As entrepreneurs, hiring mistakes can be very costly. The staggering costs of a bad hire are more than one might think because it impacts everything from the obvious hard cost of cash to the indirect costs of productivity, culture, client experience, etc. Indirect costs can be vastly higher than the hard costs.

Some sources suggest that a bad hire can cost as much as $840,000.

Sure, that might be a bit on the extreme side, but knowing ALL of the big picture costs, the importance of hiring well is obvious.

Hiring is complex. We won’t always get it right, but let’s do the best we can. So let’s dive into some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Hiring Mistake #1: Gut Instinct or Hiring Just for Attitude

Have you ever just known that the person sitting across from you is the right hire? You hit it off in the interviews, they fit your culture and have some relevant experience? There are some red flags, but you want to hire them anyway? I know I have. Chances are, you like them because they are similar to you. You’re blinded by that similarity and you need a third party perspective and profiling tools to remove the blinders.

It’s important to collect data when hiring so you can get a complete picture of the person you are considering for the role. Save yourself some trouble and use a professional, if you can afford it, get legitimate references and trust your profiling tools.

Let’s touch briefly on profiling tools. We have found the Kolbe Index works best for companies running on EOS™. There is an ideal Kolbe profile for each seat on the Accountability Chart. Kolbe is an instinctive profiling tool, helping us understand a person’s ‘natural way’ of doing things and certain instincts are needed for certain roles. Other common profiling tools like Meyers-Briggs, DISC or Enneagram focus more on behaviours and they are also good resources. Profiling tools do work, so use them to create a complete picture of your candidate.

Hiring Mistake #2: Hiring a ‘Warm Body’

Sometimes we are so busy that we hire someone quickly to fill a role because we feel we don’t have time to do a proper search. We need the work done so we hire a ‘warm body’. While the work may get done, the quick hire might not fit your culture, team, or values and they may not stay, likely putting you even further behind.

As hard as it is to be patient, hiring slowly is essential. Your team would rather rally together and cover for a missing person than put up with a jerk. Better a hole, than an a-hole! Your search can’t go on forever or your team will burn out.

This also highlights the importance of building your bench. If you are constantly interviewing or meeting people, you may have good candidates waiting in the wings. Even when you have strong candidates, still be patient, take your time and truly get to know them. It’s all about finding the right fit and that takes time. It may help to recall the true cost of a bad hire to encourage you to slow down a bit.

Hiring Mistake #3: Previous Experience

Surely if the person has done the role well before, then they can do it again in your company and do it well? Your potential hire may be really good at what they do. They do it naturally. The role is in their Unique Ability, as Dan Sullivan calls it, they get energy from it and they know the right questions to ask to improve the role. But will they get bored? What about growth?

And do they fit your culture? If not, these ‘shiny people’ can distract you from building a great organization. It appears they will help you succeed because of their talents, but they will damage your culture. Your culture is the key to everything in your business and we can not sacrifice it, no matter how pretty the prize.

Discover what your true core values are for your company and hire based on them – no exceptions! Build your interview questions around discovering whether the candidate actually lives your core values. Their answers will be filled with excitement and tangible examples if they are the right person for your company.

Right Person, Right Seat

The bottom line, to avoid hiring mistakes, let’s learn a lesson from Jim Collins in Good to Great. The candidate needs to be the right person AND in the right seat. They need to fit your culture AND be doing work within their Unique Ability. You must have both. Ignore one at your peril!

Can you imagine a company where EVERYONE in the company is the right person, in the right seat? I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it, and I’ve helped companies along this journey. It’s incredibly powerful and something worth fighting for, so let’s make it happen.

Watch for my next post where I’ll share my journey of finding my Sweet Spot and how it can help you.

Next Steps:

Like what you’re reading? Have business leadership tips delivered directly to your inbox! Sign-up today.