going it alone.” Having someone outside of the business to provide objective counsel is key. I recommend seeking out a single trusted advisor, business or leadership coach. Someone who can connect with you on a regular basis; someone who will listen, whose opinion you respect and someone you trust.

Having the tools to objectively evaluate new and existing employees before hiring, investing time or training dollars makes good economic sense. There are tools you can use to reduce your hiring frustrations and improve your people management process.

If you liked this blog, please share on your social media. If you are a business owner, sales manager or a sales professional looking to develop your growth strategy, let’s talk. I am Will Harley, with Harley-Consulting, a growth services company. With over 20 years of business leadership experience, I leverage my experience to help professionals in a variety of industries to achieve their goals. To learn more about the benefits of leadership training, how to adopt a business coach or receive sales tips, just click on subscriber section. I promise to reply immediately.