Is Your Applicant Tracking System Helping You Avoid Bad Hires?

By Beth Kempton,
August 1, 2017

An applicant tracking system should be more than a repository of applicants and profiles. It should also provide the right insights and metrics to ensure you’re avoiding bad hires.

How a Bad Hire Impacts Your Business

A bad hire can have a negative impact on your business in more ways than one. Hiring the wrong person can cause lost productivity, as the employee might not be capable of fulfilling the core job responsibilities. And lost productivity ultimately leads to lost profits, as you’re paying someone who isn’t doing the job properly – and might even be slowing down other employees and processes. A bad hire can also lead to poor employee morale – either from good employees picking up the slack of a low-performing employee, or staff becoming frustrated with a new hire who isn’t the right fit culturally.

When productivity and employee morale take a hit, you risk losing some of your best employees who don’t want to work with the bad hire. And you’ll likely find yourself trying to replace the bad hire – ideally sooner rather than later. In both instances, employee turnover can lead to even more lost productivity and profitability, as your management team will need to spend time recruiting, hiring and training new employees.

Using Your Applicant Tracking System to Weed Out Potential Bad Hires

Rather than facing all the challenges associated with a bad hire, tap into your applicant tracking system and hiring process to help you weed applicants who aren’t a fit well before the final hiring decision. Here’s an overview of how several steps in the hiring process can identify red flags and help you avoid bad hires.

SmartRank Survey

To save some time in the applicant review stage, automatically send each applicant a quick survey as soon as soon as they click “submit.” This survey can be customizable to each position you’re hiring for and measure whether or not candidates might be a fit for the open role before you take the time to read through every application.

Consistent Interview Questions

Ask each candidate the same questions to ensure you’re completing fair, compliant interviews and evaluating all candidates in the same way to see if they’d be a fit for the open role. During the interview stage, dive deeper into each candidate’s background to determine whether or not he or she has the skills required for the open role. If candidates aren’t prepared with answers to simple questions such as why they want to work for your company, or hesitate when asked questions about the role’s primary responsibility, this is a sign they might not be a fit for the job.

Beyond learning more about each candidate’s background, asking questions that gauge whether or not the candidate would be the right culture fit for your business is just as important. Ask questions related to your company’s core values, the candidate’s ideal work environment – does he or she prefer collaboration or solo work? – and how the candidate would respond to a problem or challenge in the role. How the candidate responds to culture-related questions can have a significant impact on avoiding bad hires and finding the perfect fit for your team.

Background and Reference Checks

Statistics show that about 56 percent of all job applicants lie on their resumes, so even if your candidate aces the interview, it’s always best to use relevant verification as added security before you make a decision to hire. Background checks should come back clean and reference checks from former colleagues – especially managers – should instill confidence in your decision to hire. If you’re not confident in the responses to a reference check, it’s likely a red flag that the candidate you’re considering would be a bad hire.

The right applicant tracking system can help you avoid bad hires and build your best team, enabling you to increase productivity and profitability. Learn more about how to make the most of your hiring process from our eBook, “The 9 Elements of a Well-Oiled Hiring Machine,” below.

About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.

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