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How to avoid the frustration and cost of a bad hire

Sep 02, 2021

Chris Beckage
Chris Beckage

The cost of a bad hire extends to more than an organization’s bottom line, and it’s a risk easily avoided with proper qualification strategies in place during the recruitment process.  

Recruiting, hiring and training new employees is arguably one of the most critical aspects to an organization’s success, and the cost of selecting and onboarding the wrong candidate is an expensive one -- about 30 per cent of an employee’s first year salary. Yet, the true cost of a bad hire can extend to affecting company morale, security and privacy, culture and employer branding. 

To avoid the frustration and cost of a bad hire, it’s important to take turnover into consideration: Why is it happening?  

In today’s tight, candidate driven labor market, it’s increasingly difficult to get the right person in the right place at the right time. Yet, when it’s a race to fill roles and complete projects, unqualified talent has a tendency to slip through the cracks – and it all starts with their resumes.  

The reality of resumes and the cost of a bad hire

More often than not, onboarding unqualified talent is the cause of high turnover in most organizations. And recruiting the wrong candidate begins with HR professionals making hiring decisions based on a resume alone. 

However, the reality is, relying strictly on a candidate’s resume is a mistake that’s too often made. 

Resumes can’t be verified 

A candidate’s resume will highlight their skills, accomplishments and experience, but it doesn’t reveal the core competencies. For instance, how does the candidate problem solve, are they capable of making data-driven decisions, how do they overcome the weaknesses not listed on their resume? Resumes can’t be verified until a trained Hiring Manager can qualify the skills and experience listed by asking probing questions during the interview process.  It’s important to remember that resumes are written to highlight strengths, and a deeper dive during the interview process is required to truly qualify the right fit.

When screening resumes, below are a few tactics that can help assess whether a candidate has the skills and experience listed: 

Check for resume vagueness

A candidate's resume will be as detailed as the amount of years of experience they have. A qualified candidate should have the relevant keywords to match the skill set that their Hiring Manager is seeking. If the resume is too general and is not specifically tailored to the position they are applying to, it is very likely that they are applying to multiple jobs and waiting for the first fish to bite.

Candidates may also include lots of "noise" in a resume to distract the Hiring Manager from their lack of actual experience. Noise can entail run-on sentences, irrelevant information, exaggerations, and ambiguity.

Assess for deceiving employment dates

Dates on a resume can often be deceiving, especially if dates are stretched out to appear as longevity in a position only to cover up employment gaps. Running verification checks with the candidate‘s previous employer can debunk these cover-ups and give more insight into who your candidate is.

Long periods of freelance work with a personal company name may seem convenient to a Hiring Manager, however; it can also show the inability to acquire a job. Pay close attention to the dates, and ensure that freelance work is paired with other employment. If not, verify with your candidate the clients that they worked for while freelancing.

Leverage LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn as a primary channel to pre-screen candidates, and ensure all dates and company names match up to the information they have sent you. Candidates are more likely to be honest with their profiles, as they'll have connections with their previous companies and coworkers. Are there any companies listed on the resume that you do not recognize? Unrecognizable company names can either mean that they are illegitimate companies or nonexistent. Run Google checks on the names of companies that you do not recognize and asses their online presence.

Put their skills to the test

"Skill stretching" is common. Often times, candidates who used an application a couple of times or only in school might have it appear as a professional skill on their resume. Highlight these skills and inquire where and when they were used. If needed, send them a test or offer a real-life scenario and have them walk through it with you. It’s also important for Hiring Managers to seek reasons for departure. Was it career growth? Do they have any regrets - in the interview for their previous role, did the candidate wish they asked better probing questions of their own to determine if that opportunity was the right fit? 

Ensuring Hiring managers are properly qualifying candidates and then selling the role with compelling reasons why candidates should want to join the company are critical to success – and avoiding the frustration and cost of a bad hire.  

As more organizations begin to re-open and employers begin to unveil their COVID-19 vaccination policies, Procom surveyed 1000+ full-time and contingent workers asking what their expectations are when it comes to remote work, COVID-19 vaccination preferences and workplace safety measures, childcare and more.  

Request a complimentary copy of the Voice of Talent report to get insights into what attracts talent in a post-pandemic world of work.  

Request report

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