Most Company’s Hiring Process Is Not A Process

We find that this occurs because the hiring process really isn't a process in many companies. Many hiring processes tend to be random and with incompetent, untrained people. This is not a knock on the people, it is just a fact. So why do companies expect hiring to be accurate and to attract top talent with a random or unstructured  process?

I know this sounds so obvious. Come on, who in their right mind would expect any business process to be reliable if it  produced expected results only 56% of the time.  A company wouldn't allow it. They would fix the process or shut it down. Would any company have incompetent or untrained people processing incoming checks with unstructured procedures? Lose just one check and everything stops, procedures and controls are assessed, people are retrained or fired, and the CFO personally oversees that it never happens again.

This is true with most processes except hiring. Most companies accept a high failure rate. Why any company accepts this is beyond me when this can be improved with some relatively easy fixes.

The fact is that most hiring managers have little or no training on interviewing and hiring and hence take the assistance from to find the right candidate match for their organization. Many only do it once or twice a year. So even if they have some training, by the time they hire someone they have forgotten most of the training. There are no college level courses focused on hiring. Most people learn on-the-job. One day they are an individual contributor and the next day they are promoted to a manager and told to hire their replacement. So how did this person become competent at hiring overnight?

This new hiring manager is going to hire the way they were hired. This new manager will follow the same methodology whether it is good or bad. Where do you think this person will get the interviewing questions  to ask the candidates? Generally, from the people who hired them. And where do you think the person who hired them got their interviewing questions? And so on, until we finally hit Moses.  Many hiring processes have not really changed with the times. We call this “tribal hiring.”  It is just passed down from generation to generation. But some other have changed and third parties come in to the picture, you can get Linked By Codestaff.

For any process to work it has to repeatable, be structured, have competent people, and have some measurement of accountability so when things go wrong (and they always will) one can identify the problem and fix it. In my thirty years as a recruiter and 15 years helping companies implement a structured process I have yet to find a company that does this.The fact is that this new hiring manager is not prepared for hiring.  Another fact is that people often assume that because someone has hired a lot of people, that  makes them good at hiring even though no one has validated the performance of those hires.

In fact, I have seen only a few companies that include hiring top talent as part of their performance management system. Why not hold managers accountable for poor hires the same way companies do for other poor performance? At least this would begin to establish a process where a company can identify those  managers that need training, so they can become better at  hiring.

There are at least five distinct steps to an effective hiring process. These steps have to be repeatable,  with competent people and accountability to correct and improve the process. For many companies this falls to HR. However, since the vast majority of companies don't have an HR department, then it has to fall where everything else in an organization should fall, with the CEO.

The five critical steps are:

  1. A job description that  defines the expected standards of top performance for the position. Not the standard job description that defines a person's background and lists the basic duties, tasks and responsibilities. The candidate should already know all of these. Maybe companies should ask the candidate to prepare a job description just to see if the candidate knows the job.
  2. A sophisticated sourcing plan that will attract top performers that are not actively looking for a position, but are open to a compelling opportunity.
  3. Probing interviews with competent people doing the interviewing that tests the candidate's ability to the job BEFORE you hire them. This means that the candidate must be able to explain exactly how they will deliver the performances standards defined in the job. They must detail how they will do these in your company, with your resources, within your culture and your budget, with your management style, with your customers, and with all of the the things that make your company different.
  4. There must be proper feedback or discussion of the candidate's ability to do the job  immediately after the candidate interviews. Not two days later standing in a Starbucks line while  you wait for your coffee. Not just asking the question, “What did you think of the candidate?”
  5. There must other tests, presentations,  and assessments to validate that what the candidates said they did, they actually did do and did it at the level and with the results they claimed.

These five steps are absolutely critical in every effective hiring process. Just having them isn't enough. There must be some metric that determines if the process is working and where improvement needs to occur.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, You’re NOT The Person I Hired. Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.



How To Overcome The Top Ten Hiring Mistakes

Top Ten Hiring Mistakes - Hiring Errors

We created a video describing the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes and how you can use the 5 simple steps of our Success Factor Methodology to overcome these common hiring mistakes and errors.


