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In the scramble to regain productivity following the departure of an employee, employers can wrongly prioritise speed over accuracy in finding a replacement.

In fact, new research by advisory firm CEB revealed the startling figure that almost nine out of ten SME employers regret a recent hiring decision. What’s more, the cost of hiring the wrong candidate can be up to five times the employee’s salary.

According to Samantha Hickey, Head of Professional Services at CEB, poor hires are one of the key contributors to lost productivity in Australian SMEs.

“Many time-starved SME employers mistakenly choose speed over accuracy when it comes to hiring. However, filling the role quickly is only of value if the candidate has the right skills for the role and can actively contribute to the business from the get-go,” Hickey said.

“With Australian employment now at a ten year high of [5.9 per cent], employers can expect an increase in applicants for each role. Now is the time for organisations to take a closer look at how they are identifying and selecting their talent, to reduce the time and cost of identifying the best candidate,” she added.

Because SME managers often have little time to dedicate to recruitment, an initial investment of time in improving the recruitment process can save on time spent dealing with a bad hire or coaching a poor performer.

Hickey offers the following top three tips to improving the selection process, and identify the right hire.

1. Take the time to define the role properly

What skills and characteristics are needed to be successful in the role? Consider:

  • How the role has changed since you last recruited for it?
  • Has the skills mix of your team changed? Are there gaps?
  • Has your business evolved?
  • Have the needs of your clients and market changed?
  • Be clear about what characteristics and skills the successful applicant will have, and make sure you measure against this in the recruitment process.

2. Streamline the recruitment process

  • To identify the best candidate for your business faster; the right strategy, assessment and simulation tools are required.
  • Objective assessment of candidates reduces time spent sifting through CVs and allows employers to understand a candidate’s behavioural preferences in the workplace; improving hiring accuracy.
  • Streamlining the recruitment process also improves the recruitment experience for candidates.

3. Use recruitment data to bring new staff ‘on-board’

The information captured during the recruitment process can help to ‘on-board’ new staff, guide how to best manage them and direct their professional development plan. The sooner you identify and act on what motivates a new employee, the faster they will become an active contributor to your business.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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