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Have you ever made a bad hiring decision?

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Have you ever noticed a disconnect between the skills you need and that of the people hired? If so, you’re not alone.

According to new research from Robert Half Technology, 95% of IT hiring decision makers admitted to making a bad hire, and 38% acknowledged it was due to a skills-based issue, meaning the new hire was unable to do the job as expected.

Interpersonal issues (29%) and poor corporate culture fit (28%) have also contributed to hiring mistakes, together accounting for over half of bad hires, according to IT leaders.

One key reason for these hiring mistakes is how difficult the required skills are to evaluate – and the team at Human Resources believes this does not only happen while hiring for IT staff.

The Robert Half Technology survey revealed adequate technical skills (39%) are the most difficult thing to evaluate during a job interview, followed by corporate culture (37%), and soft skills (23%).

Ryan Sutton, district president, Robert Half Technology, said: “Hiring someone who is a poor job fit can hurt your business by hindering productivity and eroding team morale. Current employees who are likely already stretched thin must scramble to fix mistakes or handle extra work.”

In line with that Sutton advised that the interview process should be through enough to evaluate technical and soft skills, and determine a candidate’s fit with the organisational culture, while also being fast enough to avoid losing top prospects to other offers.

At the same time, Robert Half Technology provided five tips to help hiring managers avoid costly mistakes when recruiting IT talent:

Be clear with what you want
Recruiting the right talent starts with a solid job description. When drafting one for an existing position, re-assess the responsibilities to ensure the current requirements still match the role. If it’s a new position, include the full scope of duties so there’s no confusion once an employee starts.

Test tech skills
Have strong candidates take a technical assessment to test them on key skills required for the role.

Get your team involved
When conducting interviews, have peers, direct reports and other colleagues meet with the candidate early in the interview process. This will give you insights into the potential new hire’s interpersonal skills and whether he or she will be a good fit with the team and your corporate culture.

Be flexible
In this tight candidate market, it’s challenging to find applicants who meet 100% of the requirements. Determine which skills and experience are must-haves versus nice-to-haves and be willing to train promising candidates who may fall short on skills or experience but would otherwise be a great fit.

Take a trial run
Consider bringing on a contract employee when you’re hiring for a critical role. This will take some stress off your team while allowing you to evaluate the candidate’s fit for a full-time position.

Photo / 123RF

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