Did you know that the average “bad hire” costs a company $60,000 in wasted compensation and training time! And that doesn’t include lost customers and upset prospects. I’ve found that business owners repeatedly make the same mistakes in their hiring process – if they even have a hiring process. Read on to see if you can relate to the following:

  1. Hiring Reactively. Almost all hiring mistakes stem from hiring in a crisis. Although it may seem like a waste of time to engage in a formal recruitment and hiring process, especially if you know someone who seems to fit the bill, hiring without a strategy almost always leads to frustration, disappointment and wasted expense.Taking time to outline a job description, advertise the position and interview people and assess them based on their ability to fulfill on the position yields a much higher success rate. Although you may know someone who is smart or helpful, can he or she really contribute to your organization more productively than other candidates on the market?
  2. Sugarcoating the Position. Often the first positions we hire others to fill are those we don’t like to do ourselves. Our dislike for the job may show during the interview process.In the early days of my business, for example, I wanted to hire a telemarketer to make calls all day – something no one in my organization liked to do. When candidates came to interview, I explained that if they did a good job they could grow into other roles in the organization. In essence, I sugarcoated the position by focusing on the growth potential of the position and not the requirements of the job itself. In three years, I went through four employees in this position! When I stopped sugarcoating the position and started outlining it honestly, I began to attract the right people for the job. Believe it or not, some people actually like telemarketing.
  3. Hiring “Professionals.” Another mistake business owners commonly make is to hire the “professional”, someone with years of experience in a role. A seasoned professional typically commands a high salary and may resist being trained in the processes you’ve worked hard to develop and fine tune. Instead, find a candidate with the right qualities and skills for the job and who is open to being trained and managed.

Surefire Steps to Hiring Success

Here are a few steps to help you maximize your investment in hiring, training and retaining top employees.

  1. Outline a Growth Strategy. If you haven’t already done so, formulate a clear vision of where you’d like your company to “go”. Once you’ve done this, you can identify what people you need to make your vision a reality.Next, Create an organizational chart of your future company and ask yourself; “When will I need to hire someone next and in what position?” Once you’ve answered that, ask yourself; “What do I need to have in place to hire that person?”If it’s a salesperson, for example, you’ll need a job description and a set of systems to help the person do the job well – including systems for lead generation and sales conversion. In addition, you’ll want to have a clear idea of the initial salary offer and the maximum amount you can pay this person to support your profitability model. Identifying the maximum figure lets you know not only where the salary will top out but how to structure a raise and incentive plan for points along the way.
  2. Develop Comprehensive Job Descriptions. How do you know whether a candidate will excel at the job? See how well the person measures up against an objective, detailed job description.To create a job description, list the tasks that comprise the job, the objective of each task and what the employee will be accountable for producing. Then, turn the job description into an interviewing tool by also identifying the qualities, skills and experience a candidate would need to succeed in performing the tasks listed in the job description. As you interview each candidate, evaluate the interviewee according to this set of criteria.
  3. Use the Job Description as a Training Checklist. Once you’ve hired the right candidate, don’t toss the job description! Instead, turn it into a training checklist to ensure that your new hire has an understanding of your company’s systems to excel at each and every task. Without a documented training process, employees typically retain about 18 percent of what you tell them. By turning the job description into a training checklist, you are setting up your new hire to meet or exceed your expectations.