Bad news: it’s estimated that hiring the wrong manager can cost in excess of £130,000 – as well as damaging your business’ brand.

Those hires that end up not meeting your expectations, or who are tempted away by the next best thing much sooner than you’d hoped, are particularly crippling for small businesses, but a £130,000 hit is not a good thing for any sized organisation.

So how can you make sure that you’re hiring the right person for the role? Someone who will stay long term, do a good job, and fit well with the organisation – how can you identify those people from your talent pool?

Well, we’re here to help. Here are some DOs and DON’Ts when hiring top-level managers.

Things To Do: The Interview Process

Someone who seems like the best fit in the world at interview can turn out to be unexceptional when in the role. Conversely, someone who doesn’t perform well at interview can turn out to be your star performer. It’s clear that the right interview is key to identifying your next hire.

Instead of conducting loosely-structured, ad hoc interviews, identifying the right person for the role requires a more methodical approach, drawing on various elements:

  • Reducing unconscious bias by using the same structured questions for all candidates
  • Identifying value-fit through a series of probing questions designed to identify a candidate’s driving motivators
  • Creating a comfortable, relaxed environment where candidates feel at ease and can perform at their best

A structured interview will allow you to compare candidates side-by-side, rather than relying on your biased intuitions and vague feelings about which candidate is a better fit for the role.

Things To Do: Reliable Assessments

To effectively assess the likelihood of on-the-job success, personality assessments and ability tests are unmatched. While an interview can assess soft-skills and an element of personableness, to really drill-down into someone’s core drivers and behavioural dispositions, personality assessments are very effective.

Choose personality tests with care! There are plenty that do the job very well and are based on years of psychological investigation.

Identifying the best personality test can be a minefield, though, and is often enough to put off potential users. Here are some things to look for to find a reliable assessment:

  • Detailed and publically available technical manual, providing background evidence of the development of the test
  • Freely-available case studies, ROI studies and other research information

Finding a reliable assessment and sifting the invalid from the valid is a difficult task, so we’re here to help if necessary!

Things to Avoid: The Don’ts of Top-Level Hiring

If you’re structuring your interviews and basing your hiring decisions on a valid personality assessment, you’re on your way to hiring the right person – congratulations!

But, even if you’re doing those things, there are still a few things to consciously avoid in the hiring process. Here’s what NOT to do…

  • Don’t place too much emphasis on past experience. Although past experience can be a good sign of a candidate’s ability to do the role, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that they will perform well in this role. Experience is one in a plethora of elements that determine success, so it shouldn’t be treated as all-important and has been proven not to predict success.
  • Don’t hire the person who you get on with the most. This one seems obvious, and if you’re structuring your interviews well and basing decisions on personality assessments then the effect of your personal bias will be reduced, but you will still have a “gut feeling” about candidates. Try not to place emphasis on this feeling, but instead on something more tangible.
  • Don’t assume you’re in the driving seat! All too often, hiring managers assume that candidates are desperate for a role and make very little effort to actively attract candidates. Especially in the public sector, this is not the case: often, the hiring manager will be competing with many other organisations for that single candidate. So be appealing, make the candidate feel valued, and go the extra mile to ensure they want to work for you.

Conclusion: How To Hire The Right Person

So there we have it – the dos and don’ts of hiring managers and top-level executives. There are a number of steps you can put in place to ensure your decisions are based on more than just gut feeling.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and want to avoid the £130,000 cost of a bad hire, we can help! We’re experts in executive assessment and can help you identify the best person for the job – get in touch to see how.