Employers: Is Hiring “on Your Test?”

Years ago I attended a motivational workshop and the keynote speaker’s presentation was entitled: “What’s on Your Test?” She told a story about high school kids daydreaming in class, until the teacher piped up and said, “And by the way, this will be on your test.”  Suddenly the students went from bored indifference to exhibiting alert and polite attention.  Her point was that we all have priorities, and you must give thought to what is important enough to be “on your test.”

As employers, we each have our priorities. There are some activities that we simply value more than others, and we give them our attention, time, and finances. Surprisingly, many of the most successful companies don’t have hiring duties on their test.

The process for hiring the correct employee can be deceptive. It seems so easy right? The references check out, the interview goes well, the candidate appears pleasant, it’s all pretty simple, right? I wish this were true, but the most expensive mistake any employer can make is hiring the wrong person. It can have profoundly negative effects on not only productivity, but on your staff morale, workers’ compensation injury rates and, ultimately, your company’s excellent reputation.

Hiring the Wrong Person is a Costly Mistake

Did you know that the cost associated with a receptionist who leaves before three months is $15,000? To prevent these costly hiring mistakes, it’s smart to put hiring back on the top of your list of test questions. That means seeking the appropriate experts at critical points in the process of advertising, recruiting, screening, and training. The average hire takes a manager 40 hours of preparation time involving phone calls, interviewing, and reference checks. Often these hires don’t work out, even with the best of intentions. This is not necessarily because of “bad employees,” it is usually more a matter of an improper fit, which results in poor employee performance and/or conduct. An improper fit originally occurs due to a lack of preparation, follow up, and structure in the hiring process.

Put Hiring on Your Test

So how can you make your hiring process the most profitable and rewarding for all parties involved? First of all, avoid making hiring decisions in an emergency and hurried state.  The adage, “A stitch in time saves nine” is so true when it comes to successful hiring. After you’ve put hiring on your “test,” consult with an expert and decide together what services would help you to hire your ideal candidate.

Outsourcing the hiring function is almost always a wise investment in terms of time, money, and resources. These tasks are simply too time consuming for the typical manager that has numerous other job tasks to attend.  The consultant should be able to make the decision-making process as stress-free and accurate as possible.

A reputable placement consultant can be your trusted liaison in the recruitment and retention process. Look to your consultant to:

  • Listen carefully to your present needs, your past challenges, as well as your overall company goals
  • Conduct several interviews
  • Administer job-specific assessments and check several references
  • Determine what hiring option would be the most beneficial to you at this specific time. Perhaps you are not ready for a full-time, permanent employee.  Discuss other suitable options, such as temporary assistance or contract assignment workers.

Ultimately, putting the hiring process on the front burner, and putting it “on your test” will give you hours of extra time to do your actual job. By doing so, you are more likely to enjoy peace-of-mind, and a talented, stable, reliable, and happy workforce.