Poor skills match common reason new hires don’t work out: Survey

Unclear performance expectations, personality conflicts also factors
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/30/2011

For employers, determining a job applicant's skills fit is a skill in itself.

In a recent Robert Half Finance and Accounting survey, more than one-third (36 per cent) of the 1,400 American CFOs interviewed said the top factor leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match.

CFOs were asked, "Aside from poor performance, which one of the following factors is most likely to lead to a failed hire?" Unclear performance expectations came in second (30 per cent), followed by personality conflicts (17 per cent) and failure to fit into the corporate culture (14 per cent).

"Companies can't afford hiring mistakes, which are costly and can erode staff morale," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Finding the right match requires time and attention, and it's something even busy managers need to make time for."

To make better hiring decisions, Robert Half Finance and Accounting recommends employers:

•Know what they want: Don't just recycle the same job description — take a fresh look at the desired skills and provide a detailed job description to help reduce the number of resumés from unqualified applicants.

•Look for the intangibles: A candidate's skill set is not limited to functional abilities — it also includes how well she works in a collaborative environment so take soft skills such as leadership and communication into account.

•Make a personal connection: Conduct interviews with applicants to delve deeper into qualifications, assess whether they will fit into the corporate culture and establish a rapport.

•Tap all their resources: Take advantage of the tools available such as asking employees for referrals.

•Woo their top choices: In any economy, people in high demand specialties commonly have multiple job offers so sell the benefits of the firm and offer a competitive compensation package.

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