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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Nine Weak Hiring Methods

Hiring people is a tricky process with which most have a less than stellar success rate. What is even more difficult is hiring superior performers. One bad hire can lower productivity, kill a major customer relationship or inject poison into your morale. The average hiring mistake costs a company $1.5 million or more and countless wasted working hours.  This is even more striking when you realize the hiring success rate for the typical manager is only 50% and only 25% of candidates hired or promoted turn out to be superior high-achieving performers.

Mistakes in hiring can be difficult to detect during the interview process. People who interview well have a lot of practice in interviewing. They can exaggerate or be less than forthcoming, and many managers can possibly be relying on outdated methods that perhaps seem effective, but don’t produce enough good information until you learn you have made a mistake.

9 Weak Hiring Methods

1. Quick Appraisal Method

Some people believe they can “size up” candidates quickly within just a few minutes, as if they know the secret warning signs of good and bad performers. People who think they are naturally equipped to to read people on the fly are setting themselves up to be fooled big time.

2. Tribal Interviewing Method

Sometimes a common approach among busy managers is to let everybody interview a candidate and soak up whatever they can. This is Method #1 multiplied by people and inaccuracy.

3. The Prosecuting Method

Some interviewers go at a candidate like a prosecuting attourney, aggresively questioning them, attempting to trip them up with some sort of question or logic problem. So, even if you find someone who can answer the questions correctly, there’s a large gap between knowledge and ability. The space between what someone can know and what someone can do can sometimes be oceanic.

4. Bend Over Backwards To Impress Method

This hiring manager is more concerned with impressing the candidate than assessing their skills and capacities. They are all talk and hardly any listen. They will land a lot of candidates, but the really good performers are few and far between.

5. The Left-Field Trick Method

This manager might throw a paper wad on the floor just to see if the candidate is willing to pick it up. Yes, I’m very serious.

6. The Pet Question Method

These managers will be stubborn about their particular favorite questions, because they think these questions reveal something unique about the person. Most of these questions lack any relevance or scientific basis and they are utterly useless as any kind of guide to predicting superior performance.

7. The Friend Method

Yes, some managers base all their methodology on whether or not they think they could be friends with the candidate. You are supposed to be picking a superior performer to build the company, not planning how fun parties and happy hours could be with this person.

8. The Free Test Method

Ah, my favorite pet peeve. We have this free test that we use to evaluate people. Stop. Please. First of all, never use a “test”, it’s an assessment of key factors, not a pass/fail. Only use something that clearly assesses what you need to know about the candidate’s match with the job. You should know specifically what the job outcomes, competencies, behaviors, motivators and needs are first before you assess a candidate with a validated assessment.

9. The Magic 8-Ball Method

You pick up the ball, you turn it over and read the prediction of the future of this candidate. The way this is usually achieved is by asking the candidate. No, I’m not kidding. Interviewers will actually ask the candidate to predict the future of the job at hand by asking hypothetical questions. It’s not the talk you are looking for, it’s the walk.

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