Lessons Learned from Hiring the “Wrong” People

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Don’t believe everything on the resume. Many, if not most, resumes over exaggerate the person’s experience or qualifications. Some are just works of fiction. You should verify the information with prior employers. If you find out the applicant fibbed on their resume, you have to wonder about their overall honesty.

Look for actual accomplishments, not just job duties. For a salesperson, look for a record of achieving or exceeding goals or quotas. For a manager, look for accomplishments of their team.

Don’t depend too much on the interview. Some people are really good interviewees. They know exactly what to say and are very good at bonding and rapport. You think you hired Tom Cruise but ended up with Rodney Dangerfield. It’s always a good idea to have more than one person do interviews.

Check references. I know it’s difficult to get information from prior employers because of the fear of a lawsuit. But they should be willing to verify the information on the applicant’s resume. Also, here is a question they should be able to answer: “Would you rehire this person?” You will really get only one of two answers. One is, “Yes, absolutely” or two, “If we had an opening, we would consider them.” Which means “NO.” One other way to get information from references is to ask the applicant to contact their former manager and give him or her permission to provide you with information about their employment. Sometimes an applicant won’t want you to contact their current employer for obvious reasons. That’s understandable. I suggest you tell the applicant that you won’t contact their current employer until you are prepared to make a job offer and they are prepared to accept it.

Use an assessment. Which assessment depends on the position. Some of the assessment types are personality, aptitude and skills. Using the correct assessment can fill in the blanks on information you can’t get any other way. If you are using as assessment, be careful not to get cross-ways with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To avoid discrimination, you must assess every candidate at the same place in the hiring process.

Once you’ve hired the best candidate, help them be successful. A good, strong, on-boarding process with specific benchmarks and lots of coaching is a great way to get them up to speed and keep them.

dleonhungerford@gmail.com • 541-420-9541

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