3. Having too many people involved in the interviewing process . . . and the wrong ones. More than a number of studies have shown that hiring is just as successful when one person, the one with the “pain” (i.e., the direct manager), is the only person involved in the hiring process as opposed to more than one. In fact, other studies have shown that once the number of people in the interviewing and hiring process exceeds three, the probability of a bad hire is greater. The reason so many people are usually involved in the interviewing and hiring process is that people, naturally, want to spread the risk. So if it turns out to be a poor hire, people can justify their decision with “Well, you interviewed him too!” Few people have the courage to interview and hire alone and take the responsibility one way or the other, even though better hiring decisions would probably be made.
. . . and the wrong ones. Relying on people to screen, interview, or have a say in the hiring who have no personal, working benefit from the potential new hire’s performance (i.e., their position is in jeopardy if a poor hire is made) is a big mistake. Most managers will claim that hiring good people is the second or third most important function they have, right behind making a profit. We can never figure out why, if this is so, hiring authorities will delegate screening or interviewing of candidates to people, although wonderful people, who have no direct experience, knowledge, or “skin” in the position to be filled. “But I don’t have time to look at résumés and interview all those people,” is what we hear. Well, if hiring is one of a manager’s most important functions, he or she should take the time and make the effort to do the whole job from start to finish. How can they afford not to?
4. Process takes too long. The average manager thinks that it takes about 30 days to fill a vacant position. Try the truth: between 90 and 120! Why? Because folks drag things out that should be simple - not easy, but simple. When the hiring process takes too long, good candidates are lost to more decisive companies, managers look inept at hiring, and it gets harder and harder to fill the vacancy. Managers, again, don’t give this the priority status needed - shown by action, not lip service. Time kills! The “shelf life” of quality candidates is shorter and shorter.
5. Poor interviewing techniques. If hiring authorities would simply write out a simple (or complicated) list of questions and ask every candidate the same questions, record the answers, and compare the responses - quickly - hiring decisions would be easy to make.
“Tell me about yourself” is the first question down the wrong road. Most employers start with that, ask random questions to “get to know the candidate,” make notes on the résumés, and then three weeks later try to compare the candidates. They often spend hours with candidates and don’t remember the differences between them.
A structured, disciplined interview technique that is applied to every candidate in exactly the same manner is the only real way to compare candidates. It is so simple and yet so seldom practiced. (We have samples of structured interviews for the asking.)
Click here to read part 3 of this article