Why 46% of New Hires Fail

blog May 02, 2022

Did you know that up to 46% of new hires ‘fail’? That’s right – almost half of employees who start a role with a new employer don’t make it through 18 months (Leadership IQ).


Whilst it’s easy to conclude that obviously the applicant has misled us, lied in an interview, is not able to do what they promised or for some other reason the fault lies with them, is that really the case?


There is no doubt that making great hiring decisions is essential to creating the best possible team for your business, a team that is motivated, capable, productive and high functioning, but when we get the hiring decisions wrong, we are so often quick to look to others as the reason for this.


In an era where we are ‘panic hiring’ due to the lack of applicants in the market, a situation which is not likely to change in the short term, hiring the best person for the role can feel difficult, or even impossible, but it’s also why it’s so important to pay attention to the decisions we are making right now.


The truth is you can’t outrun a bad hire – if the hiring decision is not right, there is no quick fix, it always comes back to bite you in the end, so how can you ensure you’re making great hiring choices every time?


Naturally there are many layers and nuances that lead to making great hiring choices for your business, but fundamentally we can boil it down to three key ingredients – the right role, the right time and the right person. Importantly, the right person is not first on the list of priorities, let’s unpack why.


The Right Role – The first ingredient in any great recruitment campaign is crafting the right role. It’s actually essential that you start here, and get this right before you even go to the market to start looking for people. without complete clarity on the role you are hiring for, the duties, responsibilities, essential skills and experience, you have almost no chance of finding the right person for this role. The more clarity you have about the role, the more targeted you can be with your search, and the more certain you can be that you are clear about what the right person for this role looks like.


The Right Time – Once you have the right role crafted, and ideally your Position Description created, you need to consider the timing. Now I know for so many businesses there is no great time, because the way the market is at present, you are literally desperate to hire someone, but I do encourage you to take a pause and consider the best timing. So often, we can make the absolute best hiring choice, but if the processes beyond that, especially around onboarding and orientation are broken or non-existent, you’re significantly limiting your chances of this being a successful hire. That might mean waiting to recruit, or start a new person by a few weeks to ensure you have the space to properly onboard and induct them into the business.


The Right Person – Quite obviously, having the right person is the third key ingredient to any successful hire. But this is not just about skills, in fact the most common reason new hires don’t work out has absolutely nothing to do with skills. For this to be the right person for your role, they must not only have the skills for the role, but also have the right motivation to participate in the role and the workplace, and be a great cultural fit, with the right values alignment. That’s why it’s so important that your interview and assessment process doesn’t focus solely on skills and experience, and that you also assess motivation, work style, team fit and their core values.


So, to recap, the three key ingredients to any successful hire require us to create and craft the right role first, select the right time to be hiring and bringing someone into our business, and then selecting the right person who has the skills, motivation and is the right fit for our team.


An invitation:
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