Don’t Make a Bad Hire

Better Hiring

 As our businesses and organizations return to a pre-virus status, our ownersHiring and managers are currently in a hiring mode. Because of the lack of applicants, one may be overly anxious to hire the first available candidate. Let us consider the cost and time wasted in hiring the wrong person and consider a better methodical approach.

Consider the time and cost associated with finding and evaluating candidates. There are first the media costs, whether you use a publication, a website or even social media. Newspaper adds are expensive. We even have seen television ads for finding help. Combine those out of packet costs with your time in reviewing applications and interviewing. If you nothing else that time diverts you from pursuing your daily business which is already stretched due to a lack of staff.

Now consider the onboarding process which includes the hiring and training. After an interview, you might consider a background check and drug test, put then comes the training and the extra attention required with a new employee. Those investments are worthwhile but become wasted if that new employee doesn’t meet expectations and needs to be asked to leave. Then the process needs to start over again.

A Better Hiring and Interview Process

Even with the most sophisticated hiring process used by large companies, a certain number of bad hires do occur. Knowing this, what chances do those of use in small companies have in making a good hiring decision. If large companies with professional human resources staff don’t always get it right, what can the rest of us do? Let us realize that we are not always going to make the right decision, but our goal should be to improve our score. Consider the following:

  • Never be the sole person to interview a candidate. Have at least one other person meet and talk to the candidate. They are going to give a different perspective on the candidate which must be taken into consideration. If you are a sole manager or owner of a business ask a friend or spouse to talk to the candidate. They may not understand the job responsibilities and skills but will provide insight into the candidate’s personality and motivators.
  • A decision to hire should be based on three evaluations:
    • The resume and history-Do they have the required skills and knowledge? Do they have a steady history of employment without a constant changing of jobs and companies? Always ask for reasons they left previous jobs, looking for disputes with managers.
    • The interview-Get them to do the talking and listen. Ask open ended questions which lead to more insightful questions. Don’t be surprised what candidates will tell you. Be careful of those who will try to tell you whatt they think you want to hear. Again, don’t be the sole interviewer.
    • Other-Include background checks, drug tests, reference checks and skill tests. Skills tests vary depending on the position. The test may be verbal or hands-on. For example, if you are hiring a welder, you may ask them how to safely handle a welding torch. If you are hiring a cook, you might ask them how they broil a steak. If a person claims to be proficient using Excel spread sheets, give them a problem to solve using Excel.


assessmentsWhen it comes to hiring a person for a management or supervisory position, I would suggest one further step. Remember that the candidate is going to become part of your business culture. They will need to work in conjunction with others in your company, your customers and you. We recommend they be asked to complete an assessment of their behavioral styles, motivators and acumens. An assessment of this type is relatively inexpensive and can be done on-line. The resulting reports need to be reviewed by a qualified professional and debriefed with the candidate.  The results provide a much more meaningful conversation during the interviewing session. Ask us for more information on this hiring tool. RLS Focused Solutions is qualified by TTI in using these tools.

We, as business coaches have worked extensively in leadership development, team building and employee evaluation. As such we have helped owners and managers make better hiring decisions and build a winning team. Isn’t it worth a conversation? Contact us at