One out of four companies report that at least one bad hire cost them more than $50,000 in the past year. "Whether it's a negative attitude, lack of follow-through or other concern, the impact of a bad hire is significant," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Not only can it create productivity and morale issues, it can also affect the bottom line."
This data is excerpted from the CareerBuilder article What Bad Hires Really Cost Companies. The article lists 19 issues that typically contribute to making a bad hire. PeopleAnswers minimizes your probability of making "bad hires" and brings to bear science-based behavioral assessments to empower you to make the best hiring decisions.
See how many of the 19 issues play a role in your HR realm, then give us a call and see how we can help make 2013 a banner year for your company.
Back in the early days of PeopleAnswers, I would write departmental goals on my white board. It was easy to read and kept us organized as a department. After a few years, a few larger white boards, and multiple hires, I decided to write the goals on Post-It Notes and stick them to an adjacent wall. The goals were then broken down by company Quarterlies and specifically given to each employee in the department. So now the goals were individual goals instead of department goals. I guess as your company grows, you change your methods to fit your evolving needs.
Now I have a Post-It Wall in my office with all the Quarterly goals for my employees. It’s quite a masterpiece. At the very least, it’s a conversation starter.
I came across an article called “5 Tricks to Maintaining Your Momentum towards Your Goals” and saw that my Post-It Wall is a perfect example of the 4th trick (break down your goal into smaller parts). I also use the 2ndtrick (marshal your resources) because my employees’ skill level, experience, and work load will determine which Quarterly goal they are assigned.
I would add this tip to the list in the article, though: Make the goals motivational. I firmly believe that goals are best achieved when they motivate the person. Goals should take a lot of work, be challenging, but still be reasonable and attainable when a good work ethic is applied. If a goal is too easily accomplished, the person won’t have motivation and pride to complete it. If a goal is too difficult, you’re wasting your time and the employee’s efforts instead of actually achieving something. There is a careful balance involved in blending motivation with goal setting.
Readers, do any of you use Post-It Walls too? How do you keep your goals on-target and organized?
Company executives are always looking for ways to hire better employees. If they can save money while doing so, well, that’s even better.
I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal about how more and more companies are looking within to fill leadership positions. The reason why is simple: external hires cost more—they require search fees and higher salaries—but achieve less. Internal hires, already possessing experience working within the company and an understanding of that particular workplace’s cultural nuances, come to the job with an automatic advantage. They don’t have to learn how the company works, and they may already know they like working there. The turnover risk is immediately lower. But despite these advantages, many employers continue to turn to external hires because they don’t have a good system in place to identify internal employees with the potential for success.
One executive quoted in the article said she wished she had a “baseball card” for every employee in her company so she could see who might be a good choice to advance to a leadership role. Such a card would list the employee’s “skills, training completed, and performance evaluations” in an easy and user-friendly format. I agree that this kind of organization of employee potential can do wonders for succession planning. But this baseball card idea leaves out the crucial “x-factor” that truly determines whether an employee is successful in a given role.
Here at PeopleAnswers we call it Behavioral DNA®—a person’s personality makeup that predisposes him or her to prefer and succeed in various tasks. I have worked with excellent salespeople, for example, who I wanted to promote to leadership positions. But often when I did, they floundered because they were just not wired to manage people. I learned the hard way that just because somebody is good at one thing does not mean he or she will be good at another.
What hiring managers need is a way to overlay a given employee’s hard wired behavioral thumbprint over the thumbprints of other roles. Is their Behavioral DNA a match? Does the given person fit the mold you are looking for? That is what you really need to know.
Does your company have a system in place to track future leaders? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please post your comments below.
To offset the effects of a slow economy, it is common for companies look for ways to cut back on spending. But I think this article, “Host a Company Picnic: 5 Reasons,” has some great points about why we should continue trying to keep the employees we keep, happy.
PeopleAnswers tries to give our employees little treats throughout the year: A quarterly meeting scheduled as an offsite retreat; tickets given for local baseball games; monthly catered lunches to celebrate birthdays and get the new employees familiar with the rest of the gang; and distributing silly awards to relieve the stress of daily business. And our employees appreciate it. They enjoy themselves at the lunches and are appreciative of the tickets. We don’t do these things to bribe—but to show our employees their employer values them. (FYI—PeopleAnswers Voted One of Dallas’ Top 100 Places to Work.)
