02/12/2015 - 05:59

Ensure your business sets hire targets

02/12/2015 - 05:59


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A more rigorous approach to hiring the right kind of staff can pay dividends for your business and employees.

ATTITUDE: Make sure applicants will be the right cultural fit for your business. Photo: iStockphoto/IS_ImageSource

Staff recruitment can make or break a business. Done the wrong way, it can become a costly exercise that can have a negative effect on staff morale.

Research suggests that 49 per cent of new hires fail within the first 18 months, and 89 per cent of those are because of problems with attitude.

One of the ways to handle this is to develop the skill of interviewing well. This enables you to find the right person for the job yourself and not outsource to recruitment firms.

Many recruitment professionals have a vested interest – high fees and the creation of a database of people they can contact for other jobs that come across their desk, which means your latest hire is likely to be poached down the track.

That’s one of the reasons to hire staff yourself, or have someone on your team take responsibility for recruitment. No-one knows the job you’re trying to fill better than you do.

Be clear on your target. Too often businesses place importance on when the job is to be filled (often ‘yesterday’), which merely increases the pressure.

That pressure can open the door to toxic staff, who seem to show up as applicants when you’re most desperate, and then are in place before you know what you’ve done.

Creating a profile for each role that you are going to hire for is another important thing you can do. This profile will form the basis for your job advertisement, interviews and testing you do.

The profile is made up of targets (listed below) to focus on when looking for potential employees.

Who: Describe the person you are looking for, their personality traits, their attitudes and behavioural traits.

What: Skills, competencies, training and experiences are you looking for.

How much: Look at the return on investment of a good hire decision, and be aware how much it will cost you if you make a poor decision. Then make sure you take the time necessary to ensure a good hire. Saying ‘I don’t have time right now’ means it’s more than likely you’ll be taking the time later.

Don’t settle for less. It’s important not to fill the position for the sake of filling it. Wait until the right person for the job comes along. Otherwise it can cost you up to three times the annual salary for that role when the bad hire leaves.


When advertising the position, ensure the job ad requires the potential candidate to expand on behavioural attitudes, which will ultimately

determine whether or not they will fit in with the culture in your business. You want people to choose to work with you. You want your job ad to attract those people, and repel the rest.

The biggest mistake made when interviewing candidates is giving them an answer or an idea for an answer, basically letting them know what you want to hear.

For example: “Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult task and what did you do to overcome it.”

That removes an opportunity to see their attitude. If the question was simply: “Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult task”, a lot more will be learned about the candidate.

When weeding out the job applicants, make sure you do not hire ‘problem generators’. I’ve seen companies with millions of dollars in turnover go into insolvency because of toxic staff, and it’s a subject that deserves more attention than it is given.

Characteristics of problem generators include people you are careful around, those who belittle others, and those who, when anything goes wrong, no matter how small, make out it is a catastrophe.

Basically, problem generators doesn’t solve problems for your business, they create them. This is a very subtle topic that is costing businesses millions of dollars every year, and it happens because of poor hire decisions.


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