There’s a lot on the line when you’re looking for a new employee. Hiring mistakes aren’t just a mere inconvenience; they can also be incredibly costly. Your best bet is to hire the most qualified people right from the beginning. With the right strategy, you can actually avoid hiring unproductive employees, saving yourself a lot of grief.
Be Thorough in the Interview
The interview process is your greatest opportunity for filtering out potentially unproductive employees. It’s a chance to test their suitability not just for the position, but also for the corporate culture of your company.
Most of the people you interview will have prepared for the basic questions that get asked in an interview setting. Moving beyond the traditional interview format with questions that are challenging and force the interviewees to think on their feet can be a great way of testing candidates’ abilities.
Ask for Quantifiable Results
In order to land a job, there are tons of candidates who will be willing to boast about their qualifications and achievements. However, without supporting evidence for these achievements, their claims don’t necessarily count for much. Hiring candidates based on their word alone is one of the predominant ways in which companies get saddled with unproductive employees.
In the pre-screening and the interview, ask the candidates to provide you with facts and figures that can back up their claims. Their ability to quantify their achievements will give you a good idea of how productive they would be.
Involve Your Team in the Decision
It’s hard to remain entirely objective when meeting with candidates. With charismatic individuals, it can be easy to depend upon your feeling about them personally, as opposed to their actual suitability for the role.
The best way to counteract staffing problems is by involving more members from your team in the hiring process. Other people will pick up on different things and have divergent impressions of the candidate. Someone who actually works in the department the candidate applied for will also be able to give you a more accurate impression of suitability.
Work with a Staffing Firm
The steps we have mentioned so far all have to do with the pre-screening stage of the hiring process. Properly screening candidates is an absolutely crucial part of the process and one that requires a great deal of skill and an awareness of some of the red flags you should be watching for.
On your own, you may find it difficult to pick up on the subtle signals that indicate there may be a problem with the candidate down the road, but staffing firms are trained to catch these things early on. Staffing firms improve hiring processes by thoroughly vetting anyone they are representing, which means you can rest assured you’re interviewing someone who won’t turn out to be an unproductive employee.
Ask for References
While a candidate may seem perfect on paper and in person, even the most ideal prospect can’t outrun bad references. Qualified and hard-working employees don’t develop overnight; it’s a pattern of behaviour the thorough hiring manager will be able to trace throughout an applicant’s employment history.
While it may be tedious, it’s definitely in your interest to ask the candidate for references, and to actually follow through with them. Ask them questions that require more than just yes or no answers. For example, ask them for specific examples of achievements candidates made during their employment or for specific examples of some of the weaknesses their previous managers had noticed.