4 Hiring Mistakes Your Agency Is Making

By Steph Von der Heyde | Culture

Oct 24

“The best thing you can do for employees—a perk better than foosball or free sushi—is to hire only ‘A’ players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else.”  – P.  McCord, Netflix’s Former Chief Talent Officer.

Hiring is one of the most important activities your company engages in, but it’s easy to get wrong. Here are 4 common practices that talent management experts warn against.

man using laptop

 

Not spending enough time and effort on your hiring process

Spend more time finding the right people and you’ll spend less time managing, mentoring, motivating, disciplining and firing them in the long run.

Hiring can be a time-consuming and effort-intensive process for management but it’s well spent if it ensures you hire better people. Of course, there any plenty on inefficient ways of spending that time (please invest in a good recruitment management tool), but if you spend it wisely, any time spent on improving recruitment will reduce the number of internal hours you spend managing the employees you hire.

“Most companies spend endless time and money writing and enforcing HR policies to deal with problems the other 3% might cause. Instead, we tried really hard to not hire those people, and we let them go if it turned out we’d made a hiring mistake.” – Netflix’s Former Chief Talent Officer.

man in gray sweatshirt sitting on chair in front of iMacNot having a watertight hiring strategy

How defined is your hiring policy? Chances are it’s not as strategic as it could be. A watertight framework needs to be in place to ensure the process is data-driven and significantly reduces the potential for human error and unintentional bias at all key touchpoints.

Google’s hiring process takes an average of 45 days to complete, and every candidate is screened by their potential boss, potential colleagues, a hiring committee and the CEO of Google. They also use multiple assessment criteria in addition to the interviews, and have take active steps to eliminate the tendency to evaluate candidates based on things like academic records and performance at their last company, which they have found to be bad predictors of future performance.

And while we’re on the subject of bad performance predictors… did you know that the standard interview increases your chances of choosing the best candidate by less than 2 percent?

That’s why you need to have a hiring strategy that ensures your hiring process is as intelligent as possible and that candidates are measured against performance indicators that predict future success, not just their ‘interview charm’ ability.

woman sitting raising her hand beside womanNot Casting The Nets Wide Enough

To build a wide candidate pool you need to have a portal where people can send their applications even if you’re not currently hiring, and add past applicants who you loved but they weren’t 100% suited to the specific role we’re hiring for.  

You’ll also need to think beyond just the job ads and prompt employees to tap their own networks, as well as share on social media and beyond.

Building a large database of candidates means your choices aren’t limited to just the people who see the job ad and happen to be looking for a new position at the time. In fact, Google’s SVP of People Ops maintains that the best candidates won’t be searching for jobs – they’ll be happy where they are (because they love what they do and are being rewarded for their excellent work there). His advice is to get in touch even if they aren’t looking and let them know you’re interested… you may have to wait, but sooner or later everybody has a bad day.  

woman talking through mobile phone while sitting on swivel armchairNot Tracking The Performance of Your Hiring Process.

Most companies don’t have a standardised hiring process and don’t track new hires’ performance over time – so they never get any better at hiring as a skill.

You need to record the questions you ask, the format of the interviews and the tests you give, and then track new hires’ performance carefully once they’ve joined the company (and well into the future). If you’re happy with the hire you’ll know you have a formula that works, if you’re not you can revisit it and get better over time.

Say you’re 98% happy with the person you hired for the role, but there is something missing that you’d like your next hire to have. For example, Sarah might be a great analyst, but she has a bit of a performance problem when under time pressure.

Is there a way you could test the next candidates for sustained performance under time pressure?

Like anything else, hiring is a skill. Tracking, testing and measuring performance is the only way you’ll be able to get better at it in the future.

person using MacBook

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