3 Bad Predictors of a Perfect Hire – The Hire

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3 Bad Predictors of a Perfect Hire

Hiring managers naturally put a lot of thought into the selection process when working to fill a position with a perfect hire. They know that choosing the wrong candidate for the job is something to be avoided – at all costs.

This is so critical because hiring is, well, costly.

Glassdoor for Employers estimates that the average cost per hire is nearly $4,000. Hidden costs associated with onboarding a new employee include:

  • Onboarding Paperwork and Administrative Time
  • Employee Training
  • Deferred Productivity/Learning Curve
  • New Employee Provisions

As you can see, valuable resources are expended with each new hire and hiring mistakes impact the bottom line. Yet, many hiring managers still rely on fallible guidelines when in pursuit of the best candidate.

Are you depending on any of these predictors in your search for the perfect hire?  

Bad Predictor #1 – First Impressions

Although it may seem counterintuitive to those who abide by the rule of thumb that the first 90 seconds (or 30 seconds, or 7 seconds …. depending on which specific thumb rule you abide to) of an interview are the most crucial, a hiring decision based on first impressions isn’t the crystal ball many believe it to be. First impressions can be deceptive and are poor indicators of actual job performance.

Think of that consummate performer who is perfectly-accoutered, well-coiffed, and immediately dazzles with their self-assurance. While that person obviously presents well and makes a great first impression, that isn’t a reliable indicator of actual aptitude or abilities. Nor is it a guarantee of a good fit or future job performance.

Bad Predictor #2 – Quantitative (vs. Qualitative) Experience

While it is common to require “X number” years of experience performing a relatively identical position to the one being filled, strictly adhering to quantitative stipulations is unnecessarily limiting. Just because someone has, let’s say, been a bookkeeper for 7+ years, they won’t unequivocally be the best choice.  For example, what if they have been practicing dubious accounting methods all along?  Or their overall conscientiousness leaves something to be desired?

In other words: How do their “soft” skills compare with those of another candidate, who just happens to be relatively new to the field?

Bad Predictor #3 – Focusing Only on Passive Candidates (and Disregarding Active Ones)

When comparing “passive” vs. “active” job seekers, hiring managers often share the perspective that the most desirable candidate can’t possibly be the one who is actively reaching out to them.

Industry lore (falsely) maintains that:

  1. Since you can narrow your focus to those who are already (assumingly successfully) doing the job, you can only secure a 1:1 skill set match and best fit with passive candidates.
  2. Passive candidates are “better” than active job seekers and are “good” employees – if they aren’t actively looking, then they must be superstars who create value for their current employer, right?
  3. Active job seekers must be “desperate.” They have probably inflated their resume and qualifications and will likely leave you in a lurch down the road.

These common misconceptions about passive vs. active job seekers can lead to a false sense of security and the unintended consequence of missing out on the actual “rock-star” employee (who is, incidentally, actively seeking a new challenge).

Ultimately, the above “predictors” of a good hire are, in reality, deceptive and unreliable.  It is time to let them go and focus on factors that truly increase your likelihood of choosing the perfect hire, the first time.

Check back next week for the 5 Great Predictors of a Good Hire on which you can actually hang your hat.

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