The Hidden Hiring Mistake

Aug 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM · by David Kushan

If you have been a hiring manager long enough, inevitably you have hired the “wrong” person.  When you hire someone and realize within the first 90 days it not going to work out, most people would classify this as a bad hire…or a hiring mistake.  Most people are easily able to figure our how costly this mistake can be.

The hard costs of paying the person while they are being trained, any money spent on outside training and the cost of the internal employees time trying to bring the new person up to speed can all be accounted for.  Add to this the cost of your time and your team’s time in interviewing the person and money really starts to add up.  On top of this, add in any additional costs of a contractor doing the job while you look for a new person, or the affect it has on moral while others work extra hours to compensate and you will find this can damage any organization.

Once this happens to a hiring manager and a team, changes in how the team tends to hire will be implemented.  Of course, if a hiring mistake is made, it is critical to go back over your hiring process to see where things could have been conducted differently.

When evaluating what went wrong, some general questions that tend to get asked are:

  • Did we go through the process too quickly?
  • Should we have had the candidate come back for additional interviews?
  • Did all the right people meet with the candidate?
  • Did we ask the right questions?
  • Did the candidate misrepresent himself or herself?

I have only listed a few above but of course there are many more that could be asked.

However, there is one mistake that is normally not noticed and it can be huge.  It is what I call the hidden mistake. I call it this because it is not as obvious as hiring the wrong person.

This is the mistake of not hiring the right person.

Most people, even if you are not a huge NBA fan, have heard of Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan entered the NBA in 1984.  He was the third player selected in the NBA draft that year.  The first pick in the draft that year was by the Houston Rockets and they selected Hakeem Olajuwon.  With the second pick the Portland Trail Blazers took Sam Bowie.  The Chicago Bulls then took Michael Jordan….and the rest is history.  Two teams passed over Michael Jordon.  Olajuwon may not have been Michael Jordon, but the pick ended up being very successful.  The pick of Sam Bowie has gone down as one of the most unsuccessful picks in NBA history.  Not because Bowie did not become what the Blazers had hoped, but because of who they could’ve, but did not pick!

Now, I know the NBA is not the same as Healthcare IT.  In the NBA you can see how the players you didn’t pick or choose to hire perform.  In the regular job market you can’t. 

What many companies do once they have a bad hire is create a process that, although can keep bad hires from being made, it can also prevents GREAT hires from happening.

You may also like: Two Reasons Why Hiring Is Not Going To Get Any Easier

General, Hiring, David Kushan


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