The worst mistake any organization can make in terms of recruiting is to get ‘bad hires’ on board. A ‘bad hire’ is a new recruit who either does not have the required skill set or someone who does not have the right attitude and aptitude, required for the job. A bad hire is a person whose skill set, as a professional does not match up to the demands/requirements of his/her job.
A person can be hired on the basis of his/her performance during the interview, also if their resume is very impressive. This is no indication of the performance of the person. Therefore the challenge lies in taking corrective steps in the recruitment stage itself. A bad hire is usually a person who is un-disciplined, unproductive, and severely lacks the “can do” attitude. Hence, to avoid such hires, the interviewer, needs to be alert and a keen listener in order to gauge the candidate’s abilities. Most organizations have rigorous and efficient recruitment processes in place, but even then, some bad recruits manage to get hired. Few recruiters, in a quest to meet their hiring targets start compromising on the quality of the interviewee. Sometimes, personal bias can also be the cause.
Hiring a wrong person can be very detrimental to the growth and reputation of the organization. Also the financial repercussions are far too many. Recent studies have shown that the cost of a bad hire can range from one to five times of their annual salary. Apart from the enormous loss in terms of financial cost, one bad hire can affect the morale and confidence of the colleagues, team and clients and in certain areas, the entire organization. The adage, ‘one rotten apple in a basket spoils the whole basket’ rings true in today’s corporate scene. It can account for attrition too. And with the ever growing fear of data theft which is very rampant menace today, a bad hire can prove to be a huge threat.
Monetary loss can be calculated to a certain extent but the biggest loss is the loss of customer loyalty and the brand equity that the organization has built over the years. Additionally, the rest of the team has to work even harder to balance the performance, thus resulting in burnouts, low employee morale, and even frustration in employees. Since bad hires often end up as early quits or terminations, hiring mistakes mean hiring for the same position more than once during a time when hiring costs are already high and the labor pool limited.
In order to avoid such mishaps, it becomes imperative for organizations to have corrective measures in place to deal with such undesirable situations. So how can an organization prevent recruiting such bad hires? The right choice: Attracting the right candidates by proper recruitment branding and choosing the right recruitment channels helps prevent bad hires from coming on board. A thorough reference check of the candidate does play an important part in the hiring process.
The ideal scenario to eliminate bad hires is to have a robust, scalable and seamless recruitment system in place. The system has to be a mix of processes of skill evaluation, psychometric evaluation and background/reference checks. Generally the HR or consultants carry out the reference check with the two referees whose names are provided by the candidates themselves. This is not the right approach, simply because the candidate, more often than not, has already taken these two people in confidence before providing their names. Hence, it is important to do independent checks.
Each role in the organization should have a competency matrix associated with it. Competency mapping can be done with the help of behavioral event based interviews and competency questionnaires. More and more open ended questions should be put forth to candidates so that it becomes a lot easier for recruiters to gauge his/her strengths and weaknesses.
How many companies are as rigorous about evaluating job candidates as they are about deciding on an investment proposal? Reality is that hiring processes are poorly designed and executed. Hence, HR needs to realize that a steadfast recruitment process is in the organization’s interest.