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  • Writer's pictureW Jaxon

How To Avoid Bad Hires?

The biggest mistake that can cost you a fortune as a hiring manager of a tech startup is hiring the wrong person for a job. One of the articles by CB Insights, "The Top 12 Reasons Startups Fail," mentions that 14% of startups fail because they don’t have the right team.

As a startup, it's crucial to hire the right people for the team you have or are building. But who exactly can you call "bad hires"?

A "bad hire" refers to an employee who struggles to meet productivity goals, delivers subpar work, exhibits a negative or introverted attitude, lacks required skills, shows inconsistent performance, and may potentially leave the organization shortly after joining.

Now, a big question you might have is, how can I avoid them?

It's said that “there are no dead ends. There is always a way out. What you learn in one failure you utilize in your next success.”

After careful research and experimenting with this ourselves, we came up with a core process that involves 5 steps.

Firstly, having clear job criteria is crucial. This involves crafting detailed job descriptions that explicitly outline the responsibilities, required skills, and expectations for the role. It's essential to specify qualifications and even touch upon cultural aspects integral to the position and the company. 

Once you're done working on the first step, move on to the second step, i.e., thorough interviews. Thorough interviews further contribute to effective hiring. Structured interviews with standardized questions, behavioral inquiries, and role-specific scenarios help assess a candidate's suitability for the role. However, don't get attached too quickly to a candidate because you haven't checked our candidate's work history, which is why we have the third step, which we named reference check.

Reference checks play a crucial role in verifying a candidate's work history, performance, and qualifications. Employers can gain valuable insights by contacting previous employers and asking specific questions about a candidate's strengths, weaknesses, and problem-solving skills. After all this research, if you think you've found the one you've been waiting for, NO! Not yet. You need to ensure that the candidate fits into the company culture because you don't want to bring in someone who will hinder the peaceful work environment. That's why you go for a cultural fit assessment.

Cultural fit assessment involves evaluating alignment with company values, team compatibility, and adaptability to the working environment. When assessing cultural fit, it's like checking if the candidate and the company vibe match – making sure their values align with the company's. It's not just about skills; it's about seeing if they'll click with the team and smoothly adapt to the work environment. We're figuring out if they'll not only do the job but also be a good fit in the overall workplace scene. Finally, 50% of the work is done! 

Do you think it's all done if you do paper research and just a few meetings to hire them? Don't! The final step will give you all the assurance you have been looking for in a candidate.

Finally, incorporating a trial period, such as a probationary period, allows for an assessment of the candidate's performance before making a permanent commitment. Clear expectations and a feedback mechanism during this period contribute to a more informed hiring decision, ultimately minimizing the likelihood of a bad hire. Hope things worked out, and you did not hire the wrong person.

Avoiding bad hires is crucial for startup success, especially given that about 14% of startups fail due to team issues. In startups, where every choice carries significant weight, hiring the wrong person can lead to long-lasting problems. It's not just about filling a position; it's about building a team that truly understands the company's values and can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.

So all in all, if you want to avoid hiring the wrong person, it's essential to go through the hiring process diligently and check yourself.

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