The Scary Mistakes to Avoid in Hiring and Selection


Do you know what's scarier than some of the costumes that you'll see running around the office today? Missing out on critical information that can help you during the hiring and selection process, and potentially making a bad hire! Poor hiring decisions can cost your organization time and money, and many of these decisions could be circumvented by using pre-employment testing…

Contrary to popular belief, pre-employment testing isn’t simply just drug-screening, checking references, and/or performing a criminal background check on an applicant, but can encompass a wide variety of techniques and tools. A few examples would include cognitive testing, aptitude tests, and personality or behavioral assessments. Some organizations and agencies will even run your credit or financial history! But why do these organizations go to such great lengths to make sure they’re “buying” the right person? Because we all want to make sure that we are hiring the person that is best suited for success in a prospective role.

Studies have shown that a poor hiring decision could amount to up to 30% of that hire’s first-year earnings, and that employers spend an average of $7,000 to replace a salaried employee, and even up to $40,000 to replace a senior executive. Not to mention the amount of time that is invested in searching for this prospective employee or the time that could potentially be wasted in training them if they ultimately don’t work out in their role. So, as a hiring manager, we want to make sure that we have all of the information necessary to make a more informed decision about who we are hiring.

First, clearly define the requirements of the role itself. Before we even begin to search for our perfect employee, we need to figure out what defines success in the role as well as the type of person for which we are looking. A great place to start is some type of job analytic that can be administered internally to key stakeholders.

Next, piggyback off of these requirements and write an accurate job description. Your JD or job req should include all major Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) that would attract your potential employee. This description of the role should also include what makes a strong candidate, not just a candidate that meets the bottom line requirements. By defining what makes a strong candidate, you will save yourself time and effort by eliminating potentially hundreds of applicants down to a manageable group.

Now this is the point at which you can start to use several of the afore-mentioned pre-employment testing techniques and tools. Aside from your standard background check and drug screening, consider a behavioral assessment that measures a candidates’ natural behaviors in the workforce and life in general. Using these results can then allow you to conduct better interviews by employing data-driven, behaviorally based interview questions, rather than wasting time resorting back to generic interview questions. After we have screened and interviewed several qualified candidates and you’ve identified the top person you want for the role, you now have to tie it back to why the candidate will want to accept your offer. Remember that behavioral assessment you tried out? Well it also can give you insight into that person’s motivating needs. Organizations that skip the step of selling their position to the candidate and how it will meet their own needs potentially miss out on some of the best talent in their space.

Lastly, the selection process doesn’t end with the candidate accepting; your team must then customize a new hire’s onboarding plan that plays to their natural behaviors in order to get them up and running and productive as soon as possible. The weeks and months into a person’s new role is critical to their future success and just as important all the qualifying steps that came before the hire.

Happy Halloween!!!

If you’d like to know more about pre-employment testing and the Predictive Index methodology, please give us a shout!