I’ve often heard the expression “people are too quick to hire and too slow to fire …” but in practice, most hiring still remains way too quick. Given what’s at stake I’m surprised. This does, however, provide a chance to put the power of Industrial / Organizational or I-O Psychology — sometimes called work or business psychology — to good use.
Hidden Costs of a Bad Hire
When you drill down and think about the costs associated with making a bad hiring decision, it’s easy to see how those costs add up. For example, there’s the time lost on recruiting and training another employee, the negative impact on employee morale, and fewer sales / lower productivity.
There are also operational consequences of making a bad hiring decision. For example, there may be low quality work. If your new employee delivers poor customer service then this will be counterproductive if it prevents repeat business.
In addition, when you factor in the time spent screening applicants, interviewing them, preparing a letter of offer, training/onboarding, etc. it can easily cost $25,000 or more depending on the salary of the staff involved in the hiring process (and the salary of the new employee).
How Do You Make Sure You Get Good Value for Your Money?
When hiring staff, it’s rare that anyone forgets to assess knowledge. For instance, if you’re hiring an engineer or accountant, you confirm that they have the appropriate credentials. But let’s face it, in practice; the core knowledge possessed by two people with similar credentials is not what separates them. Normally, what distinguishes between two people who look similar on paper is how they apply their knowledge. Do they have similar judgment? Are they able to explain things to their colleagues and clients? Are they pleasant to work with or do they alienate others? These are important questions but why do so many people forget to assess behaviours (aka soft skills) – or do it poorly?
As a specialist in I-O psychology, I have expertise in assessing human behaviour within the context of work. I use techniques from I-O Psychology as part of the hiring process. This means that I can help you to identify the key behaviours that your next hire should excel at – then I can help you to evaluate it during the hiring process.
Interested in learning more about how to make better hiring decisions? Sign up for an upcoming Lunch & Learn session in Ottawa on February 17th, 2016.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in next level Career Coaching or HR Services I invite you to contact me by email, phone, or via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Phone and video appointments are also available.
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