Imagine you take on a new recruit whose key role is to:
After a few months you discover that, despite performing well at interview, this person avoids answering the telephone, can't update the website, is unable to write blogs and can't get to grips with a database.
With a sinking feeling you realise that this recruitment mistake has caused your business to regress at least 6 months.
Let’s consider the extent of the damage.
How has this recruitment mistake affected the business?
Staff are stressed
During the first 2 weeks, several of the team took time out of their client facing activities to onboard and train the new recruit.
After this, it was expected they would be able to work relatively unsupervised and the team would be available to answer questions and give further guidance.
However, it transpired that the new recruit needed constant support and attention, which was a distraction that became more and more frustrating to the team.
The benefit of the doubt was given that this was just a learning curve issue and the new recruit would be up to speed very soon.
The inability of the recruit to perform their tasks meant that the team had to work longer hours to cover the work, resulting in their own work suffering and client deadlines being missed.
Understandably, they weren’t happy about this and the atmosphere changed from being friendly, vibrant and laid back to being tense and snappy.
The company received its first complaint from a client for tardy and poor quality delivery.
Then a second complaint was made about unfriendly responses to phone queries.
The complaints triggered a weekly progress meeting. It became obvious that a lot of time was being redirected towards supporting the recruit, who was struggling to get to grips with their tasks and responsibilities. The recruit said they were enjoying being part of the team, liked the job but needed more time to settle into the role. This carried on for several more months.
One of the clients who complained decided to take their business elsewhere and a large prospect didn’t sign the contract that had been previously indicated to be a ‘done deal’.
What went wrong in the recruitment process?
There wasn’t one.
The new recruit had been recommended by a friend of a friend.
No job advertisement had been posted
No other candidates interviewed.
This new recruit had been asked a few brief questions about their blog writing, familiarity with websites and telephone answering experience.
The manager had loved the bubbly personality of the candidate, who had answered the questions ‘extremely well’, but there was no evidence that this person would be good at the marketing and administrative role.
What can be learned from this recruitment mistake?
Just because you believe you are a good judge of character does not mean that you do not need a recruitment process.
Although the candidate had come across well at interview and talked confidently about their telephone skills, website knowledge, blog writing abilities and understanding of databases, there was no evidence of these capabilities.
With the use of focused, probing questions it would have been possible to verify the candidate’s responses.
As well as questioning, practical tests could have been set during the process to ensure they could do the job.
There are lots of engaging ways to assess candidates’ skills and qualities in addition to an interview, which would avoid making such a costly recruitment mistake.
If you’d like to recruit the right people who can do the job that’s required of them, email Ali or call on 07971511731.