Let’s begin by considering the costs involved

An employee resignation heralds a decrease in productivity. Between the employee’s personal feelings – if they are unhappy at work, they won’t be fully productive – and their resignation period, work tends to get pushed to the wayside as no new projects can be started. Add the manager’s time and effort spent on finding a replacement – CV searches, interviews, discussions, agency fees – and you are already looking at a substantial cost. That is without factoring in the impact an employee resignation will have on the rest of the team, or the on-boarding process that follows when a new person joins the company.

If you’ve recruited a star player, then the time, effort, and money invested is worth it. In the long run, the new hire will pay for themselves. However, if you recruit a candidate that proves to be unsuitable, that is more time, effort and money spent to try and correct the mistake. Here’s how to avoid that.

So, how do you avoid recruiting the wrong person?

Interviews are not always the best way to shortlist candidates, especially if they are prone to nerves. However, interviews are a valuable way to reduce the chances of recruiting the wrong person.

Try to eliminate bias… as much as possible

This is difficult, but try not to judge candidates based on characteristics like their appearance, accent, or name. An effective recruiter should be impartial.

Ask the right questions

Ask questions related to competency and situations, such as ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’ This will allow them to demonstrate how they react to off-the-wall thinking, and indicate the way they work with unfamiliar and stressful situations – although good candidates have probably already prepared for the interview in advance.

Really listen

Again, impartiality is key. Try to understand what the candidate in front of you is saying without bias; that means no comparison to previous employees, mind-reading, judging, or jumping to conclusions. Put all your focus into understanding their perspective, rather than losing yourself in your own thoughts.

Get a verbal reference

While you can get an impression of a candidate during an interview, asking for a verbal reference is useful because it can either confirm or deny your initial understanding of the candidate. However, keep in mind that, just like you, other people will have biases as well.

Ask them to solve a problem

Asking candidates to solve work-related problems yields important insights because it allows you to look at the quality of their work, the way they think, reason and come to solutions.

Finally, have a little faith in your instincts: some people just don’t interview well, and your biases could be right on the mark. However, all hope isn’t lost; just keep looking, and you’ll find your star candidate in no time. If you’re struggling to locate viable candidates, our database of over 50,000 candidates can be your first port of call.