A recent study confirmed that recruiting a new employee has the highest impact of all HR instruments to the bottom line of a company. If you think about it for a moment it is logic. If you hire someone who may become an excellent employee or a future bad performer this is going to impact on the bottom line of your company.
The problem still is that critical talent is in short supply even in our current circumstances with high unemployment. The costs of a hiring mistake are high especially for managerial staff.
So how does a company get it right? The answer is commitment. The tools are out there – using them to achieve excellent recruiting just takes time and focus.
It may seem impossible to squeeze more time out of the day for recruiting. Then again, a bad hire drains away more time than any one of us would like to admit. It takes a few weeks to hire even a wrong person. What follows is loss of productivity, lost credibility of management and a wasted investment getting an employee on board.
Finally there is the investment in another search. All the while the actual work is still on hold. Whatever the results, the employee was hired to achieve results who are often no closer to completion than they were when he was hired.
Viewed from this perspective organisations can’t afford not to invest the additional time and focus for recruiting excellence.
In recruitment the following rule applies: the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
Because of the nature of the recruitment effort there is a great deal of error involved in trying to predict a candidate’s future performance. It is impossible to be certain that a candidate will excel in this company at this time with these challenges. The best a company can do is to reduce the unknowns by hiring as closely as possible to the actual situation. Ideally the company should hire someone doing the exact same job in an excellent manner at another company. The further a company moves away from this situation the further it gets away from the likelihood of a good hire. Why is that the case? The answer is that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. There may be someone in the stack of CVs who could be a great sales manager. He says he can do the job. The hiring team believe he can do a great job. Should they hire him? No. They should go out and find the person who already is a great sales manager. Because what someone has already done is a better predictor of future performance than verbal skills and interview behaviour ever could be.
Of course hiring the sure thing means missing out on the unexplored talent. The company will miss discovering a star. But it will also miss hiring a complete disaster. It hurts to reject people who might have been great. But it is devastating to hire someone who cannot perform.