One day out of five can be spent managing poor employees, according to a recent poll of CFOs, who estimated that supervisors spend about 17 percent of their time managing poorly performing hires.
Paul McDonald, senior executive director of the staffing and recruiting company Robert Half International, highlighted some of the problems that come from bad hires in an interview Wednesday. It takes an average of about five weeks to fill a staff-level position, and seven and a half weeks to fill a management position, according to executives surveyed by his company. That time can be wasted if the new hire turns out to be poorly vetted and unprepared for the job.
Robert Half has a new infographic outlining the problem, entitled “Ouch! The Surprising Costs of a Bad Hire.” O stands for opportunity costs, U for unhappy workers, C for compensation and other expenses, and H for hiring time. You can see it below.
McDonald emphasized the importance of not skimping on the due diligence before hiring a new employee. “When we look at an employee, we look at the skill sets,” he said. Those skills can include technology, accounting, legal, creativity and other areas.
Many companies have automated technology on their job and career boards that will scan the resumes submitted to them looking for keywords that indicate the kinds of skills they are seeking. But while technology can help, it’s also important to go through the job candidate’s background carefully, McDonald recommended. That includes calling their references, checking them out with former co-workers, and talking to other members in the professional organizations they claim to belong to, such as Financial Executives International or the New Jersey Society of CPAs.
Oftentimes, employers will do a Google search on a job candidate and check out their LinkedIn profile to make sure it matches their resume, which it usually does.
With the unemployment rate in the accounting and finance industry at a mere 3.5 percent, compared to more than double that percentage across the U.S. economy, it is often tempting for employers to act quickly before a job seeker decides to go elsewhere. But McDonald advises employers not to skip any of the steps in the hiring process or overlook their due diligence, or they could end up regretting a hasty hiring decision. Recruiters like Robert Half can help them find candidates, and they can also get help from HR trade associations like the Society for Human Resource Management.
If the job candidate is too busy to make it to an in-person meeting, try doing a Skype video conference so you can meet face-to-face at least over the Internet.
In addition to the usual canned interview questions, also ask how they would react in a hypothetical situation that might be a stressful one and find out how they would react. Then ask yourself whether that’s the kind of reaction you want from someone representing your firm or company. If the answer is no, keep looking.