How do you know you have hired the right candidate?

Here, Sinead Hasson explains why hiring the right people to work for you is crucial for a small business – a good hire can make your business whilst a poor hiring decision can cost you.

Hiring mistakes are expensive in terms of both the effort and money that is paid and lost, the time spent and wasted that could have been spent with the right candidate as well as the impact on other employees in your company when there is a high turnover of staff.

Recruitment and the decisions you make over just a few meetings can be costly. You meet someone once, twice or maybe three times and then you make a decision which will have a profound effect on your business and the candidate.

It’s not just about filling a role – everyone you add to your business, no matter how senior, will affect the equilibrium of the team or the whole company. You want that effect to be positive, you want the person to be with you for a long time and to make a valuable contribution to work and to play.

But, sometimes it just doesn’t work, a personality trait that wasn’t evident in interview could be catastrophic for your team and your clients. How someone presents themselves at interview can be vastly different in real life.

The person who says I am punctual, energetic and passionate in the interview could turn up late, be lethargic and lazy. Human nature often means that we give people the benefit of the doubt, so months can go by before you realise you really have a problem. At this stage you will have invested time, training and money.

So what can you do to safeguard against a bad decision and find the right candidate?

Make sure your hiring managers are trained to interview candidates properly and ensure everyone involved in the recruitment process is on the same page.

Include your harshest critic in the process (every company has one!).

Have a set of culture test questions prepared that you ask everyone and it’s a good idea conduct background checks – check out LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – it’s easy to find out what people are like.

Remember a probation period is there for a reason, so that you and your new colleague can try each other out. Be clear about your expectations and if there are traits that you observe which don’t match your expectations communicate it quickly.

Decision making isn’t easy and sometimes things slip through the net. You have to be confident and trust yourself, but at the same time recognise when it’s wrong and fix it immediately.

Sinead Hasson is managing director and founder of Hasson Associates.

Further reading on interview advice

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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