Owning a small business or managing Human Resources is challenging as well as rewarding. One of the more challenging aspects of management is making hiring decisions. Owners have probably been there at one point in time wondering where things went wrong with the new hire who seemed so "perfect" during the interview but turned out a flop once hired. Making the right hiring decisions will save you time and eliminate headaches. So, how does the mistake of a bad hire happen?
Here are three common, yet easily overlooked, mistakes business owners and HR managers make.
Going with your gut instincts
Gut instincts are that peculiar something within that "tells" you to make a deal, not make a deal, or like a person, not like a person, and a lot of other things. People use gut instincts more than they realize and sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't. One thing is certain: they are hardly scientific. It is easy to let your inner instincts lead you in the hiring process, too. Studies reveal that people are prone to make judgments about others in a split second or less*. Some people put on an impressive interview and make great first impressions, but when put to the task, fall flat. When it comes to hiring a person, going with your first impression or gut instincts is not always an accurate way to assess him or her.
Tip: Invite a co-worker to the interview and get that valuable ‘second opionion’ when it comes to potential hires. If that’s not possible, see if there is a way for the potential hire to meet some of the people who would be interacting with the new position.
Lack of clarity in job description
Every job position requires both technical and soft skills. Oftentimes, managers may think only in terms of the technical skills needed for the job and forget about the soft skills. However, this creates the potential for hiring the imperfect employee. Obtain the best match for the position by developing a two-part list that highlights skill requirements in both categories. Soft skills are the interpersonal skills that help the individual work in unity with others.
Tip: Read the job description and imagine the type of person who would apply. Does this match your ideal candidate? If not, re-visit the job description and ensure that both the technical and soft skills are represented.
Overlooking the emotional intelligence factor
Emotional intelligence is more than just a buzzword in business; studies reflect the importance of hiring people with high emotional intelligence. In fact, those with a high emotional intelligence quotient climb the ladder of success faster than their peers. Just what is emotional intelligence? In brief, it is the ability to understand and regulate your own emotions, as well as be aware of the emotions of others and respond appropriately. It is easy to see how this would benefit an employee. When a person has a handle on his or her own emotions and is empathetic to others' emotions, then that person has a calming effect on an often chaotic and fluid workplace. Furthermore, people with high emotional intelligence are motivated, possess leadership ability, and have strong social skills.
Tip: Try out some “real” interview questions – try to get a sense of how the candidate deals with everyday issues. “Tell me about a day where everything went wrong?” or “What is one thing you can teach other people?”. These will give insight into how this candidate relates to others – an important component of emotional intelligence.