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HIRING

Why your last hire failed and how to ensure success next time

It can be exasperating. After all that time spent interviewing and onboarding, your latest hire still didn’t work out and now you find yourself facing the process all over again. Why? What happened?

Well, according to recent research from Robert Half, aside from poor performance, failed hires are most likely a result of a mismatched skill set. Nearly four in 10 CFOs interviewed (38 percent) responded this way, up two percentage points from a similar survey conducted five years ago. And another 27 percent of executives think unclear performance expectations is the top reason new employees don’t work out.  

CFOs were asked, “Aside from poor performance, which one of the following factors is most likely to lead to a failed hire?” Following are their responses by company size*:

Number of Employees

Total

20-49

50-99

100-249

250-499

500-999

1,000+

Mismatched skill set

38%

39%

39%

32%

37%

40%

45%

Unclear performance expectations

27%

26%

26%

32%

26%

36%

21%

Personality conflicts

20%

21%

20%

20%

22%

19%

13%

Failure to fit into corporate culture

15%

15%

14%

15%

15%

5%

21%

100%

101%

99%

99%

100%

100%

100%

*Some responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

How to ensure success the next time

“Hiring is hard enough, but it’s even harder when you have to do it twice,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “Don’t impede your efforts by recycling old job descriptions. Develop a fresh overview for each opening, listing the skills required for candidates to be successful now and in the future.”

McDonald also advises companies to sell the sizzle when recruiting. “Promote why your business is a great place to work, emphasizing the organization’s mission, culture and career growth opportunities,” he said. “This, combined with a compelling, relevant job description, will help attract top performers who fit the firm’s needs.”

4 ways to avoid hiring the wrong person for the job

Robert Half offers these four tips to avoid making a bad hire:

  1. Identify the must-haves. Make a list of essential skills and those that can be learned through training. While technical expertise can help people land the job, it’s their soft skills that ensure they’re a fit for the company and can take on greater responsibilities.
  1. Don’t shortcut the reference check. Talk to candidates’ former managers to get a better sense of whether employees might do well at your firm. Ask about individuals’ work styles, strengths and areas for improvement.
  1. Get outside help. By tapping the extensive networks of a specialized recruiting firm, you gain access to a larger talent pool. A recruiter can help evaluate each job seeker based on the required skills and performance expectations and accelerate the hiring process.
  1. Act immediately. If you find a great applicant, move quickly and offer attractive compensation. Separate Robert Half research shows promising candidates lose interest when companies delay making a decision. Don’t prolong the process.

Editor’s picks:

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Compliance and protection top employers’ list of concerns in background screening trends survey


A telling way to interview job candidates


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