Bad Hires Can Be Harmful to Your Reputation

Hiring decisions are among the most important decisions you will make as a manager. Staff that you hire not only contribute to daily operations but can also influence the culture, direction, reputation, and profitability of the organization.

In fact, a single bad hiring decision—especially at a senior level— can send ripples throughout an organization affecting employee morale, financial stability, and overall performance.

To add to the risks for you, most hiring decisions are highly visible. Your bosses and peers assess you in part by the quality of the people who work for you. Arguably the success of the people you hire will determine how successful you are as a manager. 

And let’s not overlook the costs of a bad hiring decision.

The costs associated with severance, recruiting and onboarding a new person, and lost opportunities while the position may remain vacant can be significant.

I think we can all agree that hiring is far more than just an administrative task.

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While hiring mistakes can never be completely avoided, there are errors that occur repeatedly. Here are the ones I see happen most often.

  • Conducting the interview process without clearly defining the job duties and the requirements needed to succeed in the job. Isn’t it obvious that if you do not know what you are looking for, the risk of hiring the wrong person is high? A well-written job description will identify duties and responsibilities, reporting relationships, academic or professional qualifications, technical skills and personal qualities needed in the job. It will also allow you to prepare interview questions in advance that you will ask of all candidates.
  • Judging candidates quickly. We all tend to form impressions quickly, but the reality is that you should seek out both positive and negative information and wait until you have completed the interview before making a decision.
  • Accepting resume information at face value. Unfortunately, some candidates will misrepresent or embellish the details on their resumes. Before making a job offer, you should verify all employment details, including positions held and dates of employment, as well as all educational details.
  • Rushing to hire. With labour shortages, it can be very tempting to hire the first person who comes along and meets the requirements. But jumping too quickly can be a trap. Getting the right person for the job will more than makeup for any inconveniences your team suffers in the short term. Take the time you need to hire properly. 
  • Making the hiring decision based only on the interview. No question the interview is the most important part of the hiring process. However, it does fail to consider valuable information gathered from other sources. Thorough reference checks, completion of personality assessment tests, and role-playing, all provide complementary evidence that will validate (or refute) the impression you have from the face-to-face interview.