What Went Wrong?

I was out for a walk with our dogs recently and came across a beautiful bird of prey. Its feathers were sleek and unruffled, its talons sharp, its eyes glossy. If it weren’t for the fact that it was lying on the dirt next to the sidewalk, I’d have guessed it to be in perfect health. Gently, I nudged it with my shoe to make sure it wasn’t just pretending to be dead, and when it didn’t fly away or even twitch, I wondered, What went wrong?

Because we’re in the recruiting business here at Amtec, we often hear the same question from unhappy employers debating whether to replace an employee with whom they’ve become disillusioned. They wonder what went wrong and ask for our advice on whether to fire the employee or keep working to try and make the best of a questionable hire.

For example, one organization we’ve helped in the past recently found a great leadership level employee all on their own. He seemed like the perfect fit for their business because he already knew their industry. Excitedly, they made the hire but soon discovered that, in spite of his industry knowledge and skills, the new leader repeatedly offended everyone with whom he came into contact.

What went wrong? The truth is, if you’ve had to make even a few hires, you’re eventually going to be asking yourself that question! Not only is it tough to fully get to know a candidate in a couple of short interviews, but often, employers aren’t always aware of everything they need to consider when it comes to vetting candidates.

Amtec’s CEO, Scott Kuethen, recently spoke to a group of business executives about how to hire A Players and shared these sobering statistics from Leadership IQ about what can go wrong with your new hire:

Out of 100 people hired, 46 won’t last past 18 months. Of the 46 who don’t last, 13 will have a coachability problem, 12 will lack the emotional intelligence the position requires, 9 will lack sufficient motivation to show up and deliver results, 7 will have attitude or personality issues that prevent them from delivering results, and 5 will lack the technical competencies needed to deliver results. The other 54 will last past 18 months, but only 19 will deliver decisive results. Leadership IQ

Do these statistics make you wonder if it’s even possible to make a great hire? Yet Forbes.com says the cost of making a bad hire, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, “is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. For a small company, a five-figure investment in the wrong person is a threat to the business.” So what can you do to ensure that you get the best possible candidates who are a good fit for your organization?

Obviously, using a reputable staffing company such as Amtec that has an established, proven hiring process is a first line of defense. But if you’re a die-hard do-it-yourselfer who is confident you can find your own good candidates, make sure to establish your own basic hiring process and follow it consistently with every candidate you interview. Here are the bare bones of what your hiring process needs to include to help prevent another hiring mistake:

  1. A position profile that includes the mission of the position and how this role fits into the company’s culture.
  2. A list of 8-10 competencies that the position will require (e.g., detail-mindedness, emotional intelligence, analytical, etc.)
  3. Behavioral interview questions aligned with the competencies to learn about candidates’ past performance, since this is the best indication of their future behavior.
  4. A scorecard with competencies and skills listed to help you tally up the results consistently for each candidate you interview.
  5. A performance acceleration tool (we call ours the Great Start Tool), once you’ve made the hire, to define your new employee’s objectives, provide in-depth onboarding, and paint a picture of what success will look like for him or her.

(For a more thorough description of a successful hiring process, click here.)

You’re not alone if you’ve experienced a bad hire and found yourself asking, What went wrong? But using the right tools can help you determine exactly what kind of professional you need,  conduct better interviews, and onboard your new employee to be a high-performer who contributes well to your team.

If you need assistance hiring top-notch professionals, we can find and connect you to both active and passive job seekers, and lend a hand with negotiating offers to the best candidates. Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to start your Amtec search.

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