Hiring Wisdom: How to Deal With Your Under Performers

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

It’s pretty much the norm that about 10 percent of your employees will always fall into the “under performers” camp.

So, if you find they’re causing 90 percent of your headaches, the easiest way to permanently fix the problem is to raise your hiring standards across the board.

No more hiring the first warm body that walks in the door because you needed someone yesterday. No more hiring unqualified friends of friends. No more hiring based on personal biases (“We went to the same school.”). Or hiring decisions made solely on the basis of ad libbed interviews and gut instinct feelings.

Look at how you can improve you results

Insist on telephone pre-screens, capacities, skills, and attitude testing. Position applicants to tell you the truth and use a standardized interview question set so you can always compare apples to apples. Check references. (For the specifics of an effective, efficient hiring system, you need to buy, beg, or borrow a copy of Hire Tough, Manage Easy.)

Even if you already have a good system in place, it will still pay dividends to look at how you might improve your results.

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The managers of two very different enterprises I worked with at the recent Multi-Unit Franchise Conference reported that, even though they were already using testing to screen in the best, when they raised the bar and changed the process, the long-term result was that the employees who now comprise the bottom 10 percent perform at level of those who used to be in the 30th percentile.

This was originally published in the July 2011 Humetrics Hiring Hints newsletter.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.

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