new hire

How Do Your Hiring Practices Stack Up?

Congratulations, your company is doing well and you’re ready to expand! It’s time to hire some fresh talent and move into the next stage of growth. But you’re worried about the potential cost of a bad hire — how do you ensure that you choose the right candidate?

The first step is to take a look at your hiring practices and ask a few simple questions:

1. Do you have a clear picture of what a good hire looks like?

We all have an idea of what a bad hire looks like. They’re bad communicators, they drop the ball on assignments. A bad hire is easy to spot — in retrospect. But what we often fail to realize is that a bad hire looks different from one organization to the next. The factors that make someone a star hire at Company X might be the exact qualities that make him a terrible choice for Company Z. That’s why it’s crucial for organizations to identify the core competencies needed for success as part of your team.

Before posting that job description, it’s important to have a clear, written depiction of what your new hire looks like. Take into account organizational culture and what skills are needed to thrive within your company. For example, does your new hire need to be able to follow directions, or is it better to have an innovator? Will they collaborate with the team, or is independent-mindedness a necessary trait? And don’t underestimate how your new hire’s interpersonal skills might (or might not) mesh with those of existing team members.

2. Do you use assessment tools?

Now that you know what your ideal candidate looks like, how will you measure for must-have competencies? A résumé, interview, and recommendations are great starting points, but for best results we recommend a time-tested, scientific method: assessment.

Using assessment tools to measure new hires is a great way to test for critical thinking, job competencies, and culture fit. Even Google agrees!

New hire assessments allow you to test for critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as leadership potential and interpersonal skills. Once you put together your list of core organizational competencies, assessment can also help determine to what degree a new hire will fit in with your company’s culture. In short, assessments take much of the guesswork out of hiring by using empirical data and expert insight to determine the best candidates for your organization.

3. Do you have an established onboarding procedure for new hires?

Once you’ve secured your dream candidate, how are you setting her up to succeed? Have you given her the office tour, reviewed her training schedule, or sat down to share the mission and vision of your company? Remember that a new hire, even a great one, will likely still have her résumé out on the market.

According to Aberdeen Group, 86% of new hires make their decision about whether or not to stay at a company within the first six months. With that in mind, it’s important for your company to make a good first impression if you want to retain your new employee. Start off on the right foot with a solid onboarding procedure.

A robust onboarding procedure should go beyond the basic new employee orientation. While most companies will provide information on benefits, payroll, and company policies, these alone are not enough to ensure a smooth and welcome transition onto your team. Successful onboarding should consider what information the new hire needs to get quickly up to speed, such as an overview of the organizational chart or information about your competitors. And if the new hire is moving for the position, what resources have you provided to make him (and his family) feel comfortable in his new city? And of course, the process of integrating a new employee into the team doesn’t stop after the first month. If your new hire shows leadership potential, consider providing an extra push with executive coaching or participation in a leadership development workshop.

Once you’ve put together a clear description of your ideal hire, assessed your candidates, and provided a stellar onboarding experience to your new employee, you’ll greatly increase your team’s chances for success.

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