Over my career I am very proud to have selected the very best people for the right job….the superstars.
On the flipside, I have made some terrible decisions. I would guess anyone near my age (still young…and sticking to that story) with leadership roles would make the exact same statement. If you have never made a bad hiring decision please email me and let me know your secret. So why can’t we always make the best decisions when hiring? As they say, “hindsight is 20/20”.
Typically, when I have made a successful hires there were several key processes in place:
- I didn’t select alone – I typically had several stakeholders interview the candidates AND I listened to their opinions
- I, or a team member, would check at least three references and at least two would have to be from past employers (and the recent past employer)
- The resume review was greatly valued and I would have placed great value on a good cover letter. BTW, the cover letter seems to be a lost art. To me a good cover often demonstrates a candidates true interest in the job
- Whenever practical I have asked the finalist to submit their past work that made them most proud. If they are going to be writing for my organization, for example, the brought in writing samples
- I didn’t use them enough, but for high-level roles I have used the assessment tools, with a professional group like TLG to evaluate the findings. When you get down to the final few candidates it’s important to look at your personal style, the company culture, and candidate fit. My observations of the Turknett pre-hire process is that they apply art and the science to determine the best candidate. It’s worth the investment because we all know the cost of a bad hire
When I have made less than stellar hire decisions, the process was generally rushed. I didn’t follow the five steps above. To be honest, I likely settled for a body that in my heart of hearts knew wouldn’t meet the company’s expectations and/or fit the culture. Also, I didn’t carefully consider how my style would be received by the candidate.
Finally, bad hires are most likely inevitable when you are hiring a good number of people. Goal is to keep them to a minimum. If you make a mistake, so be it. Learn from it and do better the next time.