Archive for January, 2014

Avoid Paying for Bad Hires in 2014

January 23rd, 2014

paying for bad hiresThere’s an old adage in carpentry about how you will benefit if you “measure twice, cut once,” which speaks volumes about the importance of taking your time to do the job right the first time. It also applies to the decisions that you make when recruiting and hiring applicants for jobs at your organization.

Hiring managers need to take their time as they evaluate recruits to avoid paying for bad hires in 2014, as so many companies have done in the past year. Bad hiring decisions can amount to as much as 30 percent of a recruit’s earnings during the first year, notes the U.S. Department of Labor.

What’s more, besides becoming a drag on the company’s profits, a bad hire can reduce your team’s morale and productivity, as fellow employees have to take time out of their day to train a fellow worker who really has no business being at the company.

The cost of bad hires can quickly add up, according to a recent interview with Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos at Business Insider. Bad hires amount to the biggest category of mistakes, costing Zappos in excess of $100 million, said Hsieh.

The Zappos method for avoiding bad hires now includes using two sets of interviews, Hsieh said. The first set is conducted by the hiring manager, to determine if the potential candidate is a good fit for the team in terms of criteria such as relevant experience and technical ability. A second set of interviews serves to make sure that the job applicant fits in well with the company’s culture. People must pass both interviews before they can be hired.

Ultimately, the total costs of making a bad hire can really mount up. There are hiring costs, compensation and the cost of maintaining the employee. Combine this with disruption costs, a severance package and mistakes, missed business opportunities and failures that will wind up costing an organization as much as $840,000, using the example of a second-tier manager earning $62,000 per year who is terminated after 2.5 years, according to statistics provided by the Undercover Recruiter.

Techniques for Avoiding Bad Hires

Hiring managers have a variety of techniques they can implement to avoid making bad hires. For example, it never hurts to prepare “too much.” A great job applicant will do extensive research before coming in for interviews, and hiring managers should do the same. If you’re hiring for a technical position, it’s a good idea to speak with a member of your team who is an expert in the area to get specific advice on questions to ask the recruit, notes a recent article at Linkedin.

See how the applicant treats everyone in your company. Ask the receptionist whether the job seeker treated him or her courteously or rudely. This is a good way to see how candidates will fit in at your business. Combine this insight with any clues you can glean from the recruit’s social media pages, such as Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds.

To see if your candidates are paying attention, Business Insider recommends that recruiters insert an unconventional request in the job application, such as a list of three websites that the candidate often visits. The idea here is that if there is no response or only an incomplete answer, it’s not worth your time to conduct an interview.  By focusing more time on your recruitment techniques, you can avoid having to pay so much for bad hires in 2014.

Need to Hire Engineers Fast?

January 10th, 2014

Silicon Valley is filled with startups looking for the best engineers for their teams. With a growing number of startup companies, but no large increase in available engineers, the recruiting process for coveted talent has become highly competitive.

The Demand of Employee Recruitment

Many companies don’t have the extreme amount of time it often takes to hire the number of engineers they need for their team. According to an article published by TechCrunch, hiring 12 engineers over the course of the year would require 19 hours of recruitment a week. This process, according to TechCrunch, requires a dedicated staffing recruiter on the payroll and a well-considered recruitment plan to be successful:

Hiring is what enables you to execute your product roadmap. So, falling behind on recruiting is a competitive issue.

Crunching Numbers

The first part of a solid recruitment plan is to understand what candidate recruitment will really take. Without any thought as to the requirements, seeking new team members will be like shooting in the dark; no goals, no deadlines and no game plan.

A heavy part of the consideration should come from employee referrals and closing percentages; time hunting is greatly reduced by employees who are able to refer specific engineers for the job, but ultimately your effectiveness in hiring is what must be examined. The technical recruiter at Sequioia Bret Reckard believes that around 75 percent of job offers should be accepted for a company to feel like their recruitment is healthy and their hiring process is operating at premium efficiency.

Time-Saving Referrals

For startup businesses, no brand name means tougher recruitment processes. With major companies like Twitter part of the fray and paying their senior vice president of engineering over $10 million, startups may find the Silicone Valley scene daunting. TechCrunch points out:

To find one new engineer, you need to scour LinkedIn, GitHub and your employees’ networks to identify 100 people who appear to have the right skills. Of those, maybe 10 people will be interested and open to a job change. After hours on the phone and countless cups of coffee, you’ll have a small pool of candidates.

Referrals allow you to skip these early stages of recruiting—the candidate’s contact at your company did that for you.

All Hands on Deck

This doesn’t mean an open door policy for employee referrals—this means a systemized and company-wide approach to getting new leads for possible candidates. Employees should be a part of regular meetings for listing the best engineers they’ve previously worked with, attended school with or have met in their business networking.

From a streamlined hiring process to the atmosphere of the work environment, businesses should make sure an efficient and positive structure is in place from the very first contact with each candidate.