Why Does Hiring Suck and Ideas to Make it Better!

Updated: May 11

Why does hiring suck? In simple terms...Too many applicants that have no business applying for a job in the first place. Of course, that's just the beginning.

Too many applicants equals:

  1. Too many resumes to review

  2. Too many phone screens to schedule and perform

  3. Not enough time to do this and your "day job"

My conversations with everyone involved in hiring confirms this to be, almost, universally true.

Why is this the case? The big driver is job boards that allow anyone to easily apply with the simple click of a mouse. The hiring company sees tons of applicants, but many don't meet minimum requirements much less have the appropriate experience or skills.

The HR generalist trying to narrow the list will either spend too little time reviewing each resume or stop completely once they have found enough that look good enough to screen on the phone.

What about all of the resumes we didn't get a chance to get to? Who did we miss out on by not reviewing them all? Or.... We took so long reviewing every resume that by the time we got to the phone screen, the best individuals had already found another job. Both scenarios are a huge miss.

OK, so everyone can identify with this dilemma. How else can you do it? You can hire more HR people or contract a third party recruiter but both strategies add significant cost.

The direct cost related to hiring is not insignificant. Most subscribe to a SHRM study that documents it being over $4,000. But the cost of a bad hire is much more significant. In a CareerBuilder survey the average cost of a bad hire was $15,000. Other studies put that figure closer to 30% of the individual's annual compensation. How is that possible?

Think of the associated cost of each below:

  1. Less than acceptable productivity from the individual

  2. Quality of work is lacking and now represents a potential liability

  3. Reduced morale of other employees who are expected to compensate

  4. Time/effort to document for justification to reassign or remove

  5. Time/effort to hire replacement

  6. Lost productivity during search for replacement

  7. Potential negative customer impact for poor service

We can debate the actual cost but no one can deny the material impact associated with making a poor hiring decision.

Why do most companies still go through a similar and painful process and can anything be done differently?

Here's a couple of best practices I've learned over my 31 years in business hiring hundreds of people.

Assess Applicants

Industrial psychologists have developed proven methods to assess an individual's cognitive, behavioral, and motivational fit for a given job. There are plenty of assessment providers that offer tools that a company can use. My experience with assessments has been very positive because they really do provide a highly accurate view of an individual's capability to succeed and, as important, enjoy a job.

I've taken a few of these assessments and it's amazing how well they were able to describe the way I think, the activities I enjoy, and how I am motivated.

Bottom line, assessments are a great resource to help you identify individuals who are a good fit for a job.

Use On-Demand Video Technology

Rather than spend hours playing phone tag with an employee applicant or bouncing emails back and forth trying to set up a phone screen call, use a video instead.

There are plenty of systems that allow you to ask the same questions you typically use during a phone screen. But rather than listening to the answers via a call, watch the individual answer on a recorded video at your own convenience.

This is super convenient for both the applicant and HR representative. Both perform their responsibilities on their own time. The applicant can record when they have the time and are mentally prepared. The HR representative can watch the recorded interview on their own time from anywhere as long as they have internet access. Further, a HR representative can share a recorded interview with other stakeholders reducing the potential for bias.

This could also offer a differentiated experience for the applicant. They potentially see your company as more progressive than most and that might provide enough differentiation to help you win a great candidate.

Either of these options improves the hiring process for both the company and the applicant but I advocate utilizing both tools.

What? Yup, use an assessment with a one way recorded video screen. This way, the HR representative can easily narrow the list of applicants to invite for onsite interviews. The decision is more objective and allows all applicants to be considered equally, not just those you have time to get to.

Side Note: This is a way better experience for the applicant as well. This way, if hired, you can be assured that they have a high probability of success in the job and will be engaged and enjoy their work.... IF..... they are a good cultural fit.

The other benefit of using assessments and one way interviews is that the onsite interview can be focused on making sure the applicant is a good cultural fit with the company and that they will connect with their boss. Assessing cultural fit can only be accomplished by a hiring manager or company representative. Most onsite interviews are used to ascertain an applicant's skill set and experience. Neither are indicative of potential success in a job and very few interviewers are able to truly understand if what they are seeing and hearing from the applicant is a true representation. Don't believe me? How many times have you heard someone describe the the hiring process as a crapshoot?

Let's summarize my preferred hiring process:

  1. Assess employee candidates against a job profile

  2. Use a one way recorded interview to capture responses to typical screening questions

  3. Focus onsite interview on cultural fit with company and connection/compatibility with boss.

Shameless Plug...

I created eHire Solutions to provide companies with an easy way to utilize the process I have described in this blog entry. eHire provides a single platform to capture applicant information including their resume, determine they meet minimum requirements, assess their fit for a job they are being considered for, and a one way, recorded, on-demand interview.

Whether you use eHire or not, I hope you'll consider some of the innovative strategies that I have shared here with you. I'm confident you will improve the quality of your hiring process by finding qualified candidates and getting them onboard sooner.

Happy Hiring