With an average 20% of recruits ending in a “bad hire”, and each bad hire costing as much a four times their salary, it’s a heavy mistake to make. But realistically what can you really do to prevent this?
Over the last 10 years recruiting at all levels, there are two “silver bullets” I use every time to get it right…
Through the work I do internally within the businesses I am personally involved with, and us as a team externally for clients, carving out time for recruitment each and every week is a non-negotiable. Establishing a routine of talking to great people every week (even if it means you talk to some for a year before they say “yes” to a coffee) means our talent pipeline never slips and when vacancies open up we always have a list of great candidates to choose from. Depending on the size of your business this can be as little as a few hours a week, through to several days a week as we do for some of our bigger clients.
This process takes time to develop, but delivers every time, even with roles that should be almost impossible to fill. From recruiting a CFO with an extensive Oil & Gas portfolio to join a startup drilling company in a very dangerous part of the world (a bodyguard was included in the package!), to finding an elusive Concept Artist based in the UK out of a market of about 20 for a growing gaming company.
We don’t start any recruitment without first establishing a scorecard. This looks at both the fit with the company, and the role.
We measure alignment with the behaviours we have identified as needing to be successful in the role (i.e. procedural, achievement motivated, proactive etc), and then what their behaviours during the recruitment process tell us about how well they would fit into the culture of our business. *warning – we focus on behaviours NOT personality (for more insight into why to focus on this see our blog‘ How Behaviour Trumps Personality). *LINK
Although this is always secondary to behavioural and value fit, we test how skilled they are at the job they are applying for. In addition to uncovering skills and knowledge we always test results to stress test what they are telling us they bring to the table. For a sales role this could be win rates, amount of new business secured, size of deals, volume of clients etc.
Every business should have a set of non-negotiables – things that would derail the culture you are building if you brought someone in who exhibited these behaviours or traits. This may be dishonesty, an ego, adversity to change. Essentially what are the items that if they manifested at any point in the recruitment process you would want them disqualified? (hint – if you don’t have any derailers it may be why your hiring is unpredictable…)
These are just two key elements of our recruitment strategy, but even implemented in isolation can net you big returns and better predictability of success before hire. Happy recruiting!
By Laura Weaving, Managing Director, DUO
For a free talent review of how your business recruitment strategy is working please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org