Con artists get hired all the time. I don’t mean a true swindler in the harshest sense. Rather, a person who claims to have more knowledge or skill than he or she possesses.

Has this ever happened to you? You know who I’m talking about …

When the person interviewed with you, he or she sold themselves as someone with the skills, experience and a great attitude to excel at the job needed to be filled. So you hired the person. Right? Why not? This person appeared to be the perfect candidate for the job.

A few months later, you discover that most of it was a facade. When the dust settled, this person turned out to be fake.

This scenario is too common, particularly with small businesses.  And while we are all hiring managers when comes to being a business owner, we need to take ownership of that result.  It’s also important to understand why it happens so we can prevent it from ever happening again.

I feel that there are two pieces of the puzzle that create this scenario. One piece is human nature, and the other piece is the hiring process.

Here Are 3 Reasons Why Bad Hires Slip Through And How To Stop It

1. Similarity Bias – We naturally gravitate toward people like us. Those with similar behaviors, traits, interests. You don’t even realize it as it’s happening.

Why this is bad: Job candidates, especially the slick ones have honed their ability to connect with the interviewer. Simply put, they use similarity bias against you to win you over.

Do this to fix it: Make sure you have at least 3 people interview the candidate. Pick partners who are distinctly different than you are. This diversity creates multiple perspectives that counterbalance our natural bias.
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2. First-Impression Bias – How many of you just aren’t receiving great candidates and then all of a sudden Mr. or Mrs. right walks in your door as a candidate. You are excited and then your bias kicks in and you talk yourself and the candidate into accepting the job based on a first impression.

Why this is bad: Everyone knows how important first impressions are. Job candidates have expertly crafted intros designed to “wow” you quickly and that creates a bias effect that lasts the remainder of the interview. This causes you to unconsciously overvalue things that don’t warrant it – and minimize or outright miss the red flags.

Do this to fix it: Never judge a book by its cover. Test ’em and give them a try out instead. Take a walk with the candidate and watch how they interact with employees and customers, do they ask questions, evaluate their manners or have them share past work samples or scenarios.

3. Unstructured Interviews – Unfortunately, most small businesses wing it when it comes to interviewing. Don’t take offense to this statement, it’s simply a reality. Usually untrained owners or designated managers are given applications and sent into rooms with polished candidates expecting them to read their soul. Can’t be done.

Why this is bad: The data is irrefutable; a poor interview process only predicts 8% of job performance. Worse odds than flipping a coin. That can’t be acceptable for something so important.

Do this to fix it: Simply put, you need to run people through a more objective, stuctured interviewing screening process to overcome all the forces working against you in the hiring process. You need to have at least 20 structured interview questions that are open ended questions where you can’t get a yes or no answer. These questions force the candidate to share what they have done in the past which will indicate how they will be doing it when they work for you. Then ask a series of probing questions to make sure they are not coming up with made up stories or lies.

These steps will help you hire only the best people to join your team. Now that would be Magical!

If you want to stop hiring candidates who are great during the interview but lousy on the job and you want better results in the hiring process, book John to present his extremely popular workshop called: “How to Find, Interview, Hire and Keep Magical People- 8 Steps To Never Have a Bad Hire Again” which might be the best investment you have ever made. Contact John today!