Half of hiring decisions a mistake, say managers

Oct 07 2008 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Have you ever wondered why your manager's enthusiasm for you so often wanes after the first few days in a new job? Most likely - and there's no way to put this nicely - it's because they are regretting having hired you in the first place.

Getting it wrong so often is also hugely expensive, research by recruitment firm The Recruiting Roundtable has found, with bad hiring costing firms millions of dollars in lower performance, less engaged workers and higher staff turnover.

Of course, the process also works in the other direction, with the research concluding that a similar number of new hires also expressing disenchantment with their working environment, colleagues and managers.

In fact, four out of 10 new hires polled by the company complained the information they received about the job when they were applying was less than accurate.

Both sides agreed they had made the right decision just half of the time, a hugely low figure considering the number of hires going on within the U.S.

"Given the high cost of early career turnover, organisations cannot afford to make the wrong hiring decisions," pointed out senior director Donna L Weiss.

After analysing data from more than 8,500 hiring managers and 19,000 of their most recent hires, The Recruiting Roundtable said it had identified the three most important reasons organisation failed consistently to hire high-quality candidates.

These were:

  • over-relying on candidates to describe themselves rather than having them demonstrate what they can do
  • failing to follow a consistent, evidence-based selection decision process
  • failing to provide the candidate with enough information and "experience" about what the job was really like

At the same time, what managers and employers needed to do was to move beyond the traditional selection process to include an "experiential", or experience-based, component to the process, argued Weiss.

"By providing candidates with an experience that is either 'on-the-job' or that is key to job success, organisations can better observe a candidate's capabilities and a candidate can get a better sense of what the job is really like. This is one way to drive to more win-win outcomes," she added.