Part One: How To Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person When You are Growing Fast


September 15, 2020

When you’re poised for growth and moving fast, putting the right people in place is just as important as developing a business strategy. But hiring the wrong person or third-party resource can be more detrimental than leaving the seat open. HR agencies estimate the cost of a bad hire can range from 40% of salary for entry level people to 400% of salary for executives. More importantly these costs can extend beyond monetary value due to the impact on productivity, employee morale, company culture and reputation.

As someone who has advised many companies during high-growth phases, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to get the right people in place. When coaching a CEO, one of the first questions I ask is: “What’s your talent acquisition process?”

If the answer to the question is “we don’t have oneor posting openings on LinkedIn, then I have a fairly good idea of where to take the conversation. One common mistake I see, as newly funded companies strive to hire the best talent, is treating talent acquisition as tactical and reactive versus strategic and proactive.

Companies often rush to fill a position and end up hiring someone who does not meet the needs of the job. This sense of urgency usually happens when an attractive candidate is identified but not properly vetted. The sudden need generally arises due to the departure of a key employee; or when a number of people have to be hired to meet the staffing needs in a given area. A well–conceived talent acquisition process will eliminate these issues.

Such a process should include:

  • Assessing your needs: Why does the need exist and what is the ideal candidate profile?
  • Presenting your brand: What is the message and value–proposition communicated to candidates, and does it reflect your culture?
  • Generating leads: Postings on job boards, recruiting, professional networking and employee referrals.
  • Screening candidates: A thorough screening process will produce more consistent high–quality outcomes and eliminate bias.
  • Interviewing candidates: Everyone involved in the interview process should be trained in behavioral-based interviewing.
  • Onboarding new hires: A strong onboarding process will improve new-hire retention.
Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll talk about the best interview questions to ask in order to get the right people in place.