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No matter how thorough the hiring process, there’s no guarantee your new employee will be a “keeper.” Sometimes, the system fails. Crafting the perfect new hiring process is always a work in progress, especially important for small businesses and startups.  Bad hires cost time and money, and often, the repercussions don’t stop there.

Although there are many moving pieces to round out a thorough hiring process, here’s a few tips to revitalize (or help you to create) yours:

Not Knowing What You Want

Having an open position is both a challenge and an opportunity for managers. Whether you’re looking for someone to fill a brand new role or step into an existing one, now’s the time to think critically about your organizational needs and how a new employee will fulfill that role.

It can be a letdown (and a bit stressful) to see a popular, high-performing employee go, but let’s admit…it can also be exciting when thinking about how a new individual with different talents can bring fresh ideas and diverse value to the company.

To attract that fresh talent, take advantage of this time to re-evaluate the job description!  Be clear about what you expect from applicants and specific about the role requirements.  Going through this process helps you to be more focused on a candidate’s qualifications and less likely to make a hiring decision based on their charming personality displayed in the interview.

Bias

We’re all biased to some point. Unfortunately, when biases enter the hiring process, the ability to lure good folks on board can become compromised. It can make us see things that aren’t there as well as not see things that are. Before reviewing someone’s resume or sitting down for an interview, firmly check your preconceptions at the door.

Not Enough Time

At some time or another, most hiring managers have found themselves desperate to “put a body in a chair.” This is not a good situation. Rushing to hire can create all kinds of short- and long-term problems, including making the interview process darn near worthless. If you’re determined to find someone qualified for the job, you’ll find a way to do it. Interviews that are too short are ineffective. You can’t get to know much of anything you need to know in less than an hour. It’s also wise to have more than one interview because the time to reflect can provide valuable insight.

The Wrong People in the Room

Anyone invited to meet with your potential new hire should have a specific reason for being in the room and real input into the outcome. Although the concept is beloved by many, “courtesy interviews” can degrade and confuse the process. The same goes for large panel interviews.  Don’t fill the meeting with staff who aren’t qualified to gauge the technical or temperamental suitability of the candidate… It makes sense, right? Inclusivity in the hiring process is a must, and it’s definitely a mistake to have only one person evaluate the candidate. However, it isn’t good to have too many evaluators.  It can be impossible to reach a consensus, and everyone probably shouldn’t have an equal vote anyway. The hiring manager and perhaps two or three key personnel are adequate to make a sound decision.

Not Having a Tool to Evaluate Candidate Traits

Carefully honed intuition is a powerful tool in life and business. That said, relying on your gut to make a decision about who to hire can be problematic. Let’s face it; our guts can often mislead us. Here’s why: people who are good at interviewing aren’t always the most qualified for the job. We often interpret the ability to speak well and project confidence as competence, and, let’s be honest; we’re often wrong about that. A shocking number of new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job.  Not because of skills, but because of job traits like lack of coachability, emotional intelligence, and temperament.

Even the most empathic interviewer can’t detect the absence of these traits just by talking to a candidate for a few hours. Instead, incorporate a behavioral assessment into the hiring process. This objective tool reveals the candidate’s preferences, traits, and behavioral tendencies in the workplace. Armed with this information, a hiring manager can more reliably match the candidate’s qualities with the job requirements.

“Winging” It

Evaluating skills requires preparation. Unfortunately, too many hiring managers think they can wing the interview and hire based on chemistry. Never a good idea.  And typically, a sure-fire way to make the wrong hiring decision. Chemistry is not a precursor to good performance. Sure, no one wants to spend hours a day with someone whose personality grates on them, but a likable individual who can’t get the job done will become pretty unlikable in no time.

The job interview holds a lot of weight in the selection process. Don’t let your next new hire be a flop.  Know what’s needed for the job, avoid bias, don’t rush the process, including the right decision-makers, and use a behavioral assessment tool to help you make the most informed hiring decision…not your gut!

Soon, the latest wave of eager, book-schooled graduates will be crashing onto your industry’s shores. With eyes focused on their organization’s long-term success, decision-makers and strategists have already determined which departments can take on fresh, inexperienced talent and which simply cannot. Making room for enthusiastic new hires often compels managers to implement changes to their workplace; it also propels many to take an active role in growing the business by promoting their existing employee superstars.

Promotions

How readily can your staff accommodate new situations, new members, new business practices? When considering an employee for promotion, be sure the person is productive and ready to take on leadership responsibilities. Some people are great at what they do, but they have no real desire to move into leadership. They set modest personal goals and like working with very little pressure.

People like this are often content performing the same job year after year or want to grow as individual contributors versus managers. They’re loyal, diligent workers that are often also quite accommodating. They may heartily agree to take on a promotion only because you want them to. The result: an unduly stressed, unmotivated, unhappy employee – disastrous in a role where they are supposed to motivate and engage others.

You may come to the disturbing realization that your superstar teller is now ineffective. It’s important to know not only your team’s abilities but also their career goals. Don’t make the mistake of imposing managerial career objectives on someone who does not have them. Fill positions of authority with people who are enterprising, ambitious, assertive, and self-confident.

Remember, promoting a great person into the wrong job will create stress, confrontations, confusion, worry, and resentment. Make sure you understand your needs and analyze your employees to help ensure a good mutual fit.

Succession Plans

Unexpected situations can arise and grow beyond our control. A health issue or family crisis can erupt. A new interest or sudden desire to cast aside business pressures and pursue long-held personal dreams has compelled countless high-level executives and managers to do what they never thought they would do: step down from their job. Not to mention the wave of managerial staff reaching retirement age and fully intend to retire. Some businesses experience a smooth, cost-effective transition of power by implementing their existing succession plan. Others, too often, will face pandemonium and lost money because there is no such plan in place.

What are the criteria for positions of leadership in your organization? Does your current team meet them?

Preserving the good name, solid reputation, and positive image of your credit union is essential. It is critical to provide your customers and your staff with an ongoing sense of confidence about your organization's future regardless of who is at the helm.

Your short-term goal should be to develop a pool of leaders. Find workers who show the potential to make independent decisions, act on their own behalf, and take action. Doing so, however, can be more difficult than it seems.

For example, an employee who is openly enthusiastic, talkative, and comfortable in the spotlight might seem like a good choice to lead others. Be careful! The leadership ability you think you see may really be social assertiveness, an ability to strut before an audience. Make sure there are other signs of determination, ambition, and resolve. People whose greatest strength is their social savvy often talk a bigger game than they can actually play.

The effects of poor leadership can be widespread, from loss of customers to low morale. The opportunity to avoid these mishaps is yours. Know your needs, avoid guessing, and learn your staff's work habits, objectives, and personalities. The Omnia Profile, a top employee behavioral assessment tool, can easily and objectively highlight your existing staff and new hires' leadership strengths, challenges, and potential.

Your credit union's future is in your hands and depends on the strategies you have in place today. There is no turning back, no second chance, and no margin for error!

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