7 foolproof ways of reducing your risk when hiring
Hiring new staff can be a somewhat nervy experience, especially when you have a rather important role to fill or a successful past employee to replace. In certain roles recruiting the wrong person for the job can set you back a lot of time and money, and have repercussions throughout your entire company, so there is an obvious need to get it right the first time.
OK, there is no guaranteed way of hiring the perfect employee and any form of recruitment will bring with it an element of risk, however, there are certainly ways to reduce the risks or gamble when searching and employing new staff, most of which are inexpensive and require just a little time and patience to potentially prevent a lot of risk.
Here are our 7 foolproof tips for reducing the risk when hiring:
Use referrals from your existing employees
Using internal referrals is an excellent first step in the hiring process. Your existing employees are there to help your business and there is no one better equipped to screen or nominate candidates to your vacant role. No one will better know what is required by your company and the vacant role than your current employees, and no employee will want to risk their reputation or job by recommending someone they don’t believe will be successful if hired.
With that in mind, some employees can be reluctant to make recommendations or refer others for the role. To get around this some companies use a paid referral program to help motivate existing employees to contribute to the hiring process. Alternatively, encourage more trusted employees to introduce themselves to candidates and give you their first impressions, or, invite relevant employees to be part of a panel interview.
Follow up references
While referrals are a great way to get you started and generate strong candidates, they are only part of the hiring process. A great way to get a feel for the quality of a candidate is using references. The quality of the reference is a good reflection of the quality of the candidate, and it’s important to check and follow up on reference as thoroughly as possible.
References are often seen as a formality of a job application and many employers will neglect to contact or investigate the references they are given, which is a mistake. You don’t have to chase up the references for every candidate you are interested in interviewing, but once you have your candidates down to a final 4 or 5, investigating the references they have given can be an excellent way of singling out that standout applicant.
Make background checks
While chasing up references is a great way to get a feel for a candidate’s past experience and qualities, a solid background check may well uncover information that the candidate was less keen to bring forward. While background checks are mandatory in certain sectors they are still available to all employers and they should be a routine part of your hiring process.
Use situational Interviewing
Having a solid set of interview questions goes without saying, and you should use the interview to investigate a candidates resume and past achievements, and legitimate any relevant claims they have made. However, it is crucial that you interview the candidate with situational questions and role-play to really get a feel for how they would handle the job.
Here are some examples of good situation interview questions:
– What would you do if you noticed a colleague was under performing in his role?
– What would you do if you felt you gave a good suggestion during a meeting but your colleagues dismissed the idea?
– What would you do if you strongly disagreed with instructions you were given from a superior?
It’s important to also ask the candidates to back up their replies with examples of when they have been in similar situations and how they handled it. An honest response where a candidate did not handle a situation well the first time but learn a lesson from it, is as good as one where the candidate did handle the situation well.
Don’t be afraid to use several situational questions and even put the candidate under a little pressure and question their replies and thinking.
Give psychometric testing
A candidate may have an excellent looking resume and say all the right things, but that’s no guarantee that they are able to perform to your expectations. A candidate may have worked in a senior role for a company that has delivered excellent results, but how can you really be sure how much of that success and leadership can be accredited to them? They may even have excellent references from past employers, but how can you be sure that is not more to do with their friendly demeanor rather than their skills and performance? Psychometric testing is an excellent way to see just how well a candidate can perform certain tasks and their ability to work under pressure.
Make your expectations clear
While it is important to investigating the past of a candidate and test their current skills and ability, it’s just as important to make sure the candidate clearly understands the role of the job, the goals of company, and what you expect from them. The candidate may have had a very similar role in his previous employment but your company’s culture could be very different and this needs to be made clear to the candidate so they can also express how they would fit in.
One way of doing this is to speak almost informally on how things get done, how tasks are shared out, and the general expectations of the role, making it clear how your company may be different from similar companies. You may even want to create a do’s and don’ts list on how to behave.
Offer a trial period
When you think you have found the ideal candidate consider offering them a trial period or short term contract to see how they perform and integrate with the existing team. Watching them in the working environment, observing how they interact and communicate with you existing team, can be the final test to avoiding risk when hiring a long term employee.