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46% of new hires fail - and not because they lack skills

Views 2 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted 18-07-2009  
With so many candidates for every open job, choosing the right one gets even more difficult. But do your managers know the best interview techniques to avoid hiring missteps?

The most common reason new hires don’t work out? It’s not because they don’t have the technical skills they need, says hiring consultant Jennifer Shirkani, speaking at the 2009 Society for Human Resources Management Annual Conference.

Most new employees have enough skills to do the job, because that’s what interviewers focus on. But it’s the soft skills that more often doom new hires.

Nearly half (46%) of hires fail within the first 18 months on the job, according to a survey of managers by Leadership IQ. The reasons, according to the managers surveyed:

26% fail because they can’t accept feedback
23% can’t control emotions
17% aren’t motivated to succeed
15% have the wrong temperament or work style for the company’s environment, and
only 11% fail because they lack the necessary technical skills.
Hiring often comes down to a manager trying to decide who’s the most qualified based on skills and experience. But the real key for separating stars from the duds, Shirkani says, is to focus interviews equally on interpersonal skills, work styles and culture, as well as skills and experience.

Here are some interview questions she recommends:

“Think of a time when you were unfairly criticized. How did you handle it?”
“When was the last time you had to act without the guidance of a formal policy or procedure? Tell me what you did.”
“Give an example of a situation where you had to deliver bad news. How did you go about it?”
“Tell me about two times when you had good ideas but co-workers resisted using them. How exactly did you handle that?”
Questions like those, combined with information from references, will give you a pretty good picture of whether the candidate will be a good fit.

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