Last week we ran a post on the cost of a bad hire. We're all aware of what a bad hire can do to productivity, office morale and the bottom line, but how do we avoid the bad hire? There are a lot of posts warning recruiters and hiring managers about the costs associated, but this has done little more than lengthening hiring times and post-poning the bad hire. Step one, knowing they're out there, we've got that one down. Step 2 however, avoiding the bad hire, we still seem to have trouble with. 

Using information from the same helpful infographic from MindFlash as last week, we find what employers identify as the leading characteristics commonly displayed among bad hires.

  • Failure to Produce the Proper Quality of Work 63%
  • Failure to Work Well With Other Employees 63%
  • Negative Attitude 62%
  • Immediate Problems with Attendance 56%
  • Employee Caused Customer Complaints 49%
  • Failure to Meet Deadlines 48%


Business expert Jay Goltz contends that there are three main areas that hiring managers can work on to weed out the bad hires during the screening process and set up new candidates for success. Avoiding a bad hire does rest mainly on screening and  hiring practices, but there is also some accountability on the side of the company. 

1) Conduct Great Interviews

Interviewing is a skill. If your interviews consist of a scheduled meeting time and a standard set of questions, you do not have this skill. Asking thoughtful, relevant questions and knowing what to look for in the answers is vital. Not just anyone can conduct an interview. That's why we're in this business. A great hire starts with the a great interview. Using technologies like video interviewing, takes the guess work out of the skill of interviewing. 

The beauty of video interviewing is that you have the candidate's recorded responses to study and review. What you thought at first was a home run interview, might pale in comparison to the next candidate. Notes and remembered tid-bits from the interview are we are left with in traditional interviews. With video interviewing you can comment on, share and compare the candidate responses. 

2) Always Check References

Who better to tell you about this candidate's work and work ethic, than someone for whom they have worked. This is a pretty common sense part of recruiting and hiring, but it can be so time consuming that many of us slack off, or completely ignore this very important step. 

The key to references is first that you actually check them, and second to ask the right questions of the right people. There are so many legal roadblocks and often time, you can't get the right person on the phone. Here is a great article on questions to ask and what to look for in candidate responses. Goltz says to check all references and never make a decision based off of just one. You should always ask to speak to which ever manager worked the closest to them, like their direct supervisor, and always look up the references for yourself. 

3) Give Your Employee a Great First Day on the Job

This is where companies need to step up. This is the factor that goes beyond the screening process and puts the ball in the company's court to set the tone of their relationship with this employee. Goltz says,

"This crucial step will help them feel confident that they made the right decision to work for your company. Make them feel comfortable by having their work space prepared before they arrive, feed them lunch, and introducing them to all their colleagues. Their excitement to be at your company will keep them motivated and happy with your decision to hire them."

photo credit: slworking2 via photopin cc

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