February 28, 2013
Tips to avoid 'buyer’s remorse' in the hiring process
man hiring

One in eight new employees were failures in the last 12 months, and half of new employees were disappointed with their decision to accept a job, according to Development Dimensions International’s (DDI) latest global research on hiring trends.

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“There is a great paradox in that both unemployment and the number of open positions hover at uncomfortably high levels—and simultaneously, organizations and candidates are shaky about the decisions they made in staffing and accepting roles…,” said Scott Erker, PhD, senior vice president for DDI’s Selection Solutions and co-author of the study, 2012 Global Selection Forecast (www.ddiworld.com/gsf2012), which was conducted in partnership with Oracle.

Here is some advice—gleaned from DDI’s research—to help ensure a good fit between applicants and the jobs they are hired to fill:

  • Dig deep. Nearly one-third of surveyed staffing directors cited overreliance on hiring managers’ evaluations as the top reason for hiring mistakes, while 21 percent pointed to candidates overselling their own skills. “An unpleasant surprise after a candidate becomes an employee is that the new hire just is not cut out for the job. The shame of it all is that information about candidates goes undiscovered in the selection process,” Erker said. “Hiring managers need to go farther below the surface to really get to the truth about an employee’s fit for the job.”
  • Paint a realistic picture. “One way to avoid quick quits is to be real in describing what it will be like on day 5, 50, and 150 for that candidate during the interviewing process. Painting a rosy picture or pulling a bait-and-switch once they’re on the job will just mean you’ll fill that position again in 6 to 12 months,” he said.
  • Revamp your interviewer-training program. Less than 30 percent of survey participants reported that they are satisfied with their training program for interviewers, and the same number rated their hiring managers as being skilled at conducting high-quality interviews. In addition, the DDI reported that “[l]ess than two-thirds of staffing directors reported that their interview guides are based on an identified set of competencies for the role they’re hiring.”

Tip: Filling a position quickly is only a short-term fix, if the applicant is underqualified or overqualified for the job—or if he or she has different expectations for the role than you do. Taking steps in advance to make sure hiring managers and job applicants alike have a clear picture of what each has to offer the other will save your organization time—and money—in the long term.


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