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What are the most important considerations when hiring?

October 26, 2021
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What are the most important considerations when hiring

As a leader, possibly one of the most critical decisions you make is who to hire and who not too.  People are the lifeblood of every organisation.  But did you know as many as 50% of all new hires fail?  Did you also know that staff retention levels are also seriously reducing?  That means hiring and keeping the best people is getting harder.  So, what are the most important considerations when hiring to turn this around?


Address poor retention

Often overlooked in the hiring process is the cost of onboarding and retraining. It requires time and effort to bring someone up to speed, a lot more than you probably suspect.  If you can reduce the number of times this has to happen it makes good financial sense.

So, to address this have your asked if your current staff are happy?  Running regular team surveys are a great method to measure the overall mood and engagement levels and track this overtime.  But often nothing beats one-on-one conversations.  Asking each of your people what keeps them around, what annoys them, and what they see in their future.

The next thing you can do to is track the number of internal hires and promotions that are happening, versus external new hires.  Do you always look outside for new talent to fill roles?  Why?  Start capturing and measuring these metrics because they are important.  Rather than training up new staff, that investment can be better spent upskilling your current staff so they can achieve an internal promotion.  Watch your retention levels increase when you start investing in your people.

Next, advertise all new jobs internally first and only advertise externally if that is unsuccessful.  That way your existing staff will feel more valued and prioritised.  Entry and mid-level positions then get an opportunity to progress in your team or organisation, and this creates a huge amount of good will to you as an employer.  People love being part of something bigger than themselves when their contribution is respected.


Does everyone look or think the same?

If you consistently hire people that look and think the same as you, then you are seriously limiting your market.  Diversity is becoming an even more important consideration in improving organisational performance.  Not only for legal reasons, but for ethical and good management reasons.  Having a diverse group of people that reflects the society you operate in is key to staying competitive, and frankly being a fair and just employer.

What are the most important considerations when hiring for this specific role?  If someone works behind a desk but is in a wheelchair, why does it matter?  And if someone worships in a different way to you, aren’t they still a decent person?  Equally, if someone was born in another country and you can’t pronounce their name, why does it matter?  If any of this resonates with you then next time you are hiring, take a chance.  Diversity in people brings diversity of thought, perspective, and innovation.  This can only help improve an organisations resiliance and adaptability.

Want to learn more about this?  Check out our article on unconscious bias.


Hire for attitude

In times when highly skilled people are in hot demand, do not overlook the attitude and passion of candidates who may lack some experience.   Most people hire based solely on someone’s skills and experience.  It is no wonder then, that 50% of new hires fail.

Attitudes are the views an individual has relating to aggression, dependability (habits, reliability, etc.), honesty, and compliance (to rules, laws, etc.).  Our attitudes about hierarchy, social norms, and beliefs, drive our patterns of behaviour.  Someone’s attitude will have either a positive or negative impact on the values you are wanting your team to live by, and their performance.   Imagine hiring someone to handle customer complaints who has a history of aggression.  Even if it is just verbal, in an organization that values respect and customer service?    Clearly that is a recipe for disaster.

When interviewing people, think about the top behaviours or attitudes you want in the role and team and put together some scenarios you can ask your candidates.  If someone lacks the experience in the role and will need development, but they have the right attitude, then this is arguably the most important trait.   You can always teach new skills, but attitudes can last a lifetime and are very difficult to change.


What are the most important considerations when hiring?

So, when hiring take a look within your team or organisation first.  Advertise the role internally for the first few weeks, and only then advertise externally if you need to.  Next, take a different approach to shortlisting and interviewing and consider people who may look and think differently to you.  And finally, when interviewing, think who has the best attitude and energy for the role rather than who has the most skills and experience.  They are not always the same person.