Improving the Quality of New Hires


Great news! Your business is expanding! Sadly, the process of filling a position is rarely as straight forward as identifying that you need someone in the first place. How many times have you drafted a job description, posted the job across numerous platforms, sifted through resumes, conducted endless interviews, evaluated and shortlisted candidates, only to have them leave after a few months? There could be various reasons for a candidate leaving shortly after they’ve started – it may be a cultural misfit, a lack of productivity, or mismatched expectations.

Whatever the case, you often find yourself back at square one – with no other option but to start the hiring process all over again.

Why do companies end up making bad hires?

Recruiters think big at the top of the recruitment funnel and hire small at the bottom, often thinking this will lead them to that final, ideal candidate. A Forbes article makes an interesting observation – Hiring includes a lot of guessing… you are left trying to predict who could best do the job based on instinct and subjective preferences… One major problem with this process is the tendency to hire the best of the batch regardless of skill level.

The article further highlights that recruiters are often forced to simply pick ‘the best of a bad bunch’, just to put a stop to the endless cycle of resumes, phone calls and interviews. However, what many firms fail to realise is that hiring the wrong candidate leads to unnecessarily high turnover rates and can affect the company’s bottom line.

An article in the Harvard Business Review emphasised the above point, stating that 80% of staff turnover is due to bad hiring decisions. Furthermore, an article in City A.M. highlighted that bad hires cost UK businesses around £14,000 each.

So, how can you efficiently weed out the wrong candidates and improve the quality of people you hire?

Finding your hidden gems…

Create a compelling narrative

Right at the start of the recruitment process, your job advert determines whether or not you attract the best and brightest talent. According to Steve Jenner, a media spokesperson for the Plain English Campaign, “Fill your job descriptions with jargon and – strangely enough – you’ll attract candidates who think you need to speak like this to get the job… even worse still, someone who hasn’t really understood what the job entails is more likely to be appointed.”

Likewise, a job description which is filled solely with a list of skills and prerequisites fails to explain what your company defines as exceptional performance. A description like – Launch a new product line within 6 months, targeting 20% market share within 2 years – gives potential candidates a precise idea as to what the company expects of the new hire. Whereas a narrative like – Must have 5-8 years of product marketing experience in our industry plus an MBA from a prestigious university – doesn’t.

Your job advert should not only weed out the wrong candidates, but attract the best ones. Create persuasive career stories to describe the work profile and the impact that the candidate can make. Such descriptions must answer questions like – why would an employed person want this job? Why would a person who is thinking of leaving their current job, consider your job interesting? What will they be learning?

Optimise the online experience

Candidates expect the pre-hiring process to be easy and fast. Therefore, opting to have most of the pre-hiring process online will benefit both your business and those thinking of applying for a position.

Smartphones have the highest response rate when compared to other communication channels. Optimising your company’s website and the pre-hiring process for mobiles can help reduce your application drop-off rate of quality potential candidates.

But how can it help improve the quality of the hire? According to this article, optimising your website for mobile and incorporating a good mobile recruiting strategy helps attract passive candidates. It helps you develop a talent pool and recruit them when your company has an opening. “Recruiters should be active on social media, searching and building relationships with top candidates. 49% of recruiters who use social media in their efforts have found an improved quality of hire.”

Employee referral programmes

Employee referral programmes can be an effective tool in improving the quality of hires. Creating a robust programme helps leverage your best resource to attract the finest talent – your staff. Your staff have access to unlimited potential candidate leads via their social circles. They can also accurately assess the skills and abilities needed to succeed at your company. This means the new hires are often more suitable.

Still feeling sceptical? Findings by CareerBuilder reveal that 82% of employers rate employee referrals above all other sources for generating the best return on investment. Likewise, 88% of them rate such programmes above all other sources for quality hires.

There is no denying that refining your recruitment process is subject to trial and error. You can put a tremendous amount of time and resources into improving the process, yet still end up hiring someone who just isn’t right. At TalentSpa we can help take the guess work out of recruitment. TalentSpa is an online recruitment specialist that provides competitive, fixed price recruitment solutions. Having helped over 2500 organisations, we can help you with your recruitment needs.