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In Part 1, we discussed six areas that may be causing breaks in your hiring process.  Here we address six more issues that can cause the interview and hiring process to fail and tips on how to address them to fix your broken process:

7.  Failure to Check References

Many companies fail to ask for references, let alone check them.  Taking that time out to call a reference can tell you a lot about a candidate.

There’s lots of information that can be read between the lines on a call with a reference.  You can tell by their tone if they are genuine in their support of a candidate or just repeating a rehearsed bit across the phone line.

You can also tell a lot about the candidate: did they ask the person to be a reference or just write their name down.  You don’t know how many reference calls I’ve made and the other person has asked me to repeat over and over again, who gave me their name and what this was in reference to.

If you had questions about any of the candidate’s experience, also use the time to verify any points made by the candidate during the interview.

Additionally, be sure to do your fact checking to make sure the references are real and the phone numbers and email addresses are actually those of the person listed and what their relationship to the  candidate is.  If a candidate would lie about a reference, what else would they lie to you about.

And, don’t be afraid to reach out to your own network to find out about a candidate and their work experience if you might share some of the same connections.  Sometimes getting more objective feedback can help put your view of the candidate in perspective.

8.  Poor Social Strategy/Online Presence

If your company has a poor online presence (and similarly a poor social media strategy) it could be doing your organization a disservice.

One of the first places a candidate goes to research a potential employer is online to the company’s website and social sites.  Without a presence, some great hires could simply dismiss your company for what appears to them as an inability to move forward with technology and time.

If you do have an online presence, make sure it clearly represents the company, it’s culture, it’s products and services, and it’s values.

Remember to check the site for usability, for working links, and for typos and misspellings!  You check a resume for these types of things, don’t think a candidate doesn’t judge a company for the same issues.

Maybe you do have an online presence but make sure you are making full use of the outlets you are utilizing.  Is there a career page on your company website that provides useful information?  Are you reaching out to job seekers via sites like twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn?  Do you have a strategy in place to connect with candidates (who are also potential customers) and customers (who are also potential candidates)?

Don’t just be online, make your online strategy work for you.

9.  Setting the Bar for the Impractical

How often have you read a job description and thought to yourself, “Who on earth could fit all those requirements?!”

Make sure when you’re writing a job description or setting expectations that you are being realistic about the requirements (the needs) for the role and your wants (the bonuses.)

Make sure the job description is practical!  This has especially been a problem in the tech sector in the past decade, as new coding languages come out and you will see job descriptions asking for 10+ years of experience with a particular code language when it’s only been around for 3 years.

Also, sometimes hiring managers will write descriptions based on the background of a person who formerly held a position.

This can set you up for failure trying to look for a unique background to fit a role, especially when the person might have actually been doing the role of 2 or 3 people because they just happened to have certain experience and took on additional work that became part of their job.

Understand what’s critical to the role and get a second or third opinion on the job description and what’s needed to fill the position.

10.  Not Screening for Key Differentiators (Motivation, Enthusiasm, Culture.)

Many unseasoned interviewers only identify if the candidate is able to do the job–if they have the required skill sets and experience.

They fail to look deeper into the candidate’s motivations for applying for the role and if they fit into the company’s culture.

Make sure you are hiring candidate’s who are enthusiastic about the work and not just a paycheck.  If they are just interested in a paycheck, you can be sure they will jump ship at the next best job offer.

Culture is also a part that is missing in many hiring process.  Sometimes, it’s not about just screening a job seeker for fit with the company’s culture, but about a company not taking the time to define and support the culture they have built.

Do you know what your company’s culture is?  Do you know what company values in an employee?  What defines your company in the industry?  And, are these things promoted within the company or is it the word of one recruiter or hiring manager against the hiring process?

11.  Not Setting Clear Expectations in the Interview Process

Part of finding the right applicant for a position is setting clear job expectations during the interview process.  Many interview processes only take into account assessing the candidate’s abilities without fully disclosing what a ‘day in the life’ looks like, what tasks they will be performing, what percentage of their time will be focused on various projects, etc.

If expectations aren’t set from the time of the interview, you could be setting a new hire up for failure from day one.

While this can often be corrected during the onboarding process, it’s requires more time and resources, and can leave your new employee feeling disillusioned and taken advantage of.

Get your employees on your side before they’re employees.  Provide more transparency in the job interview and it will not only make for better hires, but weed out prospective employees not up for the job at hand.

12. Making Rushed Hiring Decisions

Too often we hear the cries of how little time we have to devote to hiring new employees.  A good rule of thumb:  If you don’t have the time to devote to it, don’t make a hire!

It may sound harsh, but you waste more time, money, and resources dealing with (or replacing) a bad hire made by a rushed decision than if you had taken the appropriate time to focus on addressing the need.

If you really don’t have the time, talk to your current team to find solutions.  Maybe it’s everybody pitching in for two weeks on a big project until things ease up and you can focus.  Maybe it’s delegating the hiring to another staff member, or perhaps even delegating much or the process to a vendor or search firm.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average “bad hire” that leaves a company within six months costs the company approximately $40,000 in severance pay, training, wasted human resource time, possible search firm fees, loss of productivity and impact on employee morale.

So if you think that it’s okay to fill you company’s need with the first resume that crosses your desk that looks decent because you need bodies, think again.

If you’re hiring process is broken, don’t just sit and point fingers, change it!  Most of the biggest problems with the interview and hiring process can be fixed with small alterations or adjustments or just a little more attention in critical areas.

If your process is still broken after making a few changes, the problems might not just lie in the hiring process but in larger issues with the company.  Assess your process today and identify the snags and how you can fix them before you pay the price of a bad hire.

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