When you get a group of human resources professionals together, it’s possible that the conversation will turn toward our “nightmare” stories. You know, the moments when you’ve thought you had seen everything until that incident happened. I’m sure every profession has their own horror stories. I can tell you from experience, HR has some of the best.
With Halloween celebrations coming up this week, our friends at HireRight decided to share a few hiring nightmares with us. With all of the media reports about bad CEO behavior, I thought “The Specter of the Un-screened Executive” was particularly timely.
All kidding aside, organizations do need to protect themselves and one of the ways to do that is with a thorough selection process.
Establish selection criteria. It’s so much easier to take a few moments on the front end to discuss selection criteria than to find out after a whole bunch of interviews that the hiring manager isn’t on the same page. When an opening occurs, buy your hiring manager a cup of coffee and discuss the KSAs for the job and a sourcing strategy.
Ask good interview questions. This applies to everyone in the process. Interviewing is hard. Managers who haven’t interviewed for a while might want a refresher (and they could be reluctant to ask for one). Have some pre-designed interview questions ready to help managers out.
Get multiple people involved. I believe it doesn’t help employees if the only two people they know on Day One is HR and their manager. Yes, more interviews take extra time but they also allow employees to start building relationships. Exactly what they need to be successful.
Don’t rush the process. The hiring process can’t drag along either. But I’ve seen plenty of managers speed up the process and make bad hiring decisions because they felt that they were racing the clock. Adding a couple of days to get the right candidate makes sense for all.
And conduct a comprehensive background screening. Once you find a great candidate, verify their background. Instead of thinking that background checks are to catch deception, consider it as confirming what’s already been discussed.
I wish I could say that every hire is going to be a perfect one. We both know that’s not true. Even when we think we’ve done all the right things, stuff happens. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to mitigate potential risk. Organizations just can’t afford the cost of a bad hire.15