4 Common Mistakes That Lead to Bad Hires (And How to Avoid Them)

4 Common Mistakes That Lead to Bad Hires (And How to Avoid Them). Avoid these at all costs to make sure your next new hire succeeds. 4 Common Mistakes That Lead to Bad Hires 1) You fall victim to "The halo effect." You hire him right away. 2) You don't know what the position really requires. Although Charan uses "the pivot" as a way to help companies hire CEOs and other major leadership positions, it's useful for all hiring managers to think about what specific abilities really put a candidate over the edge. Technical skills are important -- don't get me wrong -- but they hardly ever make up for larger issues with an employee's disposition, attitude, and work ethic. Do technical skills really matter if the employee isn't open to improving, alienates their coworkers, lacks emotional intelligence and has the wrong personality for the job?" It's easy to get blinded by an employee's impressive technical skill set, but hiring managers need to look beyond the resume and make sure candidates have the right attitude, disposition, and mindset for the role as well. "Finding and hiring top talent in those areas is most essential."

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Hiring the wrong person costs your agency more than you might think.

According to Jörgen Sundberg, founder of Undercover Recruiter, a bad hire can end up costing your business around $840,000. That’s not a number to take lightly.

Sundberg’s team based their calculations on the cost of a second-level manager who makes $62,000 a year and is terminated after two and a half years. They considered the cost of hiring, onboarding, and retaining the employee, as well as the overall revenue loss associated with mistakes, failures, and missed business opportunities caused during the employee’s doomed tenure.

If you work at a small agency, losing that amount of money over a single bad hire can cause unthinkable damage to your bottom line. There’s simply no room for hiring mistakes.

To ensure your next hiring decision isn’t a major pitfall for your business, we’ve compiled a list of common reasons behind poor hiring choices. Avoid these at all costs to make sure your next new hire succeeds.

4 Common Mistakes That Lead to Bad Hires

1) You fall victim to “The halo effect.”

Imagine you’re a hiring manager conducting interviews for an account manager position. After a long day of mediocre and disappointing candidates, your next interviewee turns out to be eloquent, positive, and friendly — a welcome combination of traits that impress you immediately. On top of his enjoyable presence, he has a pretty solid resume. You hire him right away.

A few months after he’s been onboarded, you hear word from his manager that his performance has been disappointing so far, and he shows no signs of improvement. So what went wrong? How could the candidate who impressed you so much in the interview turn out to be a total dud?

This is a perfect example of the halo effect: a type of cognitive bias that occurs when we overlook obvious faults when someone impresses us in one particular area. In this case, you were impressed by the candidate’s sociable demeanor, and assumed he’d be equally impressive in other areas. His resume might not have been stellar, but since you were already sold on his sociability, you didn’t even notice you were overlooking potential issues.

Beating the halo effect starts with being aware of its impact, and developing a straightforward hiring system to offset its effect. Melvin Sorcher and James Brant — partners with Sorcher Associates, a management consulting firm — recommend putting an evaluation process in place which requires candidates to be assessed by a group of people from different levels and areas of the company.

“The process enables the group to probe a wide range of leadership criteria and obtain balanced and complete information,” Sorcher and Brant wrote in Harvard Business Review. When a candidate is reviewed by a wide range of people, it exposes them to varying sets of opinions and biases, minimizing the potential impact the halo effect can have on the hiring decision.

2) You don’t know what the position really requires.

Most job requirements come in list format: a neat index of basic skills, recommended experience, and personal traits that somehow…