The Impact of “Hiring the Right Person”.

· by Herb Dew

Herb is the CEO of HTI. He founded HTI in 1999 along with John Knight and David Sewell, and remains heavily involved in the organization today.
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I have placed or been involved in the placement of thousands of candidates over the years. I have witnessed hundreds of different hiring and selection processes. Some of these processes helped the company to select a person who was “right”. But many times the hiring process did not. The cost to the company of an unsuccessful hire is steep. Statistics show that companies hire the “right” person only 30% of the time. One in three. That means that two out of three times the person hired is either “not right” or mediocre.

Hiring a new person  into a company costs as much as $20k to $30k per placement. Sometimes with larger relocation packages this number is higher. Then factor in all the time it takes to train and familiarize a new person into their role. Most companies will say it takes 30-90 days for a person to get productive. Plus factor in the cost of every employee that spends their work time getting the new person up to speed.

And yet only one out of three times this investment pays off. Two out of three times it provides average or below average results.

Now factor in a really poor hire. What damage soes this person do before they are seperated? Its a huge potential cost if you lose a customer. Or if you face a big quality mistake. Or if the morale of a team this person works with is effected.

Hiring “the right person” starts with understanding what is “right” for your company, team and role you are filling. Start with looking at high performers you already have in your company. Benchmark their work habits and personality. Are they detail oriented? Or are they “run and gun”? Does the job require an outgoing personality? Does the person have to make alot of solo decisions in which good judgement has to be exhibited? What skills does the person HAVE to have and which skills would be nice but not necessary. How important is education. What kind of person fits your culture?

Now look at your hirng process. Does the process accurately assess these elements in the previous paragraph effectively?

I recently was a part of a company’s post interview process. I had no control over the interview process. As we gathered and dicussed the applicants interviews the previous day it was evident that each person on the interview team had THEIR OWN view of what they were wanting. There was no central expectation for what they wanted. So when discussing the pro’s and con’s of the candidate there was no baseline vision to go off of. In the end everyone asked “do we like him/her?” Some did, some didn’t. They hired her. Will she be successful? I don’t know. I hope so.

Are you hiring a person who is critical to your business? You will. Or you may be doing so now. My advice is that you take the time to review your hiring process and invest some time into understanding what a successful person in your company acts like. Pull your interview team together before hand and solicit their feedback. Outline what you have learned benchmarking some other successful employees. And agree as a team to 2-3 elements a person must show in order to be a “fit”.

The impact of hiring the “right person” has far reaching effect. The cost of hiring “the wrong person” is expensive and far reaching.

Herb Dew