Faulty recruitment process. Who’s to blame?

Each and every company has to admit that they picked the wrong person for the vacancy at least once in their lifetime. It’s difficult to confess that we made a bad decision hiring Mr. Average who later proved to be a total misfit in the company, hard to get along with and delivering work results that everybody would rather forget about. Who’s to blame? It’s too easy to say the blame lies in the middle Is it down to the candidate’s auto presentation skills? We may assume that candidates deliberately put on a show and pretend someone who they actually are not to win our favors and get hired. Or is this a recruiter’s mistake who didn’t carry out the interview properly by using the wrong selection tools or badly formulated questions? Maybe the job description and requirements for the job were not sufficiently specified? I guess it’s quite safe to say that the blame always lies in the middle, but is it really true? It’s natural that the candidates come to interviews to sell themselves and show themselves in the best light. Can we blame them for acting like this? On the other hand, the recruiter’s job is to evaluate the candidate accurately and verify if they possess the desired competencies to perform new duties. Lack of proper communication On many occasions companies outsource the recruitment to external agencies. They do not monitor their work and do not get really involved in the process which leads to numerous misunderstandings and a different idea of the job requirements. These mistakes may later affect the whole recruitment process and the agency sending the wrong people. Preparation is essential To ensure a smooth and effective recruitment process we have created the job description that includes a comprehensive list of all competencies and soft skills of the candidate. Based on that we are able to construct a set of relevant behavioral-based questions that will let us assess if the candidate really fits the organization culture. Quality versus quantity Most recruiters use the number of years as screening criteria without realizing that the quality of experience outweighs the quantity in the majority of cases. The years of experience will not fully tell us about the passion for business nor the personal drive and motivation of the candidate. One interview is not enough Mostly a one hour interview is not enough to get to know the candidate thoroughly. That’s why let’s not forget about 2 stages of interview in order to obtain a more objective picture of the applicant. In order to increase the chances of hiring the right person it’s also worth using the following selection tools:
  • Psychological testing (to verify creativity, memory, flexibility, motivation, etc)
  • Intelligence tests
  • Work samples
  • Assessment centers (to verify the teamwork and leadership skills, stress-resistance)
  • Reference checks
Present the company culture It’s a faulty assumption that the interview is all about the applicant. It’s equally important that the employer presents the company mission, core values and its culture. It’s up to a recruiter to convince the applicant that this is the suitable company to work for. The passion must be mutual to ensure the long-lasting commitment which will result in a fruitful cooperation. Moreover, presenting the company culture is also necessary for the candidates to assess whether this is the right environment, in which they feel comfortable and can spread their wings Have you got any other examples of a failed recruitment process which led to hiring the wrong person? Can you share what consequences did you face?
  • Good points, Aga. In my opinion there are two most risky factors and the most difficult to manage at the same time:
    1. Screening the candidate’s competences (how can you check what he/she really can: leadership, teamwork, crativity etc.). Mostly, a test or an interview is not enough…. you have to “feel” it. The recruiter has to be able to verify when the candidate is telling the truth and when not.
    2. Giving the candidate the chance to get to know your company well enough to be able to decide whether it’s the place for him/her. When an employee feels right at work, then the work results are much better.

  • Good points, Aga. In my opinion there are two most risky factors and the most difficult to manage at the same time:
    1. Screening the candidate’s competences (how can you check what he/she really can: leadership, teamwork, crativity etc.). Mostly, a test or an interview is not enough…. you have to “feel” it. The recruiter has to be able to verify when the candidate is telling the truth and when not.
    2. Giving the candidate the chance to get to know your company well enough to be able to decide whether it’s the place for him/her. When an employee feels right at work, then the work results are much better.

  • Kasia, thanks for your comment. Fully agree. I guess that the only way to “feel” the candidate during the interview is to avoid asking hypothetical question and make the interview more behavioral, focusing on past experiences. But this will be the subject of my next post.

  • Kasia, thanks for your comment. Fully agree. I guess that the only way to “feel” the candidate during the interview is to avoid asking hypothetical question and make the interview more behavioral, focusing on past experiences. But this will be the subject of my next post.