I am empathetic to an employer who has an empty chair.  It causes a burden on others to perform the work left by the departed employee. Or maybe the work doesn’t get done at all.  The natural tendency is to hire someone, anyone, as fast as we can to get that empty chair filled and the work caught up.

Employers Retain Real Talent

At a time when the candidate pool seems to overflow with available talent, beware! Candidates can have furtive reasons for seeking a job, even with high unemployment.

Don’t let your guard down when an applicant’s explanation for being unemployed is “my previous employer cut back.”  Employers retain real talent, even in tough times.  Besides, when things turn around, the new employee may bail and return to a previous employer or geographic location.

Hire Based on What You Can’t See

I propose that you hire based on future potential (what you can’t see), instead of past qualifications (what you can see). Hiring at any time and under any conditions should consist of a methodical process. That’s how you get the right fit, for the right reasons, for both employer and employee.

The risk is great when employers recruit a new hire.  Hiring the wrong person costs the company as much as three times the annual salary.  This does not include additional soft costs, such as losses in opportunity, business, potential customers, and of course, the noticeable loss of momentum.

Sometimes, you interview a candidate whose resume passed muster by the office manager or whatever HR is in place. But when others in the company interview the candidate, the conversation in the room goes something like this.

“I liked him, did you like him?” “Yeah, I liked him too.”

You hire the candidate only to find out that the new hire requires basic training for skills and abilities you thought existed based on the resume.  Or, worse yet, the candidate has hidden character issues or a personal agenda that could impede job performance and create internal discord.

Fire Based on What You Can See

Nevertheless, you don’t fire the person because of the time and trouble it takes to find a replacement.  You rationalize, it’s hard to find a good employee. So you put up with unsatisfactory performance until the employee is so uncomfortable he or she finds another job or you can’t take it anymore. In other words, you fire too slow. You based the hiring decision on the resume of “feelings and consensus” (what you can see). You didn’t hire based on a match to behavioral characteristics that fit specific job performance criteria (what you can’t see).

Mistakes in Hiring

The experts in this discipline know that employers make three basic mistakes in hiring:

  1. They hire employees for what they know and then fire them for who they are.
  2. They hire too fast and terminate too slowly.
  3. They hire based on the resume or previous experience (what they can see). Unfortunately, previous experience is a weak indicator for the prediction of future performance or contribution.

Top Factors for Hiring Decisions

So, what are the top factors for making hiring decisions? Surprisingly, it’s what you can’t see—the candidate’s behavioral characteristics. Who are they? What is their passion? How do they choose? How do they interrelate with others?

There are fundamentally 25 different behavioral characteristics that once known will precisely predict how a person will perform on the job.  The results have nothing to do with intelligence, knowledge, experience, personality or education.  When you hire a person who possesses the innate character for leading or managing others, you have made a good hire.  The same holds true no matter what the position or industry.

Many companies fail to operate effectively because they have the wrong people on the team.  Mediocre people work for people of excellence.  A “ten” hires a “nine.”  The “nine” who works for the “ten” hires an “eight” who hires a “seven” and so on.

Show me a company full of “tens” and I will show you a growing company.  You acquire a team of “tens” by Hiring Slow and Firing Fast!

Ron Hequet Consultant Speaker Coach

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