By S Ruhl – USA

Hire slowly, fire quickly. Seems rather straightforward. But in reality, this is the exact opposite of how most companies operate.  And it can seemingly be for good reasons—at least the quick-hiring part. Companies may find themselves in high-growth mode, and may feel that they need to fill positions quickly to meet the customers’ demands.

However, the cost of not taking the time to find the right fit for your company can seriously outweigh the benefits of a full staff. Consider the damage a bad hire can inflict. A 2013 report form The National Business Research Institute indicated:

  • 66% of employers felt they experienced negative effects of bad hires
  • 37% of those employers indicated that the bad hire negatively affected employee morale
  • 18% felt that the bad hire negatively impacted client relationship

In small- to medium-sized businesses, the effects of a bad hire are exponentially increased.

But, when you are under pressure to perform, slowing down and really taking time to find the right fit can be one of the biggest challenges a leader can face. The temptation to just add bodies is great. I know that I have learned this lesson over and over again, the hard way.

In order to slow down the process, consider taking these steps in your hiring process:

First, develop an exceptional job ad by doing the work upfront to determine what success looks like in the role. Also, consider the competencies that are vital for the employee to fit into the role as well as the culture of your organization. Attract the right talent by creating a job ad that speaks directly to the skills and competencies needed to be successful.

Second, develop a behaviorally-based interview program. Behavioral-based interviewing is dramatically more predicative of future success than traditional interviewing. It is based on the idea that past behavior indicates future success. “People repeat behaviors” as one VP of HR put it. By creating a guide, you are more easily able to compare candidates and their answers side by side while implementing a legally compliant interviewing methodology.

Lastly, make sure that those that will work with the new employee will have at least a brief chance to meet and ask questions to ensure chemistry among the team.  This can be in a panel interview setting but don’t make it too overwhelming for the candidate.  Another idea is to have the candidate actually work on the team for a day, a bit of a trial run.

Now, even if you have a perfect hiring process, you will have times that you still make a mistake. It is vital to the health of your company and your team that you, as a manager, correct a hiring mistake as quickly as possible. Like most, we tend to avoid conflict and unpleasant situations. Consider the damage that one bad hire can do to morale, client relationships, retention, and productivity. Acting quickly will save everyone a lot of heartache so rip that band aid off and create the most effective team possible!