Preventing The Most Common & Expensive Hiring Mistake
SixSEED Partners Affiliates: Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC: CEO SixSEED Partners
How often have you hired someone you thought would be a stellar leader; feeling the excitement of believing you now had a leader you could trust and to whom you could delegate key actions, only to have them turn into a Mr. Hyde when you thought they were a Dr. Jekyll? How often have you or your leaders shaken your heads wondering: “How did I miss this in interviewing this person?” A recent client experience reminded me that hiring for self-awareness is your MOST IMPORTANT screening tool.
According to Partnerwise, in a February, 2023 post: “Unveiled: The Staggering Cost of Leadership Hiring Mistakes,” citing a recent HBR article indicated that hiring the wrong leader can cost an organization up to 15 times a key leaders’ base salary. The monetary impact can be considered nothing compared to the demoralization and lost productivity that often results. During an SOS client call, this leader (“Kate” for simplicity purposes) was distraught having trusted her second-hand potential successor, only to have him undermine her leadership and file a complaint resulting in her need to document every interaction; lost productivity time for she and the successor leader, and time needed for lawyers and human resources. More than this, Kate was emotionally shaken feeling betrayed and questioning her own actions.
Diana Chapman from the Conscious Leadership Group wrote a blog in 2017 titled: “How to Assess Self-Awareness in a Hiring Interview.” In this succinct article, she highlights several powerful interviewing questions that include those below:
- Describe a time when you were tempted to blame someone else for something but instead resolved it by owning your part of the issue.
- What’s an example of how you used your emotional intelligence to be effective in your role?
- What percentage of agreements do you currently keep with the people you live and work with? What causes you to break agreements the most? How do you approach broken agreements?
Unlike your typical questions that focus on technical competence for a given role, these questions ferret out actual experiences that demonstrate whether the candidate can take ownership for their learning and growth, or whether they may be at risk of playing victim and blaming everyone else.
As was so clear with my former client, I don’t have to belabor the impact of a poor leadership hire: you can FEEL it in your bones. That trauma, and I don’t say that lightly, lives on in your muscle memory as something you do not want to repeat. As I discussed with this senior leader, investing time and energy in validated behavioral assessments and in conducting a strategic interview that goes beyond assessing for technical competence pays dividends.
Please read the article from @TheConsciousLeadershipGroup and email us If you’d like to learn more about designing a selection process that will save you time and money. You can reach us at: SixSEED Partners.