The Truths and Consequences of Bad Hiring Practices
When something is repeated often enough, people start to believe it is true. Here are three common phrases you often hear used when discussing the subject of hiring. Let’s take a look at the truth and potential consequences of each.
HIRE SLOW AND FIRE FAST
Like most myths, this sounds right or feels true. But it is very deceptive. The truth for most businesses should be ‘Hire fast and fire faster’… but properly prepare to hire well. When you decide to hire someone, it is likely because you need help and you probably need it now. This is not the time to slow anything down! The key to hiring fast is to get clear about what your business needs. Let’s say you need a painter. They come in many varieties. Do you need a staff painter that helps a lead painter? A lead painter that can manage employees? An artisan that needs to have conversations with customers? The more questions you ask yourself about the traits and attributes your painter needs, the better you will be at describing them in a job ad to attract the right person. Also, this information will help you create interview questions to help you determine if you are speaking with an ideal employee. If you find you have made a mistake or were fooled during an interview, act quickly to correct, retrain or terminate. Delays only cause stress, doubt and poor service, and can lower moral. So hire well and fire fast.
HIRE SKILLS, FIRE ATTITUDE
This is a truth that’s often mistaken for myth and, frankly, it’s baffling. Really, if attitude is everything, why aren’t we hiring for that? I suspect we hire skills over attitude because people list skills on their resume, but it is difficult to determine their attitude. After all, attitude is subjective anyway. Or is it? There are traits that fit your job more appropriately than others. Certain traits are definitely unhelpful or damaging. Question which traits are critical, which are desirable, and which will not work. Then ask questions during interviews to uncover whether this candidate has the ones that fit the role. If you would fire someone for a certain attitude, then avoid hiring that attitude in the first place. If you hire someone with the right attitude, you would likely work with them to learn skills. With the wrong attitude, you eventually will not care what skills they have.
MANY APPLICANTS, MANY CHOICES
This is a time when having more choices is bad. Brain science shows that too many choices makes decision-making much more difficult and leaves us with less confidence, doubt, and possible regret in our ultimate choice. When you need employees, you do not need a full-time job searching through resumes. You don’t need 100 applicants, you need 10 great ones. Try writing your job ad in a way that describes the job in detail. By including a thorough description about the work and pay, your company will give potential applicants enough information to opt in and, more importantly, opt out if it is not a good fit. This practice will also save you time answering questions about the job. In today’s tough hiring market, we are all just hoping for some applicants. In good times and bad, though, we still need the right applicants. Most often, not having another employee is better than having a terrible one.
Art Snarzyk is known as ‘The Turnover Terminator’ for his unique way of helping business owners and managers hire and manage only ideal, top-performing staff. Small Business Monthly named him one of the Top 100 St. Louisans You Should Know to Succeed in Business in 2014. In management and hiring since 1996, and owner of a successful painting company for nine years, Art knows firsthand the hassle, expense and headache of trying to hire and develop quality employees … and how to help you avoid the hassles.