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Take Your Time In The Hiring Process to Choose The Best Candidate

The lasting effects of the current unstable economy are sure to linger for some time. Business owners are taking great care in finding cost saving measures, increasing production, and retaining customers. However, one area that business owners tend to overlook is their employees. Yet, an unqualified employee could be costing your company thousands of dollars each year and, very likely, precious customers as well.

Typically, owners skim through applicants and are quick to fill a position. However, when the person doesn't work out, owners are slow to fire the person. They may fear a legal battle or they may just hope that the employee’s performance improves. So what can business owners do to choose the right applicant?

Well first off, they must create a detailed list of the essential job functions, education, and/or experience requirements. When posting the job advertisement, they need to clearly specify that applicants that do not meet the minimum requirements need not apply. This will save them a great deal of time looking through 30 resumes of unqualified applicants.

Next, the employer must take the time to select their top choices from the available applicants. Rather than interview 10 people for one position, carefully choose the top 3-5 applicants. You can narrow down the possible applicants by critically examining their education and experience.

The next step is the one that a majority of employers neglect. Take the time to create a list of questions to address. Your organization will keep the interview moving smoothly. Make sure that the questions are specifically related to the job responsibilities. Your goal is to determine if the applicant is capable of handling the job tasks. Consider asking scenario questions that would give the applicant an idea of typical situations they may encounter. This will also give you a chance to see how they would respond to an angry customer or a busy day in production.

If an applicant does not fully answer a question, ask them to readdress the issue. They may be hiding a lack of knowledge or they may not realize they didn't answer the question fully.

At the close of the interview, ask the applicant if they have any questions. Once the interview has concluded, take a few moments to write down the highlights. You may make a list of pros and cons. Do this immediately when the knowledge is fresh in your mind. After you have conducted all five interviews, you can use your notes to compare.

Although you may do your very best to hire the most fitting candidate, there are still instances when the employee does not work out. Consider hiring on a probational status. You can usually gauge performance level within the first few weeks. If they are still struggling after several months, it is time to let them go. The longer you keep an unproductive employee on your payroll, the more it will cost your company.

Although many business owners are well aware that hiring the wrong employee can cost them, they usually are surprised to learn just how much. This breakdown will give you an idea of how much the wrong employee can cost you:

* Advertising: Websites charge employers well over $400 to post an ad (e.g. careerbuilder.com, $419).
* Recruiting Fees: If you use a recruiter to find applicants, they may charge between 10-25% of the annual salary.
* Training: Depending on the type of job, training can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
* Severance: If you do decide to fire the employee, you may have to offer several months of compensation.

While these factors have specific monetary numbers, there are other areas where an unfit employee will cost you. You may lose customers or clients. Employee morale may decrease, affecting production. You will lose valuable time conducting more interviews and training.

Because of the financial loss associated with hiring the wrong person, be careful to take the time to make a well thought out hiring decision. Take the time to analyze and consider each viable candidate. Compare the hiring process to your budget process. The wrong hire may cost you $50,000. You would need to seriously analyze and justify a business expense of this size to partners or stockholders. Why shouldn’t you do the same with a hire?

About Sozo Firm

Sozo Firm helps startup companies, small to mid-sized businesses & nonprofit organizations thrive through developing and implementing business optimization strategies. Our efficiency consulting addresses business processes, customer service, employees, marketing, public relations, and communication. Our internet strategy consulting addresses website usability, reputation management, social media, and internet marketing. Sozo Firm is based out of New Freedom, Pennsylvania. Contact our senior consultant, Andrew Jensen, at 800.460.SOZO to learn how we can serve you.