The hiring process is as important to business success as any other functional competency. Even when you need to get candidates into a position quickly, it makes good business sense to dig deeper for a quality pool of talent rather than make instant assessments that will come back to haunt you later.
According to Harvard Business Review, these instant assessments, when one attributes a person’s behavior to innate characteristics rather than external circumstances, happen so frequently that psychologists have referred to them as “fundamental attribution errors.” Unable to know every aspect of a stranger’s back story, yet still needing to make a primal designation between friend and foe, we watch for surface cues: expensive pants = friend; aggressive driving = foe.”
Taking the time to make better long-term hiring decisions can save you, the candidate and your business unnecessary hardships.
Consider three reasons why hiring in hurry is not an optimal choice:
1. The company pays for it—multiple times.
Managers often report feeling overwhelmed with the standard rigors of the hiring process, even when urgency is not required. However, when under the gun, the pressure to bring the ‘lesser of several evils’ on board is more common than you might think. When a manager hires someone who is unqualified, there is an increased likelihood of repeating the process all over again. In fact, managers may find themselves engaging in multiple hires until the ‘right one’ comes along. Reinventing the wheel becomes the norm rather than the exception.
Time and monetary resources are also expended at high levels when the having to re-navigate the human resources maze, including investments in recruitment, training, and workplace integration. What is often a forgotten element in this equation is the cost of decreased productivity during periods where the ‘next best employee’ is still waiting to be hired—again.
2. The work suffers.
An employee who is not equipped to hit the ground running will spend more time learning how to do the work and making unnecessary mistakes in the process. If you are lucky enough to catch these mistakes before they hit the market, you have captured a short-term advantage: The work can be re-done. However, work that has to be re-done—meaning slower time-to-market—can seriously impact company perception and performance within the marketplace. Further, the inability to meet deadlines, comply with operational metrics and quality assurance can drive questions of credibility and impact competitive advantage. But, there is also the risk that the work will continue to suffer even after several bouts of trial and error.
3. The employee bears the brunt of the ‘bad hire.’
An employee who receives an offer of employment more than likely believes that he or she was hired because they were a good fit. But were they—really? The onus of responsibly conveying that falls squarely on the shoulders of the hiring manager, as it should. Sure, they may be somewhat delusional if their skills and experience do not match up nicely with the requirements of the position. But, if you Venn-diagramed their skills and experience against the interview and the job requirements, you do them no favors by rolling out the red carpet if they are not competent to perform the work.
Meanwhile, the employee has wasted time and sincere effort trying to live up to the gold standards of a position that they were never really expected to fulfill—at least not without extraordinary time and effort on their part and expense and frustration by the company. Even after being fired—and it often comes to this—that same employee will continue to ‘loiter in the industry’, hoping to find a similar position with a better result. This hardly turns out well.
Do the right thing by your company and the potential employee: Don’t hire when you’re in a pinch. Take adequate time to vet and make good hiring decisions. And, if absolutely necessary, temporarily re-distribute the work amongst current employees (and give incentives!), or hire a temp to do a portion that will won’t wreak havoc on quality or productivity.
To your hiring success!
Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is the founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @WSRapport or visit her website, WordSmithRapport.com.