Hire The Best And Avoid Costly Mistakes
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Hire the Best And Avoid Costly Mistakes

Hiring the wrong employee can be very costly and disruptive to worker morale.The Labor Department estimates it can cost on average one-third of a new hire’s annual salary to replace him or her. Theses costs increase the higher up in the organization the turnover occurs. In some cases, losses have been reported to total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A negative employee can also alienate coworkers and customers and poison a positive and productive work environment

According to social scientists, past behavior predicts future behavior 88 percent of the time. This means that effective employee selection largely depends on accessing accurate information regarding a candidate’s work behavior.

Use a Validated Methodology

Hiring quality employees requires the use of selection methods which have a high degree of predictive validity. For example: verified work and credit histories, work samples, drug tests, corroborated recommendations, and probationary periods provide an accurate picture of a candidate's work ethic and reliability. Unfortunately, many employers rely on methods such as cursory interviews and uncorroborated employment histories and recommendations which are easily manipulated and notoriously inaccurate. Research indicates that 34 percent of job applicants lie on resumes.

No Quick Fix

Psychological screening and personality testing promise to provide useful information for exploration but require further validation to be considered valid. It is wishful thinking to believe that any simple selection interview or inventory will easily identify high quality employees.

Most commercially available selection methods have the appearance of accuracy but are not typically validated on an ongoing basis. Under such circumstances, it is easy to forget selection failures and remember the star employee that was “accurately” portrayed, often in vague generalities. This is sometimes termed the “Barnum effect” and is the same reason horoscopes, fortune tellers, and some touted psychological tests are so popular. In order to protect against this error, cross validate a candidate’s qualifications and work history and do not rely on cursory interviews or simplistic selection tools.

The lesson to be learned is to cross validate a candidate’s qualifications and work history and do not rely on cursory interviews or simplistic selection tools

Rule in, Rule Out

The best employee selection methods serve the dual purpose of ruling in desirable worker traits and ruling out potential problems. The following list of work behaviors outline characteristics associated with superior candidates and negative traits to be avoided.

  • Qualified vs lacks training or experience
  • Intelligent vs difficulty understanding work tasks or technology
  • Strong Work Ethic vs poor self management skills
  • Socially Skilled vs uncomfortable interacting with others
  • Team Worker vs loner

Conclusion

An accurate employee selection process cross validates a candidate’s qualifications and work history and does not rely on cursory interviews or simplistic selection tools. This method will insure that you hire the best employees and avoid costly mistakes. Target those candidates who have the qualifications, training and experience that will assure their success in your organization. Select intelligent candidates with established self-management and social skills who will function effectively as team members. Finally, use a probationary period to validate the work behavior of new hires.

For more informative articles see James W. Siddall on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Pixabay under CCO public domain.


Street Talk

Excellent article James. The title "Hire The Best And Avoid Costly Mistakes" says it all. I can see how a large corporation would benefit from your guidelines, but I wonder how an online entrepreneur, with limited resources, would use your suggestions in hiring freelancers...

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Juan: This same basic model can be adapted using an online application followed by e-mail contacts to verify employment and recommendations by e-mail. Thanks for your comments.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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