There are some great principles & processes in regards to hiring great people. You’ve probably heard a good hire must bring the 3 C’s to your team: Character, Competency and Chemistry. These are great guidelines and I highly recommend including them in your hiring process, but by making a couple of bad hires I thought I would share some insight on how you can avoid making the same mistakes I did.
- Don’t Be Impressed with Someone’s Resume – My first bad hire was highly influenced by the resume I received. It was outstanding! I hired the person based on what they presented on paper. From my perspective I was getting an all star, but after three months I realized I had hired a one star. Their resume and even their references set my expectations high. Six months in I had to let the person go. I learned that you can’t hire someone based on the past they create for themselves. I understand now you can only use resumes to help filter future hires, not be the final factor in making one.
- Don’t hire someone from outside the organization – If at all possible, look to make your hire from the inside first. Is someone deserving of a promotion? Is their a volunteer that has been faithful and fruitful? Can you expand someone’s portfolio because they have a higher leadership capacity? Is there already a potential candidate that is running with your vision and has already internalized your values? These are all good questions to ask before seeking someone on the outside. One of the biggest factors that is overlooked in hiring new people is, “How will they adapt to your organization’s culture?” Hiring from the inside helps you to avoid cultural conflict.
- Don’t hire without doing thorough research – You have to go beyond the references. I remember one reference I called gave me raving reviews and later called me to say he didn’t totally disclose the truth because he wanted the person to move on from his organization. You are going to run across these type of issues, but to avoid it I would call someone or some place they worked that they didn’t put down for a reference to see if they might have a different perspective. Call all of their references plus one more they didn’t put down.
These are a few mistakes I made that could have been avoided. If you make a bad hire it can cause you a lot of pain and put your organization on pause. It can be corrected and I’ll share how I’ve made good hires since then.
Have you made a bad hire? What mistake did you make?