I would never advise any employer to calculate the cost of a failed employee, just the wages, Emp NI, Training and lost time alone is enough to make the coolest of Managers want to weep!
Yet time after time we see the same mistakes being made and your money flowing out the door like hot air on a cold day.
By far the biggest and most costly hiring mistake is this:
Not having a clear and true to life Job Spec
Without this it's like throwing darts at dart board wearing a blindfold. If this is you then its time to stop blaming the people you recruit who aren’t working out and start working on yourself and more importantly your Job Specification, Job Description, or Job Profile if you prefer.
A good Job Spec has the following Top 4 key elements:
1. A clear mission and purpose for the role.
My Marketing Lecturer at Uni used to tell me that people don't buy a drill (sad if this is you!), they are in fact buying a hole. I would even take this a step further and say people don't buy holes, they are buying a neat shelf with their stuff on it, or perhaps a good night’s sleep provided by the curtains they fixed up. This is how you should see the role you are recruiting for, ask yourself, why am I hiring for this role? what difference will it make to me and my business? Why does this job exist? What purpose does it serve? And how will I know when this role is being satisfactorily delivered?
2. Your top 5 objectives for the role.
What are the top 5 things this role must achieve to be successful? And these MUST align with each other as goals and the ultimate mission. If you let a stray objective, which holds back or conflicts with the others to creep in then remove it NOW!
To establish what this job really needs to deliver, the question I always ask my clients is...
"Imagine that 12 months from now you are walking down the corridor here, (2 metres apart obviously!) and this person has exceeded all your expectations. What would have to be true for this to be the case?"
3. 'A' Player Characteristics
Imagine you have the most reliable, high performing, culturally matched person in this role possible. What are the behaviours and characteristics you would expect that person to demonstrate? And if you are using words like charismatic, diligent or conscientious (by the way, conscientiousness is the Number 1 predictor of success), then write a sentence on what that word actually means to you.
4. Your core values
You can't expect a cultural match if you can't describe your culture in real live terms that a child could understand.
And by the way, "honesty, integrity and professional" are not values you should aspire to! Why? Because these are expected! It’s like writing "must have feet" on the job spec for a footballer!
Your core values are the standards you set (your business becomes the behaviours it tolerates), they are the things that make you proud and when you see demonstrated give you a warm fuzzy glow!
Alternatively, if warm fuzzy glows are in short supply right now, go for what I call "anti-values", or put more simply, the things which piss you off! If you go home at night and complain about what someone did at work today, then this is an indication of the stuff you want the opposite of. Identify these things and write them down as the behaviours you DO want.
My final tip is this.. If it takes you less than an hour of quiet, uninterrupted and highly focussed time to write your Job Spec then you are not paying enough attention to what you truly need and your chances of getting the person you think you want are drastically reduced. Hey, it’s your money flowing out the door when it goes wrong, not mine!
There's also another way... I am offering to write well thought through, precise and real-life Job Specs at absolutely no cost and no obligation... Why?
1. it’s my way of paying it forward, give before you get has always been my service based ethos.
2. I despise waste and even though your mistakes aren't mine, I get really annoyed when I see waste, especially where I could have helped out.
3. This mistake has consequences, not just for you but for the person who accepts your job in good faith and then ends up leaving because they didn't either a. fit in, or b. know where the goals you had in mind should be scored. We are dealing with peoples livelihoods, hopes and dreams here.
Contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07801 378412 and I will give you my time, all 25 years in the recruitment of top flight professionals of it, absolutely free. No sell, no bullshit, no cost!