Dr. Bradford Smart, author of Topgrading, How Top Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching, and Keeping the Best People, said that his research showed that 50% of all hires are mis-hires.Â While there is no fail-safe method of hiring only the right people, there are common denominators underlying most mis-hires.Â They include:
Failure to Use Due Diligence. Given the responsibility managers have to hire the right people and avoid hiring the wrong people, hiring supervisors need to exercise “due diligence” throughout the hiring process.Â Due diligence is a financial/accounting term that means to conduct an investigation of a potential investment and/or confirm all material facts in regards to a sale.
Generally, due diligence refers to the care a reasonable person should take before entering into an agreement or a transaction with another party and is essentially a way of preventing unnecessary harm to either party involved in a transaction.Â While the term “due diligence” has come to take on the wider meaning of doing one’s homework to prevent mistakes, clearly the original definition applies to hiring employees, that is making an offer of employment to another party.
Lack of Interview Skills. A brief informal survey of hospitality executives revealed that none has ever received formal training in how to screen and interview applicants or in reference-checking techniques.Â Despite the overwhelming importance of hiring the right people, it seems to be assumed that people can figure out for themselves how best to do it or will intrinsically know or possess such skills.
At the same time, a survey of hiring managers showed that most managers think they do a good job of interviewing job candidates.Â Given the sad hiring success rate, which is no better than flipping a coin, there is an obvious disconnect between hiring managers’ perceptions and reality.
Not Taking Full Responsibility for the Hiring Process. There is only one person responsible for hiring the right people and that is the manager or supervisor of the person being hired.Â The hiring manager or supervisor is the one who is accountable for his department or section’s performance and, therefore, is the only person who should make the hiring decision.
Never assume that hiring is the responsibility of a human resource department.Â They may assist in the process, but their assistance is consultative or clerical.Â If any person hired turns out to be a bust, the only person responsible and accountable is the hiring supervisor, and he must bear the consequences of mis-hiring.
Hiring a “Warm Body” to Fill a Position. There are times when there is a great sense of urgency to fill a key position.Â Often an empty managerial position puts a greater burden on other managers and the General Manager.Â There is also the well-known phenomenon of the “spinning top.”Â Without sufficient management to add the daily ‘spin of leadership,’ the operation soon begins to wobble and fall.Â As a result, hiring managers are keen to fill vacant leadership positions quickly.Â Despite these pressures, hiring managers should resist the temptation to hire a less-than-ideal candidate to quickly fill the vacant position.
Don’t settle for less.Â At best you’ll have a B-Player.Â At worst, you’ll have someone that you’ll need to spend hours and hours working with before letting him go, only to start over again.
Failure to Learn from Past Hiring Mistakes. While it is understood that every hiring manager will make some hiring mistakes, it is essential that lessons are learned from mis-hires.Â This can only be done if there is sufficient documentation of the hiring process.Â Without a written record that includes a resume or application, thorough interview notes including questions asked and answers given, and details of each reference checked, there is no way to go back after a mis-hire to try and determine what was missed during screening and interviewing.
With proper documentation, the hiring manager can review the entire screening, interviewing, and hiring process to see what signs were missed in an attempt to improve interview and reference-checking skills during future hires.
Summary.Â When you recognize why the wrong people are so often hired, you are in a position to do something about it.
- First and foremost, you should train yourself and your subordinate managers in proper screening, interviewing, and reference-checking techniques.
- Next, you should use various tools to help in the hiring process, such as interviewing and reference-checking forms.
- Lastly, you should establish and maintain a discipline of using the techniques and tools in all hiring situations.
Initially, Disciplined Hiring may take more time, but the more it is used, the easier the entire process will become.
Excerpted from Leadership on the Line – The Workbook, Ed Rehkopf, Clarity Publications, 2009
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This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers â€” those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.
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