My favorite thing that we recently started to do is to support charity events as a company. We built a house together for Habitat for Humanity last summer and plan to participate in the Red Balloon Run and Ride this October for Children's Medical Center. It’s one thing to give our employees little gifts, but another to work together as a team for the betterment of the world we live in. It strengthens the bond in the office when we connect outside the workplace. Our employees appear to like working together for charities, so hopefully these activities will become favorite traditions.
What does your company do to boost morale or team build? If you’d like to share some stories, add a comment here or link up with us on our Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/peopleanswers.
As a child, I was initially confused by the fable of the tortoise and the hare. It seemed obvious the hare could defeat the tortoise in a fair competition based solely on speed, so why pretend the tortoise had a grand victory if it only came about because of his opponent’s mistakes, instead of superior skills? However, this assumed the only metric used to decide the victor was speed. I think the true virtue showcased in the contest was sincerity. You could argue that the tortoise took longer to run because he was sincere in his desire to compete in a way he knew was right, while the hare was overconfident in his abilities and insincerely decided to nap.
Some job candidates behave like hares when they seek out jobs, expecting quick results in a society built on instant gratification. Likewise, employers worry that having potential employees spend half an hour or more completing screening, applications, and assessments will cause people to give up and take a nap, possibly never crossing the application finish line. Employers worry about completion rates and how the process affects the candidate pool.
Just as I initially viewed the tortoise and hare race, both candidates and employers look at the time investment from a natural, but flawed perspective–what will I lose if I do this in terms of "speed to hire" versus what can I gain in quality and quantity of hire? However, if a candidate is not willing to invest an hour of their time in a job opportunity, it is unlikely he/she will commit the 40+ hours per week necessary to satisfy the job requirements and produce good work. For employers, a more thorough selection process also helps companies identify those candidates who are willing to stay the course to earn a position.
But the time commitment serves yet another purpose. By taking time to properly and fairly assess each candidate, employers gain valuable insight into the whole person – behaviorally, culturally, and cognitively. If done right, employers can gain a sense of their preferences, their communication skills, and their overall fit to the role in ways that were not possible just 10 years ago. In addition, the evidence shows that candidate volume typically increases with well executed online screening, which more than offsets the loss of any candidates discouraged by the process. With this insight, employers can create an environment that fosters more productivity, higher job satisfaction and longer careers.
Is it not worth the hour for both employer and potential employee to ensure the position is a potential career or at least a long-term job rather than another expensive hiring mismatch? Through this lens, I think most would agree an hour is a great investment to identify those sincere applicants willing to invest their valuable time to consider joining your company. Remember one of the morals of the story: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
It’s Olympic season. And this year I am particularly interested in the Games because they are taking place in my home country. As a fitness-minded individual myself, I love to watch the athletes compete. They have so much passion. They train so hard, and when you see them out on the field, on the court or in the swimming pool, it is clear that each athlete is doing what he or she was born to do.
We have all read the articles about our favorite medal winners that explain why a given athlete was destined to succeed. Michael Phelps, for example, has an extra long wingspan, large feet, a long torso and short legs. Studies suggest that he naturally produces less lactate than most athletes so his muscles build up far less lactic acid than many of his competitors during a race. All of these attributes contribute to Phelps’ success as a swimmer. Phelps’ body, paired with the most crucial aspect of his success—his disciplined work ethic—makes him the ideal member of an Olympic swim team. There are similar physiological analyses of other elite Olympic athletes as well, like sprinter Usain Bolt or cyclist Bradley Wiggins.
It makes me wonder: if so many of the top athletes are genetically and psychologically designed to succeed in their sports, might there be people who are perfect for success in other areas as well? Do my combined attributes make me the ideal candidate to become a salesperson? Might you be predisposed to succeed in retail, hospitality, or healthcare?
Years ago it would have been impossible to measure a job candidate’s natural behavioral tendencies the way we can measure Michael Phelps’ wingspan. But modern assessment technology allows us to do just that. If we can determine the ideal characteristics that make a good nurse or a phenomenal manager, then perhaps we can find people the jobs for which they are best suited.
That fact that passion leads to success is a given, of course, but it is also true that being good at something can make you passionate about it. Phelps would never have the achievements in swimming if he did not work hard at it. But if he had the body of a gymnast, all the work in the world would probably not win him a gold medal on the world stage. People are simply naturally suited to do some things better than others. And when you are naturally suited to do something well, you are naturally inclined to enjoy it. Imagine if we could all find the perfect environment in which to make our living. Would we all approach the work day with the excitement of an Olympian?
