It’s hard to know if you’ve picked the right candidate for the job. All the behavioral questions, interviewing and personality or skills testing will not give you exactly what you need to make the decision to hire, or keep looking. At some point, there is an element of “gut feel” to every new hire.
Here are some things to consider when trying to figure out if you should settle for a less-than-perfect candidate – or hold out for someone better.
Weighing the New Hire Risk
The first thing to share is that our labor market is at historically low levels. Unemployment is below 4 percent and in some fields, especially technology, the demand far exceeds the supply of candidates.
However, you also understand the costs of hiring the wrong person for the job. Forbes did an interesting article a couple of years ago on the true cost of bad hires. The article pointed out:
- Zappos estimated the cost of bad hires to have run them well over $100 million.
- Recruiting firm Jorgen Sundberg says it costs $240,000 per employee to onboard them properly.
- The U.S. Department of Labor says the cost of a bad hire is, at a minimum, 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings.
If you’re running a small company, settling for the wrong hire is a particularly risky proposition because you usually have a lower tolerance or loss. On the other hand, the job market may necessitate settling for a candidate who has a great attitude but not the exact skills you’re looking for. If this is the case, keep in mind it’s likely the workers around the “second best” candidate will have to work a little harder to ensure the new employee has the skills they need to perform well. Also, recognize there will be a learning curve that will slow productivity – and not just for the new employee.
You also must weigh the level of desperation around making the new hire. Has the role been open for a while? In the case of hiring software developers, should you compromise with a more junior-level employee with the ability to learn quickly or hold out for a more mid to senior-level resource?
On the flip side, how much of a strain is the job opening putting on your existing employees? Is your inability to find the right candidate putting your best employees at risk of burnout as they struggle to handle the extra work?
None of these are easy questions to answer, especially in this kind of job market. One question you should answer, however, is whether you’ve utilized all the resources available to find the right candidate. A tough job market necessitates creative partnerships. If you’ve never used a third-party vendor to help you troll the market for the right talent, now might be the time – before you settle for the wrong candidate that costs you big money in the long run.
Blackstone Talent Group is in the business of people. We work closely with our clients so they never have to settle for the second-best talent. Contact us and start the conversation.