Top Ten Hiring Mistakes Video

Discover the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes and the steps to overcome them


FREE e-Book How to Improve Hiring Top Talent

You can explore in more depth the specific techniques on how to overcome the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes by downloading a free digital version of our best selling book titled “You’re NOT the Person I Hired.” To download this e-book on improving your hiring process, please click the link below:

Download our FREE e-book - You're NOT the Person I Hired


Take our Hiring Assessment

At the end of the video, we recommend taking our one-page Hiring Assessment to determine if your company is capable of consistently hiring top talent. Click the link below to complete our popular Hiring Assessment Matrix. Take a moment or two to complete the Assessment, shoot it back to us at IMPACT Hiring Solutions, and you’ll be eligible for a complimentary evaluation of “What’s it going to take to start hiring top talent.”

Download our popular hiring assessment to determine if you can hire top talent


How often do you make the same mistakes in hiring? How many subordinates and peers make these mistakes over and over?

When is the right time to improve your hiring process? Should it be when you have to hire 2 more people or 22? Should it be when you want to grow your monthly revenue by $300,000 or $30 million over the next three years?

Barry Deutsch

Solving The NUMBER One Hiring Problem Can Be Done

The number one hiring problem is untrained people. Most people have never had any formal training on hiring. This is especially true in mid to small companies. Even many large organizations don't train managers on this topic. Some companies may provide interviewing training, but that is only one step in an effective hiring methodology. There is a lot more to hiring than just interviewing. For example sourcing top talent, you can have great interviewers, but if people aren't trained how to bring top talent to your table, then all interviewing will do is validate they aren't qualified. Your hiring process is still ineffective. That is just one example.

Many companies treat hiring different than any other process in the company. If most processes in a company were as poor as the hiring process, training would take center stage. Yet for some reason poor hiring is often accepted as the norm, when it doesn't have to be with proper training.

Most people learn to hire from the person that interviewed them. And the people that hired them learned how to hire from the people that hired them and so it goes back to Moses. We refer to this as the “tribal hiring process.” This is not a training program. Recently I asked about a hundred CEO's and key executives how many have actually sat in on interviews for the sole purpose of assessing/auditing the ability of their managers or peers to conduct a thorough in-depth probing interview? Less than 10% had actually done this. So most CEO's and key executives don't even know if the people they are relying on to hire are competent. Only in hiring would a manager not know if someone is competent or not.

To dramatically improve your hiring process involves two steps; first there are 5 key steps to every hiring process. So develop an effective hiring process that will work for your company. It must be able to put candidates in the job BEFORE you hire them. Second train your people to effectively implement the process. This should include an annual refresher or some sort of continuing education on the hiring process. Think what the ROI will be to your company if you only hired the best and hired them the first time. A small investment in training your people can accomplish this.

Making a bad hire can be costly, but rarely dramatically changes a company. Making a great hire can not only transform your company, but help ensure you reach the goals you desire for your company.

Join the other 10,000 CEO's, key executives, and HR professionals who have downloaded a FREE copy of our best selling book, “You're NOT The Person I Hired.” Just CLICK HERE for your FREE ebook.

Download our free hiring process assessment tool. It will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your hiring process. Then fix the weaknesses so you can start hiring top talent.

I welcome your thoughts and comments

Brad Remillard

Technorati claim ZXWMWZR7BR8Y

Can You Avoid the Most Common Hiring Errors?

Over the last 6 months I’ve noticed an interesting trend occurring in the 25-30 CEO groups, such as Vistage and TEC,  in which I’ve presented our “You’re NOT the Person I Hired” Speaker Program. Prior to 6 months ago, the key issue was “How do I retain my best people.” Now the primary issue is “How do I avoid making a hiring mistake.”


It almost seems like many companies have forgotten best practices in hiring top talent through the recession, where they didn’t get to “practice” the techniques of proper hiring. Like any other business process, we sometimes get “out of sync” when we do not use and practice the disciplines of best practices on a regular basis.

Historical Context

Before jumping into the the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes, I’d like to provide a little historical context.


