Reducing Hiring Mistakes

Don’t you hate hiring the wrong people? Don’t you hate how often it happens? How’d you feel about reducing hiring mistakes? You think these are dumb questions? OK then, here’s some free advice:

Stop asking the wrong questions.

Simple as that seems, asking the wrong questions has a long standing in the annals of human resources personnel. We wrote about it over five years ago when no less a scholarly body than Harvard had something to say on the matter. And just a few weeks back I gave you a simple method for reducing hiring mistakes.

Reducing Hiring Mistakes

Now, let’s get inside your head a little bit. Yup, asking the wrong questions is often about your state of mind.

Specifically, reducing hiring mistakes comes down to what you’re trying to glean about a potential hire’s psyche and whether it’s useful to “go there”. So ask yourself: do you really care about prospective employees’ ability to tell stories?

Literally, you might. But as this article points out, “Tell me about a time when …” skews toward storytelling and often provides no real insight into how good someone will be at a job. And amazingly, it’s one of the few places where older candidates (unfairly!) test out better than younger ones. Turns out older people really are smarter than younger ones!

Again, maybe you care about storytelling. A big part of what I do with clients is relying on real-world examples of things, and people often find that useful. Workers without a need to tell stories every day are better-uncovered by asking “what would you do if …”.

Short and sweet, right? Reducing hiring mistakes isn’t about reading piles of résumés. It isn’t about chemistry, outside of checking for broad team-integrative qualities. Most often, reducing hiring mistakes is about you having a better handle on what it is you’re trying to figure out.

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