Date: 3rd Jun 2016

Hire someone who is not the right fit first time and it will cost you valuable time, energy and money to replace them.


Time and Money

Make sure the people you hire are the right fit for your company first time around. Each time you recruit and hire someone it costs you and your company time and money. If you hire someone who is not the right fit, they may leave and it will cost you more time and money to hire a replacement. If they don’t leave you may have to spend time and energy to try and get them to be productive, or even worse, spend time, energy and money to actually get rid of them after following a defined, and often lengthy, process.

Jamie’s case

Let’s think about Jamie. Jamie was hired for his expertise using specialized software. Finding people who know this software is not easy. Jamie demonstrated his technical skills to the manager as the main part of the interview process. When the hiring manager saw how proficient Jamie was using the software, he thought his luck was in. After a short chat where the manager could see Jamie was friendly and outgoing, Jamie was hired into the small technical support team.

The team consisted of four fairly inexperienced technical support agents, one very experienced technical support agent and now Jamie. The hiring manager thought the team would be grateful to reduce their overall workload. He also thought Jamie could help the existing experienced agent coach the less experienced members of the team and also help handle the most difficult customer issues.

After a few weeks, however, it became clear that Jamie is not a team player and he likes to keep his experience to himself. His customer service skills are not great either. The friendly, outgoing way Jamie came across in the interview is not evident when Jamie talks with clients. Now some of the long-time clients are not happy.

What Went Wrong?

Although Jamie was a perfect fit for the role technically, overall he was not the right fit. Unfortunately, the hiring manager didn’t check for additional attributes that would be crucial for this role in this company - being able to work as a team player and having excellent customer service skills.

What Is The Right Fit?

To reduce your risk in hiring people who are not the right fit for your company, first identify what sort of person you need in your company. Determine the top ten attributes you are looking for, and then prioritize them in order of importance. Attributes could include things such as:

  • foreign language fluency 
  • software proficiency 
  • understanding of regulatory requirements 
  • a person’s ability to collaborate
  • whether they are customer-focused 
  • whether a person is coachable 
  • whether they are flexible about the work they do.

Once you have the top eight to ten attributes defined for each role, prioritize. Decide which are the most crucial for the role versus which would be useful but are not so critical. When you interview candidates it is unlikely you will be able to interview in depth for all the attributes you’ve identified. Make sure you know which are the most critical so you interview for those attributes first. Putting the time and effort in to get the right people on board first time will pay off overall.

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