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3 Best Practices to Avoid Making a Bad Hire

Some studies predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs six to nine months’ salary on average, while others predict the cost is even more, especially when it’s a bad hire. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “The cost of a bad hire to an organization is five times the bad hire’s annual salary.” For an employee making $40,000 annually, that’s $200,000 in recruiting and training expenses down the proverbial drain.

It should come as no surprise that screening candidates before hire is a crucial task; if done wrong, it can be catastrophic. But if done right, an organization has the potential to add millions to its bottom line.

With increasing applicant volume, online recruiting quickly can overwhelm recruiters and HR staff, yet the stakes to select the most-promising candidates are extremely high. It is no secret that hiring smart leads to success, growth and sustainability for organizations, so screening candidates before hire is a must. Screening offers a cost-effective way to recruit qualified individuals. A need exists for tailored screening solutions and the following are best practices to fit perfectly within your recruiting strategy.

Narrow the Playing Field

According to Unbridled Talent, 30% of all Google searches, about 300 million per month, are employment-related. With the talent pool ever-growing, recruiters have to find creative solutions for identifying top talent. With knockout questions, candidates are filtered through the system based on criteria used to merit further consideration. Recruiters create questions that eliminate candidates who aren’t qualified for the position. The mandatory requirements are set before the requisition period begins, so no additional action by the recruiter is necessary.

Uncover the Facts

Background checks are growing in popularity as employers wade into the area of employment screening – especially when you consider the rise in fraudulent behavior. A recent SHRM study uncovered the reality: 53% of the resumes and job applications they reviewed contained falsifications, including misleading statements, altered employment dates and inflated salary claims. Background checks help employers to nail job candidates who lie on their resumes or on social media.

The use of social-media platforms for candidates isn’t always favorable, with one in 10 job seekers losing an opportunity because of a social-media profile. You’ve heard or seen the stories of employees getting fired for controversial posts, yet many people don’t realize that what you say and do on social media can keep you from getting hired at all. For recruiters, social media has become a great utility for screening candidates; in fact, a recent CareerBuilder survey reported that 37% of hiring managers use social media to look into job candidates. It’s clear this new tactic is here to stay, so as long as people make information “public,” everything is fair game.

Use Employee Referrals

Employee referrals remain a powerful recruiting tool. Well-designed programs identify top performers, but also require employees to assess candidates for skills and fit. If your organization isn’t getting at least 50% of hires from employee referrals, consider making some adjustments. The benefits that come from a referral program are hard to ignore.

We’ve already discussed how finding quality talent is no easy task, but referral candidates can be five times more likely to get hired and, in addition, have significantly higher retention rates. Higher-quality candidates mean great things for production costs, as they get up to speed faster and perform with efficiency.

If after reading this, you are considering redesigning your recruiting efforts, focus your limited time and resources on these best practices. You have one chance to get it right. Fortunately, all the data indicates the above as the best approaches to take.