When Hiring an Employee, Avoid the Perils of a ‘Mismatched Skill Set’

Sometimes employers are so eager to fill a vacancy that they hire the wrong person. Sometimes this “wrong person” has an outstanding resume, and a strong record of performance. But if that employee’s skills aren’t right for your business, the results can be a disaster for all involved.

Robert Half Finance & Accounting recently looked into the root causes of why certain hires simply don’t work out.

The staffing firm interviewed chief financial officers, and found that, aside from poor performance, failed hires are a result of a mismatched skill set.

“While executives at firms of all sizes cite a mismatched skill set as the leading contributor to hiring failures, CFOs at the smallest companies (20-49 employees) are more likely than their peers at the largest organizations (1,000 or more employees) to fault unclear performance expectations and personality conflicts,” The company said, in a statement.

Therefore, Robert Half Finance & Accounting is offering these tips to avoid making a bad hire:

  • Identify the must-haves. Make a list of essential skills and those that can be learned through training. While technical expertise can help people land the job, it’s their soft skills that ensure they’re a fit for the company and can take on greater responsibilities.
  • Don’t shortcut the reference check. Talk to candidates’ former managers to get a better sense of whether employees might do well at your firm. Ask about individuals’ work styles, strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Get outside help. By tapping the extensive networks of a specialized recruiting firm, you gain access to a larger talent pool. A recruiter can help evaluate each job seeker based on the required skills and performance expectations and accelerate the hiring process.
  • Act immediately. If you find a great applicant, move quickly and offer attractive compensation. Separate Robert Half research shows promising candidates lose interest when companies delay making a decision. Don’t prolong the process.

As the labor market tightens, the risk of hiring the wrong person increases. These days, it’s more important than ever to hire the right person. Having the right process in place will help to ensure that you do just that.

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