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It's a tough fact that most of us have made a bad hire at some point. In fact, almost three-quarters of employers have done so. Despite their best efforts to make sure applicants had the right education, experience, and skills, the new hire didn't work out.

The cost of a bad hire averages 30% of that employee's projected first year's earnings. In dollars, this ranges from $17,000 to $240,000. That's a big hit financially, but a bad hire costs a company in other ways too.

Yes, recruitment, training, and supervisory costs are there, but a bad hire can also cost you in

  • Productivity

  • Reputation

  • Clients

  • Brand image

  • Team morale

  • Legal Fees

Legal fees are less common, but when they hit, they hit hard.

How Do You Know You Have a Bad Hire?

Sometimes it's clear from day one that a new employee is not up to snuff. Sometimes it can take a while as the mistakes and complaints add up. Either way, the warning signs are clear. Some of these signs include:

  • Quality of work is not up to standard

  • Missed deadlines

  • Repeated mistakes, tardiness, and absences

  • Lacks of skills, experience, and knowledge they claimed to have

  • Customer and coworker complaints

A CareerBuilder survey showed that of employers that made a bad hire, the reasons were that they

  • Thought the candidate would quickly learn skills they didn't have (35%)

  • Didn't know the candidate lied about their qualifications (33%)

  • Hired the candidate because they were a nice person (32%)

  • Were pressured into filling the role (30%)

  • Focused on skills instead of attitude (29%)

  • Ignored warning signs (25%)

These percentages show the range of issues that lead to a bad hire. Some of them were failures in the hiring process, like not checking references or qualifications, and others were based on subjective assessments of the candidate's personality or ability. But how could they have avoided a bad hire?

What’s Needed to Avoid Bad Hires?

While there's no guarantee that every hire will be a perfect hire, there are steps you can take to avoid the pitfalls of hiring new candidates.

Check References

First, actually, check references. Don't assume that because the reference is there, it'll be a good one. Second, don't wait until you've selected some candidates or even made an offer. Check references while you're in the interviewing stage to weed out problematic candidates earlier.

Assess Skills

When you can, conduct formal skills assessments of software, tasks, and the like to confirm that a candidate has the skills they say they do. This also helps confirm the level of skill they claim to have.

Concrete Examples

When interviewing, ask questions that need concrete examples in the answers. The key to this is avoiding answers that only need a few words to answer. You can answer questions like "What's your strongest skill" or "What motivates you" with "Critical thinking" or "Helping others," but these answers don't help you. Probe deeper to get a specific example of when the candidate needed to think critically, or what it means to help someone in your industry.

Stay Objective

Wherever you can, focus on objectivity. As the earlier examples show, don't hire the 'nice' candidate or the one you think will learn skills on the job. Focus on what you can evaluate and verify factually.

Why You Should Consider a Staffing and Recruitment Firm

Here's the catch. While it looks easy to implement these changes, they're often difficult to implement. Designing formal skills tests or verifying qualifications can be time-consuming and confusing. That's why companies like TCSS are here to help. TCSS offers recruitment experts to find, evaluate, assess, and train new candidates. Our services include finding contract labor, contract-to-hire, and permanent placement roles. We can also help you develop your hiring and HR departments and methods. For more details and information about how we can best help you, contact us today.

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The interview is often the first chance that many companies have at meeting their clients directly. Prior to this, many clients have only been able to see the candidates' skills and qualifications. While technical "know-how" and previous management and team experiences are helpful, hearing about a candidate's earlier work experiences helps to flush out many of the questions surrounding the "why" of their employment history. To help make this process much more beneficial to both the company and the potential employee, creating a standardized interview process with a dose of flexibility helps compare candidates across the board.

Create a Standardized List of Questions

To help level the playing field and develop a sense of how candidates compare to one another, creating a standardized list of questions is essential. While some of these questions might have finite answers like yes or no, allow for others to provide free-form answers. For example, this list will assume that each candidate has already provided a list of qualifications that includes the technical expertise to perform their job. However, use this as an opportunity to determine the extent to which the candidate has used the software and if they are prepared to perform their job functions on day one.

Assess the Candidate's Preparation

Many companies recognize that most candidates are interviewing with more than one company at a time. However, this is no excuse for the candidate to come unprepared for the interview. If the position requires submission of materials ahead of time, like a portfolio of previous work products or written document, they should also be prepared to talk about the experience. Additionally, they should know about the company. This should extend to questions like why they prefer to work for your company and how to do they think they could add to the company and its culture?

