We hired wrongly: Recruitment Traps in Fast Growing Businesses

“I think we hired wrongly”.  Over the last 2 years working with fast growing businesses I lost count of how often I have heard this statement.

At edge we view the recruitment process as a core business process, because the ability for any business to succeed lies heavily on having the right human capacity to drive the vision.Yet our experience is that it is often sidelined, due to lack of time, budget and capacity.

A survey by Robert Half International showed 39% of hiring managers surveyed said bad hires cost them productivity. Even more shocking is that supervisors spend 17% of their time (approximately 1 day per week) in managing poorly performing employees.

So how can you avoid such high costs? We have compiled a few of the traps our clients have previously fallen into, why you should evade them and how to navigate them

The proactive vs passive sourcing trap

“We posted on the local job sites, they shared a number of CVs, we met each of those candidates but none was aligned to what we were looking for.”

Often occurs when you rely on traditional channels to get talent, e.g post a job description and wait for applications. We have found this often results in candidates who are completely misaligned to what your business needs in terms of skills, mindset and cultural fit.

To reach the right target you need to put extra effort into the sourcing process. In most emerging markets there are millions of jobseekers with varied skills levels who are looking for any kind of work. They will apply for almost all jobs posted.

Social networking either through targeted headhunting or referrals and working closely with a recruiter who fully understands your business needs is recommended to navigate this trap. It may cost a little bit more money, but it will earn you ROI by hiring more productive talent and avoiding costs of extensive training and recruiting.

Still in line with sourcing we hear “There is no talent here”. Which prompts me to ask: “Where have you been looking?

There is plenty of talent. The important question is if you are positioning your company in the places where this talent would be looking for you!

Also are you designing roles that are as agile as your business is? (In more traditional structured organizations JDs fixed to one person might work perfectly. However in fast changing environments there is need to take a different approach, begin with defining roles that are needed to drive your business and then assigning those to the best fit talent at the moment, allowing flexibility to add more roles as business grows and reassign roles when needed. An individual could have more than one roles making them feel more connected to contributing to business in a variety of ways).

 

The cultural fit trap

“Soandso is a great person. But she just doesn’t fit here. She is used to a different system. We feel she would fit in a more structured, hierarchical environment. We are not like that.”

When it comes to culture the person could be greatly skilled,  however the pain is on a different level: How they interact with the team, challenges blending  into unstructured environments, showing behaviors contradicting your company values.

You need people who will be your brand ambassadors. They will plug and play to the behaviors of your organization as culture is the glue that keeps your organization together.

Design your selection process to include cultural fit assessments, get referees to talk about the candidate’s behaviors relating to the culture of your organization.  We recommend that you hire for culture first, this does not mean you choose people who are less skilled just because they fit your culture as sometimes misunderstood. It simply means that you put culture fit as a minimum must-have requirement in the selection process.

“If you work with people who we have no respect for, or we don’t like them it creates a lot of obstacles in the workplace, including increased turnover“ says Alon Zouaretz, founder of Talsona, a job placement platform that places emphasis on culture fit.

Skipping onboarding due to limited resources  yet expecting performance from new hires  trap

“We actually don’t have a standard onboarding process. Time is limited and yet so much to do, so we find ourselves sidelining onboarding. We don’t have anyone assigned to do it.  But actually we think that the right people can figure things out themselves!’’

In a study by analyst firm Aberdeen Group 86% of respondents said that a new hire’s decision to stay with a company long-term is made within the first six months of employment. That requires a great first impression!

After talent planning, onboarding is probably the second key aspect of the recruitment process  that is often overlooked.   A proper onboarding process spread out with engagements before Day 1 all through to about a year in rapidly engages and connects your new hires to the life of the organization. Investing time and allocating a responsible to ensure the process is implemented to set up your new hires for success and ensure higher opportunities for retention.  Having a high turnover is expensive hence better to support your new hires in setting themselves up for success.


Friends trust/market unfamiliarity trap.

I always ask,  “How did you get the current team members?” The most common response has been “Well most have been from friends and our network. They were referred to us and seemed like good people, so we hired them!”

This could be mistaken for social recruiting. It is not! When you like someone from a single conversation and offer them a job the next day, without much background check on their experience, achievements, capabilities or comparison with other candidates you are setting yourself up for tough emotional situations (as you will have to let go someone who may have become a friend or is still within your close network)  and you are jeopardizing your business goals (by creating a wrong person on the wrong job or right person on the wrong job scenario).

This can be overcome by similar approaches to the passive trap vs proactive. In addition it is key to take time as you are working on modelling your business and creating your strategies to also plan ahead on talent. Learn more about the talent trends, expectations and challenges in your market. This will be very helpful in deciding overall how you approach recruitment from planning to onboarding.

What traps have you fallen into that cost you time and money? Happy to hear your experience. At edge we can help you navigate these traps and many more saving you time and effort in hiring. Talk to us today to learn more!