Building an International Workforce – Limiting Hiring Errors

Hiring errors are devastatingly costly to organisations and their impact is hard to quantify when considering loss of revenue, damage to morale, failure to realise opportunity, and lost time interviewing and screening applicants. These costs are even more dramatic when a business is expanding internationally and attempting to build a workforce abroad. Resources are available to assist with international recruitment, but managers must also employ their own tools to assure that wise hiring decisions are made with consistency.

Managers should ask three questions about each candidate they interview to help to make hiring decisions with confidence:

Are they likely to do the job? Psychometric testing is an easy way to assess candidates objectively, though, these tests work best when the same evaluation is given to successful, existing members of the team and then used on new recruits. This allows for a comparison with those known to be successful, but also with statistical averages from the test itself.

Can they do the job? Many managers try to envision a person when developing a specification for a role. Specific criteria can be helpful, but, competency-based assessment is much more useful. Instead, evaluate: Does the individual have the required skills and knowledge? Can they apply these skills in a variety of workplace scenarios common to the role? Have they become overconfident in their abilities? The correlation between years of experience and skills/knowledge obtained is not 100%, therefore interviewers must assess actual ability rather than what should have been obtained through education and time on the job.

Have they done it? Past performance is the best indicator of future success. Careful review of references, behavioural-based interviewing and a review of past performance evaluations can all be exceptional sources of information. By assessing the individual’s performance record and the environments in which they have thrived, much can be determined about how the individual will perform in their next role.

It is impossible to eliminate all hiring errors, but steps can be taken to limit the risk involved, which is crucial when new hires may be miles away or hard to supervise daily. Psychometric testing, competency-based interviewing and past performance assessment gives employers the ability to make well informed decisions and to gain an overall perspective. When done correctly, this triangulated process of selecting candidates pinpoints the best applicants and helps employers to make well informed decisions.

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