This post was originally published by HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes on the LinkedIn Influencer blog. Follow Ryan on LinkedIn:
In the course of running my own businesses for more than two decades, I’ve done my fair share of hiring. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that one of the most costly, time-consuming blunders a business can make is picking the wrong person for the job.
How costly? The U.S. Department of Labor currently estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. That means a single bad hire with an annual income of $50,000 can equal a potential $15,000 loss for the employer.
Author: Ryan Holmes
Ryan Holmes has written 61 posts for the HootSource blog..
Ryan is HootSuite's CEO. He is a regular contributor to outlets such as Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and LinkedIn’s Influencer. He writes about social media, technology trends, and entrepreneurialism.
As an initial screening, I give candidates a real little project to do that's like the kind of work they will actually do, and tell them that if it takes them more than half an hour to complete it, they will really hate the job. I also give them some insight to help them grade themselves on it. This helps people to self-screen, and frightens away about 75% of applicants, maybe more. I've had to sit through far fewer painful interviews since I started doing this.
I've always been of the opinion that you should hire primarily for character, and secondarily for ability, and lastly for skill; skills can be taught. I also believe that if you have the slightest reservation about an interviewee, you should just exclude them from your process.
Great insight. From my experience hiring the right people at the right time makes all the difference in the world. Reference checks are a key step here. For important hires, I would seek out people in the industry or people who worked with the same employer to get my reference check done. Do not just rely on the references from people that are listed as their references (in fact I rarely call these people). This is especially true with foreign hires because without knowing the company, industry or people at the business, you are at the mercy of the person at the other end of the phone.