Create a Structured Interview Process

Each candidate should be given the same consideration. This means that each candidate should follow the same pattern of interviews. According to The Society of HR Management, the most widely used interviewing techniques are pre-screening phone interviews, face-to-face discussions, and panel reviews. Some companies use one or all of these techniques. While each candidate may not make it through to participate in all three types of interviews based on how they perform, as you narrow down your list of candidates, each viable candidate should be given the same consideration as you make your final decisions.

Hone Your Listening and Observation Skills

While many interviewers come into an interview with a list of questions that need to be answered by the candidate, it is just as important for the interviewer to listen to those answers. According to the Harvard Business Review, There are objective and subjective parts of the interview process. This means that while the candidate will provide you with the answer to the question posed, what were their body language and vocal inflection telling you. Some objective observations might include Did they struggle to find an appropriate answer? Were they showing outward signs of anxiety-like changes in their voice or limited eye contact? Subjective observations might include their perceived confidence or the interviewee's feelings and attitudes.

Many potential employers treat the interview process as a time for the interviewee to tell them about him or herself. However, in reality, this is an opportunity for companies to create a highly structured atmosphere of questions and observations. It is a time where the interviewer can really delve into the candidate from not only the position of "Can you perform the functions needed to complete the required tasks?" but also assess their fitness with the company and ability to represent themselves adequately. For more information on how to improve the interview process or how TCSS can help with your interviewing needs, contact us.

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When most people think about the future workforce, they think about robots taking over jobs and machines doing more of the work. However, this may not be exactly what's in store for your organization or industry. It's important to understand what the workforce of the future is and why it's important for your company to be optimizing an external workforce. Research by Stoke Talent indicates that the number of employees working as freelancers will be over 50% by 2025.

Therefore, companies must learn to optimize the external workforce to their advantage. This article on optimizing an external workforce provides five reasons why businesses should include an external workforce in their future workforce strategies.

1. An External Workforce Allows You to Diversify Your Talent Pool

One of the primary reasons a business would opt for an external workforce is that they can access the talent they normally wouldn't be able to reach otherwise. This allows them to hire individuals with specific skill sets, helping you build more efficient teams.

An external workforce gives you a wider pool of candidates: When hiring employees directly, there are only so many people in your immediate area who will meet your qualifications and are willing to work for your company. However, with an external workforce, there are no geographical limitations on where you can find qualified workers—you simply need to know where to look.

2. An External Workforce Opens Up New Channels for Finding Talent

By using a staffing partner, you can have access to many more candidates than if you rely on your in-house recruiting team. This can also help ensure you attract a higher caliber of candidates. It also frees up your internal recruiting staff from scouring job boards and resumes – they can focus on finding hard-to-find skills that may not come through your typical channels.

3. An External Workforce Increases Innovation and Productivity

Many companies that have been in business for a long time may lack innovation, so an external workforce can help. By hiring individuals with new ideas and fresh perspectives, your company can think outside its usual box and increase productivity in various departments.

It can also expand your organization's knowledge base. This is especially beneficial if you're an older company that's been in business for several years. An external workforce can help your employees better understand how other companies operate and learn how your business can improve its operations.

4. An External Workforce Is Less Costly

An external workforce can help you save money by not investing in your internal workforce while still allowing your company to fulfill its demands. This can make it easier for you as a business owner if you aren't sure whether or not your current size is ideal for growth. An external workforce also gives you more flexibility, helping keep down costs and giving you additional resources if necessary.

5. The Rising Demand for Flexibility

The workforce of tomorrow will offer a significantly different experience than what companies are used to today. The old model of 8-hour workdays and 5-day workweeks is becoming a thing of the past, and new employees want employers who'll give them more flexibility in scheduling hours.

As millennials become a bigger and bigger part of the workforce, demand for flexibility will increase. Yahoo! Finance reported that 52% of Gen Z and Millennials are willing to change their jobs for flexible work arrangements. According to FlexJobs, 70% of Millennials reported that they want a flexible schedule.

Final Thoughts

The workplace is changing, transitioning into a gig and external workforce. Employees no longer stay with one company for life; they choose jobs based on location and flexibility rather than salary and benefits. This type of freedom gives workers more options and makes it difficult for companies to fill all of their needs internally. If you need help with staffing and HR-related issues, contact us today.

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