My partner, Brad Remillard, and I have been conducting executive search for over 25 years together. In the first 10 years of our firm, we noticed that a very strange thing happened in most hiring decisions. Frequently, the candidate who got the job was typically the best interviewee, but many times was not the best employee. They were successful at “winning” the interview, but unsuccessful in achieving the desired results.


Conversely, many of the candidates who were horrific in the interview: quiet, reserved, introverted, nervous, and shy – did not get a chance to prove themselves, yet their on the job performance was stellar in their previous roles and the next job they took.


Here’s a couple of questions to ponder:


Have you ever hired someone that you thought was the perfect candidate, but they didn’t work out?


Have you ever taken a risk on hiring someone that didn’t interview perfectly, yet they turned out to be one of your best hires?


We stepped back, scratched our heads, and wondered what was going on in the hiring process that led most executives and managers to make mistakes on many of the candidates they met? How could there be such a dichotomy between interviewing performance and on-the-job performance?


How could the best interviewees not always be the best performers? How could the worst interviewees sometimes be the best performers? After 25 years of executive search and over 1,000 search assignments, we cannot find one single shred of evidence linking how well candidates do in the interview with their on-the-job performance (as interviews are normally conducted in most companies)!

Is there hope to improve this depressing and dysfunctional hiring state?


Of course you can improve it. The key is to overcome the most common hiring mistakes with a structured and rigorous hiring process.

Our Landmark Study on Hiring Mistakes

Prior to writing our best selling book titled “You’re NOT the Person I Hired” (same title as our Vistage/TEC Speaker Program), we commissioned a formal research study among CEOs within and outside of the the Vistage/TEC community trying to discern what are the Top Ten Mistakes CEOs and Senior Executives Make in Hiring. The Executive Summary of this Study can be found in the Vistage Village Library, on our website, and in the appendix of the book.


We’ve seen a dramatic improvement in hiring success among companies that have implemented a more structured and rigorous hiring process. Many times in the past, these companies would commit multiple mistakes and repeat them over and over. Most studies of hiring accuracy over the past 50 years show that hiring as it is traditionally done is not much more accurate than flipping a coin.

Frightening to think that the future success of your company could hinge on “luck.”


If you can overcome the most common hiring mistakes – what we call “The TOP TEN Hiring Mistakes”, you can improve your hiring accuracy well into the 80% plus range. Imagine from this point forward, every hire you make in your organization, you’ve got a 80% plus accuracy in hiring employees who not only achieve your expectations of performance, but they also do it with set of behaviors that is consistent with your values and culture.


Would that make a difference?


I would love to hear from you about the before/after comparison of hiring success in your company. What was the accuracy, problems, issues prior to improving your hiring process – and what happened after you implemented a more structured and rigorous process?


I’m going to take each of the hiring mistakes identified in our original research project and blog about each one separately, including the key steps you can take to overcome and prevent that mistake from ever occurring again!

Barry Deutsch

Hiring Sales People Made Easier

Question: We have a hard time hiring sales people. Any suggestions on how to hire great sales people?

We receive more complaints and questions about hiring sales people than any other position. Hiring great sales people takes time. Most companies expect when they decide to hire a sales person at that exact same moment in time a great sales person will also be looking and their paths will cross in some magical way. Rarely, if ever, does this happen.

Hiring great sales people is a process, not an event. You should constantly be on the lookout for great sales people. You should be soliciting names from your current sales team, using LinkedIn to identify potential sales people, and asking your customers, “Who are the best sales people calling you?” Then you can start engaging them in very low key ways. For example, ask to meet with them for coffee one morning, send them a request to connect on LinkedIn, or once a month or so send them an email about something exciting happening in your company or industry. Just begin a dialog with them. As you do, you will develop a queue of potential candidates. This doesn’t take a lot of time, maybe an hour a month. This is a small investment for a great sales person.

Join the other 10,000 CEO's, key executives, and HR professionals who have downloaded a FREE copy of our best selling book, “You're NOT The Person I Hired.” Just CLICK HERE for your FREE ebook.

Want to assess your hiring process? Download our FREE 8-Point Hiring Methodology Assessment Scorecard. How does your company rank on these critical points? CLICK HERE to download.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. If you liked this article and found it helpful, please forward it to others.

Brad Remillard