Measure Twice, Cut Once: Preventing Costly Hiring Mistakes

Many business leaders don’t realize the extent to which problems in their business can be tied to a poor human capital strategy. Every facet of the organization, from sales to IT to corporate leadership, depends on having the right people in place to do the job. If you don’t get hiring right, nothing in the company is going to work.

Have a Strategic Hiring Plan

We’ve all heard the cliché “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” but in the field of hiring and retention, having a strategic plan is indispensable. It should include key traits and attributes you would like to see in your employees, well-defined job descriptions, and a systematic process for screening, interviewing, and selecting the right people for the right positions. Once that’s done, a new hire process should be mapped out to help acclimate onboarding employees to the company’s culture and expectations. And most importantly, there must be an ongoing support system to ensure your people—the organization’s most valuable asset—are actively engaged in their role to avoid losing them.

In our experience, we’ve found that most organizations don’t have a recruiting strategy or hiring philosophy. They just wing it, often haphazardly. But when the wrong person is hired, everyone in the organization suffers. Avoid that mistake by planning systematically and strategically.

Finding the Right Fit

The culture is the cornerstone of any human capital management strategy. It impacts everything, including, of course, recruiting and selection. Hire people not just based on their skills and experience, but whether their personality will fit in the organization’s unique environment. Look for people who possess the values your company cultivates. Also consider the impact that the candidate will have on the team and organization. Ultimately, if you can pick your people right, your culture will always provide firm footing. 

Don’t Skimp on Background Checks

Pre-employment screening and testing is a necessity, not an option, when it comes to selecting the right employees. Conducting personality assessments, skills tests, and background checks can help further pinpoint whether the person is the right fit for the company. It can also mitigate potential employer liabilities.

Unfortunately, many businesses endure the high price and harmful effects of hiring without administering a professional background check, which reveals potential problems with a candidate before an offer is extended and prevents unnecessary, costly headaches down the road.

The best approach to background checks is to let the pros handle it. Don’t attempt to do it yourself, and don’t cut corners by relying on cheap online instant-check services. Professional screening services utilize more accurate, comprehensive databases in their review and protect their clients by adhering to the ever-changing bevy of national, state, and local laws. 


Read more essential hiring advice in my book, Take Care of Your People: The Enlightened CEO’s Guide to Business Success.

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