Recruiting and Staffing

Hiring Wisdom: How to Hire the Wrong Person Every Time

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Here’s how to hire the wrong person every time — guaranteed.

  1. You only recruit when have an immediate need, so you don’t have a list of pre-screened candidates to call. Now you’re in “desperation hiring mode” – pressured to hire the first warm body that walks in the door.
  2. Your recruiting ads attract people who are looking for a job — any job — rather than people who really want to do the job you have to offer.
  3. You haven’t identified the particular Capacities (mental and physical), Attitudes, Personality traits, and Skills (also known as CAPS) needed to be successful on the job. (You can’t hit the target unless you know what it looks like.)
  4. You don’t ask your employees, vendors, business networks, family, and friends if they know of anyone who would be a good fit for the job. (Referrals are the No. 1, best source of new employees.)
  5. You don’t pre-screen applicants by phone to ensure they meet your minimum hiring requirements. (Reliable transportation, willing to work the hours needed for what you are willing to pay, etc.) This is a guaranteed way to spend wasted time in interviews with unsuitable applicants.
  6. You don’t test applicants for the needed CAPS; you just take their word that they will be able to do the job or just assume they can do it well because they did it somewhere else before.
  7. During interviews, you rely on gut instinct so, naturally, if you “like” an applicant, you look for reasons to hire them and, if you don’t “like” them, you look for reasons not to hire them. This way you get to be right (but you also often hire the wrong person for the job.)
  8. You tell applicants all about the job and what the ideal candidate looks like before you find out who they are and what they can do.
  9. You don’t plan for the interview. You just wing it and the inevitable result is that you hire the person with the best presentation skills rather than the person who is the best fit for the job.
  10. You don’t check references because you just assume that none of these people will tell you anything useful.

There you have it — the formula for frustration and failure. When the new hire doesn’t work out, you can go out and do it this way all over again OR you can reverse engineer the process and Hire Tough so you can Manage Easy.

This was originally published in the Febuary 2013 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.
  • Woody Daroca

    What’s CAPS? Don’t use jargon! From reading the comments on your other articles, you doing a good job NOT getting the job!

    • http://twitter.com/jameskkaiser James

      In point 3 he explains CAPS:

      “You haven’t identified the particular Capacities(mental and physical), Attitudes, Personality traits, and Skills (also known as CAPS) needed to be successful on the job. (You can’t hit the target unless you know what it looks like.)”

    • ThinkTwice

      Capacities, Attitudes, Personality, Skills – it’s explained in point 3) of the article. And next time count till 10 before you lose your temper…

  • Job Directory

    Excellent article, but 100% a fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dhdora Diego Dora

    Congrats for a great article!

  • Emilie from www.kiratalent.com

    Great read! I cannot tell you how many times these things apply. Working in a startup we are trained to make impulsive decisions for just about everything..even hiring! But by doing so you really fall into these traps without even noticing. I’d be curious to see how many startups in their early stages fall apart because of one bad hire leading back to these issues. In my experience video and assessment testing has also been a great way to screen through candidates instead of traditional phone screens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/meghana.halkatti Meghana Halkatti

    One of the perfect article ive read till now. Great Work…