Why You Are Not Hiring the Right People

by Brett Morgan on April 22, 2013

All employers want to fill their open positions with the best candidates.  It improves productivity, drives the bottom line, and reduces costs associated with absenteeism and turnover.  So how can you ensure that you are hiring the best candidates?

The simple answer is: don’t use a hiring process; use a selection process. Most people don’t know the difference between hiring for an employee and selecting for an employee, and that leads to problems, like high turnover and low productivity.  Hiring an employee is a process in which an applicants’ resumes are reviewed, then a couple of interviews are given to seemingly qualified candidates, after which a job offer is made.  On the surface this process seems sound. However, there are significant problems with this method.

Why Hiring Processes Fail:

The largest issue with a hiring process is that it is too subjective.  It relies on generic questions that fail to get to the heart of a person’s ability to do the job. Interview answers are rated subjectively, and hiring managers make the decision based on their “gut.”  For example, asking about someone’s strengths and weaknesses does not tell you about their ability to do a job, because people have been coached on how to answer these questions.   Even if someone’s answer did provide relevant information, how would you objectively know it’s a good answer?  If your response is, “I know a good answer when I hear it,” you just fell into the trap of being too subjective in your evaluation.  Statistics show that subjective hiring is far less effective than objective selection processes. Subjective hiring’s ineffectiveness can lead to additional costs and time spent rehiring people for the same position.  This leads to lower productivity, unnecessary severance pay, increased hiring costs, as well as, higher costs associated with absenteeism and turnover.

Another reason subjective hiring is ineffective is because many managers think they need to hire someone who has succeeded in a similar job.  While this MIGHT be accurate in some cases, it is not a foolproof method.  Just because a person has held a similar position does not mean he or she will be good for your job opening.  The person’s strengths may lie in areas that have little to no relevance to the job opening.

In addition, this process also unnecessarily eliminates individuals who skills sets and talents would benefit the position, but don’t have the “experience” that the resume reviewers or computers look for in candidates.  For example, an individual who works as an administrative assistant at a university might not seem the perfect match to be HR manager at a corporation, but what if s/he deals with all the of HR functions for a department of 100 individuals and leads a team of three staff members?

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