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Stop Driving Away Your Best Candidates with a Bad Hiring Process

4 Ways to Improve Hiring ProcessUse These 4 Steps to Improve Your Hiring Process

Get this – about 50% of the people you hire regret coming to work for you! And that’s not all – managers regret their hiring decisions about 50% of the time, too, according to a 2013 study by The Corporate Executive Board ((NASDAQ: EXBD).

Now add this: in 2013 the well-regarded Gallup American Workplace Survey found that about 70% of employees are not all that excited about work and that leads to two important consequences.

First, 50% of these employees show up, do their jobs, go home, and probably show up the next day.  They are present, but not engaged in the work and feel kind of indifferent about their managers.  The other 20% are miserable, likely have pretty bad bosses, and are roaming your halls sprinkling dissatisfaction all over the place.

A good-sized chunk of this problem is that your hiring process is not working very well.  The new hire process and the promotion “hiring” process are equally broken.  A hiring decision, especially one based on candidates’ experience, resumes, and interviews, can be the start of a very bad work situation.  (Remember that time you said, “Remind me again… why did we hire this guy?”)

Zur Shapira, at NYU’s Stern School, found that just one in 10 business owners say the way they hire matches their business strategy and only 18% say they know whether they have the employees they need to grow!  Shapira writes, “They…believe they’re doing all that’s called for, but in chasing growth, it’s easy to overlook the people issues. The truth is, too many are not likely paying the amount of attention that’s called for.”

Another truth about hiring is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to improve the odds of hiring a great employee using a great hiring process.

There is no more magic in hiring than there is in balancing the books at the end of the month.  You probably understand the financials, you probably don’t know how to make hiring work better.  Good hiring doesn’t depend on gut intuition or having nine interviews – we have proof that neither intuition nor interviewing leads to successful hiring decisions.  Improving your hiring process benefits your bottom line.  Here are the steps that will make your hiring more successful:

1) Start at the beginning: think about the job you want to fill. (Yes, thinking is hard and you don’t have time, but there is a high ROI on it.) Write down (a) the results the employee needs to achieve and (b) how those results drive your bottom line success.  Next, write down the job tasks that lead to those results. And, if you already have a high performer in the job, find out what she does well and build that into the job description you are building.

Choose a job a title that says what the job actually is.  Avoid titles that sound cool, but don’t help the job applicant decide to apply.

Don’t use…

Support Ninja

Director of Customer Wow!

Social Media DJ

Anything with “guru” in it

Instead use…

Customer Support Representative

Customer Service Representative

Marketing Associate

Director of Finance

The best applicants want to know what job they are applying for before they invest their time.

2) Do not use the job description as the job posting.  Look at these two postings and decide which you might take the time to apply for.

Job Ad 1

C#.Net, ASP.Net, and MS SQL. Experience with ASP.Net a plus. Bachelors in Computer Science required. Experience with large database experience a plus. Excellent technical and non-technical communication skills required.

Job Ad 2

Want to get great experience working in an exciting startup?  Want to work alongside the founders of the company?  Want to build really cool technology?  Want to learn what it takes to succeed in business?  Want to be in a job you love?  If you’ve said yes to any of these questions, read on or start the application here http://my.affintus.com/Job/636.

Not ready to click yet?  Keep reading!

This opportunity is a chance to get in on the ground floor – our company was founded a few years ago, and we have a few employees, but we’re growing this year. The work will be performed at our location in north Austin.  As the first step in our selection process we use a questionnaire to get to know more about you.  Come on… go ahead and apply!  Start here http://my.affintus.com/Job/636

In the job posting, create a picture of what it’s like to work in your company.  Remember – you have to market your company to get the best applicants. Stress the benefits you have to offer the right employee.

3) Don’t screen resumes…really. Here is why.  Research finds that 60% or more of all resumes contain erroneous information: some have “little enhancements”, others contain lies.  How about social media?  Same problem.  One survey of LinkedIn users found

  • 46% of profiles are out of date.
  • 10% of users said they embellished career information.
  • 30% reported they don’t know people in their network.

It is tempting to believe the self-reported information online or in a resume, but remember, resume writing professionals know what words will attract a manager’s attention – caveat emptor!

Another problem?  How managers read resumes: they look for job titles similar to the one they are trying to fill.  Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder says job titles are a “…needless limitation based on…information …that is essentially arbitrary…” He is right.  Job titles mean different things in different companies, so getting useful info from them is almost impossible.

Screening resumes doesn’t work, so don’t waste your time.  (Don’t worry, you’ll use the resume later in your improved hiring process.)  Instead of using the resume to identify the top candidates, use a valid pre-hire assessment.  Assessment delivers more accurate candidate information than a resume and people can’t fake them the way they can resumes and interviews.  Assessments are a big help in identifying the candidates who are likely to be high performers in your company. They are easy to use and affordable – just be sure to use one designed for hiring decisions.

Improving the hiring process pays off in better hiring decisions as you shift the focus from self-reported information to verifiable data.  Check out the next blog to learn what to do after you have identified top candidates – interview them… and that’s where the resume comes back into play.