What Can You Do When Hiring Isn’t Working?

Question: We have a pretty extensive interviewing process in our company. We spend a lot of time making sure the person has the right skills and experience, yet our last few hires didn’t work out. We aren’t sure what else we can do to hire people, any suggestions?

Companies often think that because they have an extensive interviewing process everything should work out. Extensive usually means that they conduct multiple interviews, review the person’s skills and experience, ask a lot of questions and the candidate meets a lot of people in the company. Unfortunately, none of these have much to do with making a good hire.

First off, skills and experience are completely irrelevant in hiring. They are important, just not relevant. You proved this by the fact that you spent a lot of time assessing the candidate’s skills and experience, yet they still failed. Why? As a hiring manager, what you care about is the candidate’s ability to apply those skills and experiences in order to achieve certain results. If they can’t then they may be a good candidate, but they aren’t the right candidate. The focus of an interview should not be on “Have you ever done X?” but rather, “How would you do X?” The first question focuses on their past. The second question requires them to explain how they will apply their skills and experiences. It is always better to ask, “How would you?” than “Have you?”

Secondly, interviewing requires competent interviewers. I would like to know if you have ever sat in and assessed others during their interviews to determine if they are even competent interviewers? So often we just assume that everyone is a great interviewer, when in fact they are not. Your interviewing process is only as good as your worst interviewer.

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Brad Remillard