My oldest is about to start high school in the fall, a huge milestone not only for her, but for me and my wife as well. That age-old question keeps popping up: “Where does the time go?” I remember a little girl with curly locks and big bright eyes wanting to sit with me for an imaginary tea party with cups of chocolate milk. At the time I kept thinking how great it will be when I don’t have to play nursemaid so frequently. Now she is headed to high school and poor old dad is left longing for any opportunity to “get on the schedule.”
Over several years, time with my daughter went from plentiful to scarce. When dealing with a corporate workforce, people bounce between being bored and feeling overwhelmed due to frequent changes in their position or company. I find it ironic that most people are dissatisfied when they are bored, but even more so when dealing with change. My father shared great insight on the matter when he said, “Change happens just slow enough to never get used to it.” Whether it's a slow shift or immediate, change is difficult and downright uncomfortable for some.
How do we manage change? How do you coach those around you to be effective through a period of change? In my experience, maintaining a positive outlook (or perspective) is the best medicine. Change will happen, you can count on it. On the other hand, there will be periods in your life where the status quo seems unending, even to the point of boredom. Take a dose of perspective! Learn to enjoy all experiences...if your world moves from stable to topsy-turvy, you will find yourself longing for more consistency. At the end of your career you will feel satisfied and fulfilled by making the most of each state.
How do you manage change in your work environment?
Two weeks ago I was shopping at a Saks in California with my wife. I had come in with the intention of merely buying a pair of shoes, but I ended up walking out with an awful lot more.
How did this happen? It’s pretty simple. The salesperson who helped me was incredibly good at his job. I had been desperate to get new summer clothes for a while, and this sales associate enabled me to do in one hour what would have taken me a day-and-a-half in normal circumstances.
As I tried on one thing or another, he kept coming back to show me more items. Everything he brought was exactly what I needed. He was friendly and helpful, and he knew just how to find what I was looking for. After I made my purchases, I called the floor manager. I know that retail managers often get negative comments, but I told him that this guy who’d helped me was brilliant; he saved me a ton of time. As I left the store, I thought to myself about how this kind of retail experience really makes a difference.
It got me thinking about customer service in general. The quality of the salespeople you interact with in a retail environment really does help determine the size of your purchase.
A recent article in Stores magazine named bad customer service as the number one gripe shoppers have against their favorite retailers. A single rude or uninformed associate can cause you to buy less than you would have or nothing at all. My recent experience at Saks showed me that the inverse is also true. A talented sales associate can greatly enhance the shopping experience, and more importantly to the retailer, make customers buy a lot more.
I wonder what Saks uses as its hiring assessment tool?
As a company grows, new potential sources of revenue emerge from all kinds of places. The logic is simple. The more people a company touches, the greater the overall source of ideas. Executives and managers may be tempted to say a quick “Yes” to each new idea.
However, saying “Yes” to these opportunities has a lot of perils and may not always result in the upside intended. Instead, chasing too many new opportunities often leads to lower margins, resources being spread too thin, and a deviation from the company’s original strengths. Hence the importance of saying “No.”
Finding new opportunities is actually the easier part because customers constantly reveal new needs and wants. But, these opportunities do not always translate into increased profitability. The real challenge is for companies to eliminate the irrelevant opportunities and resist temptation to over-reach. Successful companies must stick to a clearly defined mission statement just as a successful essay must follow a thesis.
At the end of a busy day on a recent trip to San Francisco, I decided to relieve some stress by going for a jog around Union Square. It was a gorgeous day in a beautiful city with conditions that were perfect for some outdoor exercise.
Frank the Street PhilosopherAt the end of my run, I slowed to a walk as part of my typical cool down. Just ahead of me I observed a man who appeared to be in his early 50s. His valuables sat near him on the ground in a spot he appeared to have occupied for most of the day. As I walked by, the homeless man politely said, “You are doing Number 5.” What? I was confused, but intrigued, by his comment, so I sat down and asked him what he meant.
For the next hour I was engaged in conversation with a man named Frank who shared a few nuggets of wisdom he had gleaned from his time on the streets. He described five lifestyle keys that keep him positive through any hardship.
- Always be Humble
- Be Willing to Work
- Help Out Your Fellow Man
- Educate Yourself Every Day
Then I understood his previous comment--by jogging, I was doing Number 5. Despite his circumstances, he was one of the most positive men I have ever met. I think the five keys Frank came up with can help us all see our day-to-day lives from a brighter perspective. Enjoy the "street wisdom."