There have been numerous studies about the costs of losing an employee. Putting a number on the direct impact on your company’s bottom line can range from 16% to as high as 213% the cost of your employee’s annual salary, depending on their role.
That doesn’t factor in the unseen costs across your company.
For example, when someone leaves, others are forced to take on extra workload causing their own to suffer. Or there’s the loss of domain knowledge when others can no longer rely on the person they went to for answers and must instead take the time to relearn and redo something someone else had already figured out.
Resumes only tell half the story
On paper, resumes are a great concept. Job descriptions are loaded with requirements that resumes try to match. When they do, the candidate should be a fit for the job. That can work sometimes. When it doesn’t, leadership is left wondering how toxic employees slipped past their guard.
Anyone who wants to stay relevant in today’s workforce, continual learning isn’t optional — it’s required. The skills on your new hire’s resume will only get them so far if they’re not willing to learn new skills as your business grows. In a way, hiring by resume alone is setting up your company for failure since your company needs people who are willing to go above and beyond the skills they currently have, anyway.
Don’t gamble the long-term happiness of your workforce to get today’s tasks done. Or, as another way to phrase it, avoid focusing on the urgent while ignoring the important. The answer is a simple concept that’s difficult to master: Instead of focusing on skills, hire by your core values.
Hiring the right way means hiring people into your tribe who already follow your company’s core values. They align to your values in their own lives even if they haven’t taken the time to put them into words. If you put “Honesty” as a core value, sacrificing that for a hot shot new hire with an impressive resume will only lead to disaster down the road.
Consistent points of view
As I’ve consulted for companies over the years, one of the most common issues I’ve found in the interview process is with consistency.
The typical interviewing process finds the interviewee talking to several people. Everyone from recruiters to potential team leaders can line one side of the interview table. The goal is an attempt to find an answer to what we talked about in the previous section: If the potential hire will be a good fit into the team’s culture.
The issue comes from team members coming to the interview with too narrow a focus: Their own sphere within the company. They’re looking to see if there are red flags that the potential hire would fit in their team, not if they align with the company’s values. To resolve this, find someone to be involved in the first round of every interview. They’re your cultural gatekeepers, tasked with looking for ways to see if your potential new hire is already aligned with your company’s values.
My recommendation is to have at least one man and one woman in the interview to help you get different perspectives. I’d also recommend for you, as the business owner, to be one of them. After all, you’re the biggest stakeholder in the success of your company — and hiring the right people is the most important thing you can do.
Hiring is only the beginning
The hiring process starts with recruiting websites and continues through countless phone calls, emails, interviews, skills tests … it’s no wonder that making the hire seems like the end to a long journey. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many companies stop here. Once someone is hired, they’re part of your team.
But it’s not the end; hiring is only the beginning.
Through all those interviews, office tours, and interactions prior to hiring, any potential candidate will be at the top of their game. They’ll come as prepared as you do for interviews and can tell you everything you want to hear — at least, the things they think you want to hear — to get the job.
It won’t be until they start getting comfortable among their colleagues that they’ll start being themselves. As the boss that won’t happen around you first. It’ll happen among their colleagues and the people they work with day-in and day-out.
That’s one reason I recommend using the New Hire Game to help speed up the onboarding process. The sooner you can help new hires feel comfortable, the sooner they’ll either fit in with the rest of your team or it’ll be apparent for both sides that it’s not working.
Set the expectations up front
Hopefully, your potential new hire flourishes and becomes a valuable part of your tribe in no time. If that doesn’t happen, it’s something in everyone’s best interest to catch sooner rather than later. You don’t want a toxic employee any more than your new hire wants to hate coming into work each day.
Start with a 30-day period for each new hire. Don’t be vague about it. When you let offer them the job, let them know you’ll sit down with them in 30 days to re-evaluate things.
Over the course of their first month, get input from their team leader, colleagues and those working around them on a day-to-day basis to see how they’re progressing. At the end of 30 days, follow-up with them. If they’re already fitting well into the team, give them that affirmation.
If they’re struggling at the end of 30 days, that doesn’t mean you immediately let them go. It’s a checkpoint. By this point, and with input from those working alongside them, you should have a better idea what sort of coaching, training or resources you can offer to help them succeed.
When you take the time to hire the right people the first time, you’re not only avoiding the costs of losing people down the road. You’re keeping a toxic culture at bay by only letting people into your company who hold the same core values. When everyone in your tribe is following the same core values, everyone truly is rowing in the same direction.