Do You Have Zombies in Your Office? 10 Scary Hiring Practices to Avoid

by Jim Ryan

We all like a good scary movie every now and then, but nothing is scarier than hiring someone who appears to be perfect for the job, and then finding out quickly that he or she is a nightmare. Every day we see organizations use scary hiring practices!

Why should you be spooked out by scary hiring practices? Consider what these can do to a company:

Scary hires drive up turnover.

There are all sorts of causes for high turnover, but one big culprit is stress. In fact, 40 percent of all job turnover is due to stress. Guess what causes stress? It happens most when the person does not fit their job, their manager or the organization’s culture.

Scary hires drag down productivity.

Everyone suffers when workers have to cover for a co-worker that can’t or won’t do their job properly. The competent workers become distracted and disillusioned and the incompetent workers cause havoc by making mistakes, falling behind and draining managers who don’t trust them to produce.

Scary hires cost hard dollars.

Replacing your employees will run you anywhere from 25% to 100% of their salary or more! Consider the costs of recruiting, interviewing, travel and on-boarding. These are all replacement costs, as well as lost time on the job, either when it was vacant or when someone had to let other tasks go to train the new employee. Many of these employees represent a $1,000,000 investment over time. If you were buying a new piece of equipment or considering a capital improvement to your existing business for that price, you’d be sure to do your due diligence. When it comes to hiring, managers are almost cavalier. Incredible!

Scary hires cause collateral damage.

What about other costs? Organizations spend billions on workers’ compensation claims. As experts note, vastly more money goes to existing claims than to preventing the problems in the first place. What if someone in your organization was in charge of making sure all equipment fit the job and the workers, that everything was working correctly, and that all workers knew how to use the equipment efficiently and safely? These all sound like easy fixes, but someone in your company has to keep his eye on the detail.

So, what can an organization do to prevent scary hiring? The best organizations have a solid hiring process in place and they follow that process with every candidate. They use behaviorally-based Interview Guides and behavioral and skill assessments to provide consistent, objective information on the candidate and reports to help managers better interview and select the right person.

10 Scary Hiring Practices to Avoid

  1. Recruiting people who are just like you
  2. Talking too much and failing to listen
  3. Posing questions that require only yes/no answers
  4. Hiring based on your comfort zone rather than the candidate’s “fit.” (Ask the right questions and use the right tools to get the information you need)
  5. Searching in too small of a pond
  6. Delay in hiring after you find the best candidate
  7. Offering a job based only on gut instincts
  8. Picking the first candidate who walks in the door
  9. Asking questions about marital status, number of children, religion, race
  10. Failing to check references and other information on resume or application

Do your due diligence when hiring. Remember, the fear of the unknown is something best enjoyed at the movies. In real life, you want to know what your organization faces. Don’t hire zombies, ghosts and ghouls! The workers you hire and develop today can minimize the uncertainties of tomorrow. And remember…Avoid the ten and use the following:

  • A thorough understanding of the kind of person it takes to do the job well
  • A thorough understanding of the kind of person who fits your culture
  • Solid behaviorally-based interview questions
  • Job-related, validated and reliable assessment instruments
  • A comprehensive reference and background check

You will be very glad you did.