A hit show (just finishing up their 3rd season) is “The Walking Dead”, about a zombie apocalypse. Whether or not you have ever watched it or heard of it, the show is scary and if you put the concept into your office, it can be REALLY frightening. Do you know if you have ‘real-life zombies and ghosts’ walking around your office on a daily basis?
We all like a good scary movie every now and then, but nothing is scarier than hiring someone who appears to be perfect for the job, and then finding out quickly that he or she is a nightmare. Every day we see organizations use scary hiring practices!
Why should you be spooked out by scary hiring practices? Consider what these can do to a company:
Scary hires drive up turnover.
There are all sorts of causes for high turnover, but one big culprit is stress. In fact, 40 percent of all job turnover is due to stress. Guess what causes stress? It happens most when the person does not fit their job, their manager, or the organization’s culture.
Scary hires drag down productivity.
Everyone suffers when workers have to cover for a co-worker that can’t or won’t do their job properly. The competent workers become distracted and disillusioned and the incompetent workers cause havoc by making mistakes, falling behind and draining managers who don’t trust them to produce.
Scary hires cost hard dollars.
Replacing the average employee will run you about 25% of their annual salary. Consider the costs of recruiting, interviewing, travel and onboarding. These are all replacement costs, as well as lost time on the job, either when it was vacant or when someone had to let other tasks go to train the new employee.
Scary hires cause collateral damage.
What about other costs? Organizations spend billions on workers compensation claims. As experts note, vastly more money goes to existing claims than to preventing the problems in the first place. What if someone in your organization was in charge of making sure all equipment fit the job and the workers, that everything was working correctly, and that all workers knew how to use the equipment efficiently and safely? These all sound like easy fixes, but someone in your company has to keep his eye on the detail.
So what can an organization do to prevent scary hiring? The best organizations have a solid hiring process in place and they follow that process with every candidate. They use behavioral and skill assessments to provide consistent, objective information on the candidate and reports to help managers better interview and select the right person.
10 Scary Hiring Practices to Avoid
1. Recruiting people who are just like you
2. Picking the first candidate who walks in the door
3. Asking questions about marital status, number of children, religion, race
4. Failing to check references and other information on resume or application
5. Talking too much and failing to listen
6. Posing questions that require only yes/no answers
7. Hiring based on your comfort zone rather than candidate’s qualifications
8. Searching in too small of a pond
9. Delay in hiring after you find the best candidate
10. Offering a job based only on gut instincts
Remember, the fear of the unknown is something best enjoyed at the movies or on TV. In real life, you want to know what your organization faces. Don’t hire zombies, ghosts and ghouls! The workers you hire and develop today can minimize the uncertainties of tomorrow.
Great points!! Although I am currently consulting from home, my husband owns his own business and these are great tips to follow. I will definitely share with him!
Alexandre Winandy says
For the “must avoid”, I would also add: “interviewing without having defined all the criteria you are looking for”. 🙂
Colin G says
Great points. I would also suggest using a personality profiling tool – we most often hire for skills but fire for behaviours! Profiling also helps you focus on the competencies you want.
the HR Cowgirl says
The number of people I talk to who give me blank looks when I talk about predictive validity (HR types included) and selection methodology is a frightening experience. Each time an employee is hired, particularly for smaller organisations, we’re betting the farm that that person will perform. Yet often people will continue to follow the same casual selection methodology, and wonder why they keep getting the same poor result.
This can be one of the worst nightmares for any company. In fact when the company pressurizes that particular person or raise questions about his/her ability, that’s when a complex situation develops and Stress comes out to be the only solution for that employee.
And the 10 points are really up to the level of appreciation… Good Article!!
I’ve certainly worked with my fair share of these zombies! Not only did they create more work (and stress) for me, but when the managers finally got fed up themselves, they’d simply transfer the person to another department so that employee would be someone else’s problem! So frustrating … although on the bright side, I figure if I ever start slipping, I’ll still have a job lol
animal farm pdf says
this can be one of the worst nightmares for any company. In fact when the company pressurizes that particular person or raise questions about his/her ability, that’s when a complex situation develops and Stress comes out to be the only solution for that employee.
Kolby Dayley says
Looks like i am about 2 years late to this discussion, But i loved this article. There are definitely a lot of zombies in the workforce today. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that so many people are unengaged in their jobs. If we combine good hiring practices and good engagement boosters i think we can wipe out the zombie population.