Obviously avoiding bad hires is crucial working at a recruiting company. As both a partner at an executive search firm and as a partner to my clients, I advise growing companies to make the best choice for their management team. Having hands-on experience determining what goes into choosing the right and wrong person, I know that making the wrong choice can be an expensive and frustrating mistake – for you, the hired candidate, as well as the recruiting firm.
No business wants a misstep like an incorrect hire to slow down the company’s progress, especially in the fast-paced life sciences industry where timing is critical. Below are three well-practiced tips your company can implement in order to avoid making the wrong hire:
Put time into the job description. Clarify your expectations of the candidate and the open position from the start. Don’t just reuse an old job description without updating it to match your current needs. Also make sure to use the right tools – just posting the job description on a job board may not attract the correct applicants. Be sure to network, spread news of the job opening by email or word-of-mouth, get personal recommendations, or use a retained executive search firm to find the best talent.
Make cultural fit a top priority. Beyond ensuring the new hire is capable of his or her job responsibilities, correct culture and fit are critical to working well with your new employee. Checking references is important for this step, as it can be hard to assess someone’s true personality and work style in an interview setting. Additionally, try to spend some time with the candidates, whether that means bringing them into the office to meet potential coworkers, inviting them to a casual lunch or happy hour, or simply having multiple or group interviews to spark a possible connection. Afterwards, get complete feedback from each person the candidate comes in contact with at your organization.
Pay exactly what’s deserved. Don’t risk losing your top choice over salary negotiations. You don’t want to end up settling for second best in order to add a smaller salary to the budget, and you don’t want to overpay for an overqualified person who might eventually be unhappy with the job. This may mean doing some research to ensure your offer falls within the current range for similar positions or negotiating with your top hire to guarantee the satisfaction of both parties. Keep in mind the value of the total package – salary, bonus, equity, 401K match, etc. The best candidates are not driven by salary alone, but by the total package, including the mission and values of the company and the job itself.
These tips are fairly involved, but you have to be very involved in the hiring process in order to choose the best candidate. This is particularly important for mid- to senior-level roles where the correct leadership skills are essential for success. Putting this advice to use will give your company more security when making its next big hire. Making the wrong choice can lead to employee turnover, which you can learn more about in the following article, The Facts About Employee Turnover.
Want to find the perfect professional for your open position? Contact Ashton Tweed today.
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