How many times is needed to fall into the same trap

Analysis of the typical mistakes of the employers in the selection of potential candidates, analysis of causes of unsuccessful selection, whose recommendations can not be take into consideration.

Almost any growing company faces staff recruitment issues. However, when using any of the known methods of selection, the final decision concerning employment of the candidate is made on the basis of complex subjective opinions of company`s management (one or more persons) responsible for the staff employment. This decision is based, as a rule, on a complex of data about the candidate obtained from his resume, recommendations from previous jobs, results of psychological testing and, to a great extent, directly from the interview with the candidate. And, as is well-known, all men are error-prone. And people, who make the decision concerning employment of one of the potential candidates, can make mistakes.

Before we analyze the basic mistakes when applying for a job, it is necessary to determine in which case the employment must be considered as erroneous. As a rule, employers called a mistake in hiring such an employee, who did not meet their expectations in the performance of the relevant professional tasks in substantial part, as well as in efficiency. In addition, under mistake is meant the absence (or vice versa presence) in new employee certain moral and psychological qualities that do not influence positively on the development of a separate division of the company or the company in whole.

All mistakes of employers in hiring new staff can be divided into two main groups - casual errors and systematic errors. Casual errors are caused by various (sometimes ridiculous) misunderstandings. Casual errors tend to occur infrequently and do not have such crucial significance, which have systematic errors.

The systematic component of the error in the admission of a new employee to work is combination of separete errors and inaccuracies, such as:

  1. Error in the definition of problem for recruitment ("performance errors"). This error is caused by the inaccuracy of the definition (and often poorly planned or unplanned) of those tasks, duties and functions that will face the new employee. Practically it means that often the employer clearly does not know who is he looking for. Presence of developed in the companies functional responsibilities (job descriptions) for the new, as well as for existing, jobs (positions) in Ukrainian companies is an exaption from the rule, rather than the rule. Job description is more common, although not always, in Western companies operating in Ukraine. In most cases, the employer, putting the task of finding a new employee, describes his job tasks quite controversial, not particular. So to say, taking as example an image, which is formed in the mind of the employer. And, if in the company there are several responsible for the staff employment, then perceiving image of a potential employee is often completely contradictory. In this case, often the requirements to a specialist may be specified in the process of interviewing as well as after admitting a new employee to work. No doubt, that before definition of problem for recruitment the appropriate manager should find the time to clearify and unambiguously identify a list of functional tasks, that will face the new employee
  2. An error caused by incompletely provided (obtained) information about the candidates for the position ("information error"). On importance this error has the greatest impact on the total systematic component of the error on admission of a new employee to work. In its turn, information error consists of a number of components.
    • A - component - "original error".The employer is not always unambiguously defines, and, therefore, does not receive the list of the    initial (formal) knowledge about the candidate, that can make a basis for decision concerning the admission of a new employee for a specific position. And, it is necessary to emphasize, that the employer does not get an information, not due to fact, that such information is not provided, but because he often has no idea, what he needs to know about the candidate.

      In most cases, a representative of the employer simply clarifies the moments from professional activities, education, etc., which are described in CV or profile of the candidate. So, often knowledge about the candidate can be obtained either just from the candidate's CV (often prepared not in the best way), or from the relatively simplistic and formal questionnaire of the company. Hiring new staff in such companies based on the principle: "He seems to be ok. Let's try". And why he is not bad, is unclear. And then it turns out they got the wrong man. Follow painful discharge, loss of time, etc. And the reason is simple – ia a poor information that just has not been claimed during the selection of applicants.

      Some companies are more demanding while forming the list of knowledge and in knowledge acquisition, they prepare special questionnaires and conduct special professional tests. Errors in the selection of candidates in such companies are much more seldom.

    • B - component - "recommendation all error". The criterion of reality, as known, is practice. It is possible to find out about the practical activities of the applicant prior to his work in the new company by collecting opinions (recommendations) about him. The employer rarely asks the potential candidate for recommendations (written or at least oral) from chiefs of a candidate on previous jobs. This very important rule in Ukraine is not yet common. There is no doubt, that getting open recommendations about an applicant from his current place of work is not always possible due to obvious reasons: the applicant does not take a risk to declare to the old chief about intention to change his place of work before his employment in a new company, and therefore is not able to get the necessary recommendations.

      At the same time, the applicant, as a rule, can submit recommendations from those persons, who, without being a colleague of the applicant in one company (e.g., customers, colleagues from other companies) are know well about his professional activities at the current place of work as same as at his previous positions.

      Our experience suggests that the recommendations from former colleague, clients, as well as just from friends and even from friends related to the professional activities of an aplicant, quite exact characterize the business and the psychological qualities of an applicant. In most cases, a person, who gives a recommendations, tries to describe the qualities of an applicant as objective (unprejudged) as possible. From recommendations can be quite clearly identified, which tasks an applicant can solve the best and which tasks is better not to set.

    • C - component - "psychological mistake". An employer rarely uses psychological testing. To refuse the test means do not have a full information about the moral and psychological characteristics of applicants. It is a mistake to hope that the head of the company will be able to determine fully by himself the behavioral functions of an applicant during the interview with the candidate. Not every psychologist (not to speak of non-professionals in the field of psychology) will be able during usually a simple brief interview to determine the behavioral and psychological characteristics of candidates. To do this, there are corresponding system of tests, which were repeatedly described on the pages of the "HR Department". Our experience in staff recruitment has repeatedly confirmed the consistency of professional psychological tests, and, therefore, behavioral predictability of a new employee in the company.
    • D - component - the "error of success". Long-term experience in staff recruitment shows that unsuccessful specialist`s activities in a particular company, usually (but fortunately not always!), repeats in new failure of the specialist in another company. And vice versa. Who is successful today – predicted to be successful tomorrow. It is often difficult to a specialist to get rid of the personal failures and it requires enormous efforts.

      A specialist can fully meet the formal requirements set by the company (have the necessary experience in performing of certain tasks, hold corresponding positions, etc.). However, already in few months after employment in a new company a specialist can show his inconsistency. Especially quickly and clearly it manifests in the sales professionals (from the sales representative to the executive general manager). And the reason is simple - a specialist is chronically unsuccessful. And this unsuccessfulness was not revealed on the stage of selection of specialist in the company.

      To distinguish a successful specialist from an unfortunate is possible with careful study of his previous professional activities results. In particular, one of the characteristic features of employment history of unsuccessful specialists is quit frequent changes of their work (2-3 times per year). Although again, there are exceptions from this rule. Recommendation to employers about how to prevent this error is very simple - take to the company only successful professionals.


Система требований

Making a conclusion from the above mentioned, it is important to note that the errors in staff selection will be             minimized if the employer will be able to find a professional, whose skills, moral and psychological qualities will meet the best an expected requirements. The main thing is that the employer was able to define clearly the requirements (1) to the candidates and get the most relevant information (2) about applicants. These are the two key system tasks (1 and 2) and without solving them it is impossible to insure errors in the staff employment. The solution of the problem about determining the degree of compliance with the requirements of the company and the characteristics of the applicant in this case is achieved quite simply.

Lets designate the system of requirements of the employer to the new employee as a set F (and this multitude must be described quit clear), a system of skills and abilities of the candidate will designate as a set Q (again, with quit clear description), and the overlapping sets area will designate as a set S (see Figure 1). Then the systematic component of the employer`s error in employment of an appropriate specialist (t) will be minimal, if for the set Qt of candidate`s skills the St overlapping sets area will be maximal.