Main in gray suit smiling, arms crossed.

It might go without saying, but making good hiring decisions is critical to a company’s success.

Employees are a direct reflection of the company they work for, so a bad fit could create a whole host of problems ranging from conflict in the workplace to loss of revenue from poor job performance. By some estimates, the average U.S. employer spends about $4,000 and 52 days to hire a new worker, so it’s in a company’s best interest from both a production and financial standpoint to get it right the first time.

So, what can you do as a manager to improve the hiring process? Here are a few tips:


Know what you want. The first step to making a good hiring decision is to know what you are looking for. You need to take the time to make a thorough job description so that you know exactly what the role involves.


Don’t shortchange the hiring process. All too often, organizations are hiring under pressure, which means they are prone to making hasty decisions. Avoid this as much as possible. Be proactive.


Be objective. Structured interviews are key to making a good hiring decision. You need to set a level playing field in which you ask each candidate the same questions – this way you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to decision time.


Know the skill set that is necessary, and know what skills can and cannot be taught. For example, it can be argued that it’s more important to have good people skills and good communication skills than it is to already know specific software programs or processes. When interviewing, ask questions that can provide insights to the applicants’ behavior and personality, not just their technical ability.


Look in the right places. To recruit the right talent, you need to look in the right places. Many hiring managers report that employee referrals have a much better success rate in recruiting. The applicant-to-hire ratio for employee referrals is 10-1, whereas it takes 72 applicants from traditional sources to make one hire. Staffing agencies, like The Lee Group, also have access to a wide reach of applicants to help connect your open position to the right person.


Don’t underestimate the importance of cultural fit within the organization. For example, if the organization values innovation and creativity and has an expectation that every employee will bring new ideas to the table on a regular basis, look for that skill in potential new hires, and avoid hiring someone who would prefer to be given instructions to fill all activities for the day without any innovation or new ideas.


When you’re ready to make an offer, make sure it’s appropriate for the individual and in alignment with the market. It’s frustrating to go to all of the effort to find the ideal candidate, only to have that person walk away from the offer because it’s too low or doesn’t meet expectations. Do research in advance. The Lee Group’s Executive Search team spends a lot of time understanding what positions are offering nationwide. Contact them for support when hiring for a specific position.


When you hire someone, give him or her the training needed to succeed. Yes, it takes time and money, but it’s well spent to get the new hire trained and get him or her to full productivity faster.


When a new hire doesn’t work out, take action. Find out if others share this opinion. See if there are ways to improve the situation, such as training or coaching. Provide frequent feedback. But if all that fails, consider either moving the person to a role that’s a better fit or consider termination before the problem worsens if none of the above will work.

Let us take the guesswork out of hiring decisions. The Lee Group staffing resources will work hard to bring the right employees to you.

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