So, what is the hiring process in your organization?

How do you hire your best candidate?

It appears that hiring process is all over the board. Every organization has its own method and it varies from 2 interviews to eight or more interviews.

It used to be that the candidate will apply for a position and the HR manager or the hiring manager will review the application and contact the candidate for a face to face interview. After the first face to face, there may be a second interview and that was it. Nowadays, the hiring process usually stretches to multiple weeks, sometime months and involves phone screening, sometime more than one, then in person interview – again sometime more than one, followed by a personality assessment and even then you aren’t sure if you got the job. Higher the position, lengthier the selection process.

Since hiring the wrong candidate is costly and results in high turnover, no wonder companies are ever more cautious. According to the Harvard Business Review as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.

But unfortunately, organizations still make hiring mistakes, candidates still regret accepting the job offer after few days or months in the position and we are left wondering where did we go wrong?

According to a recent survey from Robert Half International, more than a third of the executives surveyed felt that the top factor leading to bad hire is usually a poor skills match and the second most common reason was unclear or ambiguous performance objectives. According to Jean Gamble – a Chicago based consultant, a wrong hiring decision occurs because job description and the actual job criteria or what it takes to get the job done are two different things. “Often if you went to the people who actually perform the job, you’ll hear an entirely different description of what it takes to perform the necessary tasks than what’s posted in the job definition. That’s why it’s important to involve those who are actually doing the job in writing the description,” adds Gamble.

Another reason someone may not be a good fit is because of the cultural differences between the new hire and the organization. The candidate may be perfectly capable of doing the job and meets the job criteria but if he/she is culturally misfit then it is only a matter of time before they will leave.

Selection Assessments or Personality Assessments can play an important role in determining the cultural fit. There are a raft of online selection assessment tools and HR consultants who specialize in this area and can assist the hiring managers in selecting the right candidate.

When hiring a candidate, we must use not just one but a series of tools that are available to us to ensure the right fit. Equally important is that we must be open and honest with the job applicant and ensure that he/she understand the role, the organization culture, even the team he/she will be working with. Remember, for a candidate to be effective in his or her role, both parties must be satisfied and excited about the position and the organization.

-Sandy Nolen, Guest Writer

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