Including lost productivity, recruitment and onboarding, the replacement cost of a bad hire can be up to 150% of the salary of the person you are replacing! 

Finding the top talent for your company is not easy! The negative impacts, both financial and intangible, of the wrong hire are significant.

Even more important are the intangibles – according to a Forbes’ study, the majority of CFO’s actually rank the intangible damages of a bad hire to be higher than quantifiable financial damages.

3 traps to avoid in identifying top talent

Work Experience

Having the right experience is essential to meet your business needs. Experience, however is not always linear. What about the experience from a special project they were on or a personal passion or interest?

Industry Knowledge

85% of the jobs in the year 2030 have yet to be invented! Is industry experience critical or are transferrable skills an option? Great candidates are willing and able to adapt to change.

Designations & Education

Designations & Education credentials are critical. The difficulty is determining what is critical to perform the job and what is a nice-to-have. 

“Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team? For us it’s personality.” – Sir Richard Branson

How to avoid these traps

Separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘nice-to-haves’

If the ‘must-haves’ list is longer than the ‘nice-to-haves’ challenge yourself and your team. What is the minimum requirement to ‘perform the job’? That should be your ‘must-haves’ list. This refinement will give you a better talent selection to hire a candidate with the right attitude and growth potential.

Collaborate with your team

The people your new hire will be working with, their peers and other stakeholders are the best to give you insight into the right fit for the team – even include them in the hiring process.

Be Curious

The most common phrases in the interview should be ‘tell me…’ and ‘what else?’ Seeking to understand the talented professional you are interviewing will help you understand not only their potential but also their passion.

HIRE the talent NOT the resume

I am sure you don’t need me to tell you, finding the right talent for your company is just hard! And the negative impact, both financial and intangible, of hiring the wrong person can be significant.[1] Not only that, a bad apple spoils the bunch. The negative effects a bad hire has on morale and productivity are even more damaging, and could extend beyond their tenure.[2]

We all want the best for our companies, and there are plenty of reasons why one ought to be cautious. However, the flip side is that by being too picky, you could actually be missing out on the best candidates. In our experience, there are 3 common traps employers tend to get caught up on which could hinder their chances of finding the best talent for their company. Here are 3 traps to watch out for when you are hiring:

Over-emphasis on Designations and Education

Surely a proper designation and/or education is necessary for some occupations such as an engineer, an IT professional or a certified public accountant. However, an over-emphasis on designations could eliminate candidates who could have the experience or have already demonstrated the necessary skills. It could also become a hindrance to encouraging diversity and inclusiveness, both important to your employer brand.

To avoid falling into this trap, firstly, determine if the specified education or designation is critical to perform in the role. If not, then really, they are only nice-to-haves. Instead, focus on how they have demonstrated these necessary skills in their previous jobs or volunteer work. These real-life experiences could be better indications of their competencies.

Must-have Job-related Work Experience

We also often see Hiring Managers getting too hung up on previous tenure under certain job titles. While on paper this sounds logical to speed up the learning curve, it however only takes into account linear experience without taking into consideration how well this candidate performed in their previous job(s), nor that job-related experience might already have been gained through other means, such as being in a cross-functional project team. Also, a candidate who is willing to take on extra projects/tasks has already demonstrated their true potential and willingness to learn. This can create a huge upside for your organization. Give this candidate a great growth and development opportunity, and you will in return not just have hired a competent candidate, but a loyal and motivated one. Also, regardless of whether the candidate already has or does not have the necessary experience, the ability and attitude to learn are going to be critical for future success due to the fast pace of change.

Industry Experience is necessary

Digital Marketer, Uber Driver, Cloud Architect, YouTube Content Creators – what do these occupations have in common? None of them existed 10 years ago. In fact, 85% of the jobs in Year 2030 have yet to be invented today![3] Not only does this reiterate point #2 above, it stresses the importance of focusing on the candidate’s agility, motivation and ability to learn and grow. Great candidates are the ones who are willing, and, are able to be adaptive. Organizations wanting to stay ahead will have to continuously invest in training and developing their employees.

After all is said and done, I think Sir Richard Branson summarized this very well:

“Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team? For us it’s personality.”

So always focus on important qualities which cannot be easily taught: willingness to learn, the right fit for your company’s culture, flexibility, agility, empathy, and common sense. Review your list of ‘must-have’ qualifications and challenge yourself on each of them and determine if it truly is a ‘must-have’ for someone to perform in the job. And now, compare them to your strongest performers. Look for the discrepancies and highlight the key differences vs. the must-haves. Now you know what you should be looking for!

Ensuring the right ‘fit’ of a candidate is not quite as simple. There are so many more intangible qualities. Our suggestion here is two-fold:

1) Ensure you involve the team and other stakeholders who the new candidate will be working with in the hiring process. They will be in the best position to provide you with insights into this hard-to-measure quality.

2) When interviewing a candidate, ask open-ended questions. Gain a real understanding of the whole person by asking ‘Tell me…’ and ‘What else’. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much you would learn about the candidate’s potential and passion!

Contact us and find out how Talencity can help you discern the must-have qualities to ensure the success of your business today and in the future.

[1] Costs of hiring and onboarding are on the rise. It has been estimated that the financial cost of replacing an employee is roughly 150% of their salary.

[2] According to a Forbes’ study, the majority of CFO’s actually rank the intangible damages of a bad hire to be higher than quantifiable financial damages.

[3] Based on a study by IFTF – Institute for the Future.