Interviewing Always Fails

…at least it never guarantees that you will end up with the right person for the job.

The aim of recruitment is not just to identify and recruit the person most capable of performing the required tasks, it’s also about finding someone who fits into the organisation / team and ensuring that you pick someone who will want the job for about as long as you want them to work in that job.

Interview processes have become terribly sophisticated over recent years. What with assessment centres and competency based interviewwing you’d have thought that it would be pretty difficult to make a bad recruitment decision, wouldn’t you? Consider all the other advances business has made to reduce ambiguity around decision making; the masses of data that is generated in support of a business proposal.

Recent estimates from an HR consultant I saw reckoned the basic cost of filling a role averages at around £5k in the UK, but the cost of getting it wrong and having to replace someone is maybe three times the basic salary. I’m convinced that there is a problem in UK industry because staff turnover currently runs at something like 22% on average. That’s more than one in five people are replaced each year. That means the average length of stay within a company is less than five years. That means that most people move on after just one promotion, and that means that by the time someone is really starting to add serious value to an organisation, they’ve left.

Why is it so hard to pick the right person?
What do we do in the recruitment process that allows so many mistakes?
How do you know when you have found the right person?
What do you do if you don’t find the right person? Do you take on the best person and try to move on from the process, or do you start again?

Here’s one last thing to think about. While most new employees are given an initial trial or probationary period, very few organisations use it. I have heard several stories of companies that decided a new recruit was not right but only dealt with it after the probation period had ended, but only just after. If you feel you need 6 months rather than 3, why not offer an extension of just have a 6 month probation in the first place?

Does your company use the probationary period effectively?

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