1 in 8 new hires in 2012 were unsuccessful: Survey

Only one-half of firms rate their hiring process as 'highly effective'

Many organizations are questioning whether they made wise hiring decisions last year, as one in eight new employees in the last 12 months were unsuccessful, according to a survey by Development Dimensions International (DDI).

And they are not alone — one-half of new employees are experiencing buyer’s remorse after taking a job offer last year.

“There is a great paradox in that both unemployment and the number of open positions hover at uncomfortably high levels — and simultaneously, organizations and candidates are shaky about the decisions they made in staffing and accepting roles this year,” said Scott Erker, senior vice-president for DDI’s selection solutions and the study’s co-author.

DDI’s Global Selection Forecast 2012 includes responses from more than 250 staffing directors and 2,000 new hires from 28 countries, including Canada.

When staffing directors were asked what the top reasons were for hiring mistakes, nearly one-third of responders blamed overreliance on hiring manager evaluations and 21 per cent blamed candidates overselling their own skills.

“An unpleasant surprise after a candidate becomes an employee is that the new hire just is not cut out for the job. The shame of it all is that information about candidates goes undiscovered in the selection process,” Erker said. “Hiring managers need to go farther below the surface to really get to the truth about an employee’s fit for the job.”

The research reported that only one-half (48 per cent) of all organizations rated the hiring process as highly effective.

The report found organizations fail to paint a realistic picture of the job, department and company during the hiring process. Not surprising, the research also found that organizations that do a better job of giving a candidates a realistic job preview, yielded hires that were more confident in their decision, highly engaged and less likely to get right back on the job boards.

“One way to avoid quick quits is to be real in describing what it will be like on day five, 50 and 150 for that candidate during the interviewing process. Painting a rosy picture or pulling a bait-and-switch once they’re on the job will just mean you’ll fill that position again in six to 12 months,” Erker said.

Interviews remain the hardest working selection tool to predict new-hire performance and resulting business impact, according to the research. The only catch — they have to be done correctly.

Only one in three staffing directors said their hiring managers are skilled at conducting high quality interviews — probably due to the fact that the same number are satisfied with their interviewer-training program.

So what does a bad interview look like? Respondents included their top bad questions from recent interviews are about race, age, religion, belief in ghosts and even food preferences.

Additional findings include:

• Only one-half (48 per cent) of staffing directors rated “retaining new hires” as a top priority — it was the third highest priority when asked to pick their top choice.

• Less than two-thirds of staffing directors reported that their interview guides are based on an identified set of competencies for the role they’re hiring.

• Less than 30 per cent of staffing directors are satisfied with their interviewer training program.

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