Making the right hires in the current economic climate is a nervous experience. You’ve designed the perfect job advertisement that sells your company, and reads like a sales call to action – just the thing to draw in the perfect hires – and yet you’re feeling apprehensive, and rightly so, not everyone can have their online masters in human resources. Many HR professionals – one recent study in Europe suggested a figure close to 70% – admit to having made a hiring error that they regret at some point during their career. These can be extremely expensive, not just in terms of having to go through the process again, but often, when problems don’t become apparent until after the trial period, in formulating an exit agreement for the inappropriate hire.
Thankfully, there are ways of avoiding these potentially damaging scenarios. The not-so-new kid on the block is using a psychologist to work with you in your HR department when recruiting, and for a short period afterwards. When discussing this method with colleagues, you’re likely to meet with resistance, and a wall of “it will never work”. However, these three reasons could well make it the best business decision you’ll ever make.
- It saves money – your naysayers will tell you that it costs money, and in the short term, yes it does. However, testing employees can be very useful, as it limits the possibility of nasty surprises later on, especially if you’re got a professional setting the questions, and analyzing the results afterwards. Areas of potential weakness can be identified before you’ve even made the hire, and whilst they may not necessarily stop you offering the job, you are at least aware of possible training and development needs for the future.
- It saves time – hiring isn’t a one size fits all solution, as the needs of every company are different, based on their market sector, the clients they have, and the employees they already have working for them. Getting to know people is tricky, and to have a professional whose job it is to discover what makes someone tick very quickly around will make the whole process much quicker.
- It reduces the likelihood of making the wrong decision – although it can be dangerous to discount first impressions (sometimes those first verbal and non-verbal clues give you all you need to know about whether you can work with someone or not), it’s not always easy to decide on the “right” candidate for you and your company. We’ve all met the candidate who can “give good interview”, and yet when they’re face with your clients, they’re as incapable of coping as they would be if you’d asked them to fly a rocket to the moon.
So are there any potential pitfalls to hiring a psychologist to assist HR? Well, it’s a given that some potential hires, when realizing what they’re faced with, will naturally be on the defensive. It may be that they have a natural aversion to being analyzed in this fashion, or they feel intruded upon in some way. Potential employees who have had, or who currently have health issues – mental or physical – will possibly feel intruded upon, and uncomfortable. However, when reassured that the process has no purpose beyond determining whether they can do their job right now, in the present time, they are usually happier to co-operate.
Not every concept will work for your company – however, allowing yourself to be inspired by the possibility of having a professional work closely with your HR department will give you the confidence you need to know that you are giving your company the best shot at success.