Avoiding Hiring Mistakes:
Info from MK Insights LLC
November 18, 2008

A majority of Fortune 100 companies have built extensive hiring processes because they understand the cost of a bad hire.  Unfortunately, most small to medium size businesses still struggle to hire well - and, as a result, lose time, money and productivity that, comparatively speaking, is far more significant - especially in our current economy. 

Why is hiring effectively so difficult? 

And what can be done about it?
In This Issue
Mistake #1
Mistake #2
Mistake #3
Hiring Smarter
#1: This opening needs to be filled NOW
The pressure to fill an open position can be immense.  Paperwork piles up, calls do not get returned, clients are inconvenienced, employees go unsupervised...any of these can increase the desire to fill the position quickly.  Hiring someone who seems "close enough" or who "looks great on paper" becomes much more appealing the longer the position remains unfilled. 

When you reach this point, you MUST ask yourself why this saying is so widely accepted: Hire slowly, fire quickly.

Is it likely that what so many have learned (the hard way) about rushed hiring practices does not somehow apply to you as well?
#2: I am a very good interviewer
Have you heard that over 80% of drivers consider themselves "better than average?" 

Perhaps it is worth asking yourself the following - do you believe you are a "better than average" interviewer?

Its human nature to be subjective about people we meet - biologically, our instincts have helped us survive for as long as we have (fight or flight, for example).  However, these same instincts rarely help in business. 

If you are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, you know it  takes years of training and experience to develop an accurate "gut instinct" in such situations.  Unless one has received extensive training in interviewing and has a proven track record of choosing the right person for the job, its far to easy to fall back on one's untrained instincts - which are, by definition, not objective.

#3: Somebody is better than nobody
This idea is also fairly common.  Better to take a chance than just leave the position open until the right candidate comes along.

Let's try out a few typical employment scenarios and see if feel the same way.

So, having somebody is better than nobody despite:
- the mistakes that are made that you must undo.
- damaged client relationships that you must repair.
- office distractions that you must put up with.
- the staff complaints that you must hear about.

Its certainly easy to accept that a less-than-ideal candidate  won't be your best hire, but you must also remember that a less-than-ideal employee may require MORE of your time and effort, not less.

I hope you will consider adding just a little bit of science to your hiring process before making your next staffing decision.  Don't lose any more time, money or productivity because you failed to take action.  I can help you take your first step.
Michael Klein
MK Insights
Start here perhaps?
Hiring Smarter
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In the past decade, personality and behavioral assessments for candidate selection have become increasingly sophisticated, easy to administer, and predictive of individual behavior.  BUT YOU MUST BE AN INFORMED CONSUMER.

Thousands of consultants sell tests that have little or no scientific merit or validation for selection purposes.  Perhaps their test summary reports are easy to understand, and maybe your own report seemed to be fairly accurate.  But being seduced into using a specific tool by an unqualified consultant can prove costly.

Not only can this lead to poor hiring decisions, but it can prove legally risky if a rejected applicant pursues legal action against you.

Legally defensible selection tools must prove the following:

1. That they do not discriminate against any of the protected groups as defined by the EEOC

2. That they have been proven to be relevant to the position you are filling

To "test the test," you should consider doing the following:

 *Ask to see the technical manual - this request is easily satisfied by a reputable publisher and should adhere to a standardized format

 *Ask what professional guidelines were followed in the construction of the test  - You should hear something like "APA Standards for Testing" or "EEOC Guidelines"

 *Ask if the test was peer reviewed in the Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook, the standard for psychological and educational tests

 Click here to request:
1. a list of reputable, tested selection assessments tools

2. names of respected, established psychological test publishers.
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