Most companies have a challenge when adding people to their organization. Too often, leaders hire based on the applicant’s experience, a belief the applicant can deliver on the job description, or (worst of all) their own convenience.
Years ago, I read an interview of then-CFO of Home Depot, Carol Tomé (now CEO of UPS). When asked about her biggest mistake at Home Depot, she replied, “I will say through the years, I’ve made a bad hire because I was anxious to fill the role. Even though my gut was telling me this may not be the right person, I went ahead and made the hire. And then, sadly, it didn’t work out. So, I’ve learned to slow it down.”
Evaluate your process for hiring people into your organization, then make adjustments based on the attributes, characteristics, and personal values you seek in the people you hire.
Any hiring mistakes can be extremely costly and potentially damaging to your culture and credibility. Here are a few suggestions on how you can minimize them:
- Think about the people you have hired who worked out and the ones who didn’t, then explore and understand why you got that result. Incorporate what you’ve learned into your hiring process.
- Get crystal clear on the desired attributes, characteristics, qualities, and personal values you want, then be patient in finding a candidate who fits. First hire people with integrity and then train or coach them on the skills needed to successfully perform the job.
- Avoid hiring only a warm body just to do the job or get the task off your plate.
- Update your job postings to reflect today’s pool of candidates accurately. Writing a more diverse and less restrictive posting gives you a larger pool to draw from.
As a leader, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, so choose carefully.