guru Peter Drucker found that the typical executive has a success rate of only 50% when hiring employees.
What’s worse, researchers have shown that the average hiring mistake costs 15 times an employee’s base salary. For example, if you pay someone $100,000 a year and that individual proves a bad fit, the accrued productivity loss and other costs can total $1.5 million.
To improve your hiring, treat it as an ongoing pursuit. Follow these guidelines:
1. Cultivate relationships with high-potential stars, wherever and whenever you meet them. Stay in touch every few months, sharing ideas and updating them on your organization. That way, you can act quickly to woo them to fill a job opening that arises.
2. Ask for referrals from “A” players. Whenever you meet someone who impresses you, ask, “Can you recommend any talent?”
3. Look beyond the numbers. Many candidates boast about their strong results in their most recent job. That’s important, but dig deeper. Assess their track record going back a decade or more. What challenges did they attempt outside of their area of expertise? To what extent did they succeed or fail when taking calculated risks? Did they exhibit drive when facing long odds?
4. Gauge self-awareness. Say to candidates, “In six months we’ll know each other really well. Tell me upfront where you will excel and where you could do better.” Ideally, they should admit to strengths and weaknesses rather than brag.
— Adapted from “Managers Typically Only Make a Few Hires A Year,” Maynard Webb, www.linkedin.com.