As UK skills shortages intensify, organisations are accelerating the recruitment process to secure the talent they need. As a result, the last 18 months have seen employers increasingly make hasty hiring decisions they have come to regret.  

A bad hire is much more than a momentary mistake and can prove a major liability that can threaten an organisation’s performance and financial success. Furthermore, recognising and rectifying a failed hire can be costly in regards to the money spent on recruitment, onboarding and training, as well as costs that are difficult to quantify, such as those associated with lost productivity, brand reputation, impact on wider employees.  

With competition for talent exacerbated by the scarcity of skilled candidates, it’s understandable that employers feel under pressure to make fast decisions. However, what are some other reasons organisations employ the wrong people? Here we explore some of the common reasons behind poor hiring decisions and how organisations can ensure they always remain focused on getting the right person.  


1. Knowing (exactly) what you want.

It may seem obvious, but in order to make the right hire, you must first be clear about what you need the individual to be able to do.  This means identifying the specific business need for the role. For example, what outcomes will the new hire be responsible for?  Having established what you want the individual to achieve, next you should clearly identify the specific attributes (such as skills, knowledge and behaviours) that are required for someone to be able to do the job successfully. By having a clear understanding of what is needed for someone to be successful, candidate marketing and assessment activities can be properly targeted.   


2. Advertising in the wrong places.

There have never been more places to market a role, whether on your own  careers page, social media or generalist and sector-specific job boards. However, if your ideal candidates typically don’t utilise these channels, your effort, time and money will go to waste. The best way to understand how your target talent ‘shops’ for roles is to speak with some of your high performers to find out the methods or websites they would use if they were looking for a job. Talking to industry peers to get an insight into how they recruit their best people can provide valuable insights and open new channels. In talent short markets, taking an inclusive approach to candidate marketing is more important than ever.  

It’s important to remember that your ideal candidate is possibly not in the market for a new job. As such,  finding out the social platforms they frequent or the publications they read is a must to get your roles and employer branding messaging in front of them.   


3. Not utilising the correct assessment methods.

Many organisations will benefit from reviewing their interviews and broader assessment and selection processes in order to ensure that they are fit for purpose.  Interviews are likely to form the key part of most assessment processes, so ensuring they are well designed is key.  Well designed interviews do not only improve the ability to make the right decision – they also have a huge impact on the candidate experience, which can be invaluable when competing for in demand talent.  However, alongside interviews, there is a wide range of other assessment tools and processes that can be employed to support the hiring.  By employing the appropriate assessments, organisations can free up interviewer time, make processes faster and dramatically improve the quality of the hiring decisions, whilst also providing an excellent (and differentiating) candidate experience.   


4. Untrained interviewers.

Hiring someone, for most managers, is a significant investment decision.  Most organisations would not allow a manager to spend £50,000 on buying a new piece of technology after speaking to the sales person for an hour, but they’ll let them hire someone on that salary, which is normally a much bigger and potentially longer term investment. However, so few organisations are investing in training managers to support them in this critical decision; a 2021 CIPD survey noted that only 30% of organisations trained all interviewers on their legal obligations and on how to be objective in interviews.  

Being a great interviewer is not innate; it’s a quality that can be taught and bolstered through training and practice. Furthermore, effective training enables interviewers to provide an excellent candidate experience, especially in this candidate driven market where the control is certainly in the candidate’s hands. Consider providing training for interviewers on how to follow a structured process  to ensure candidates are evaluated equally and fairly.  


Improve your hiring outcomes  

We understand that when it comes to recruiting, time is of the essence to ensure productivity is maintained. However, making the wrong decision quickly doesn’t benefit anyone and is hugely costly.  To help organisations recruit and retain the right talent, Omni has created the Resourcing Effectiveness Assessment (REA), which delivers valuable insights into where they are now and identifies the necessary action to drive improvements that ensure resourcing practices are directly aligned to organisational success.  

To learn more about how Omni’s REA can support your organisation, get in touch with one of our consultants today. Alternatively, complete our mini REA to receive a free report that identifies your strengths and topline areas for development. Click here to start yours now.