Imagine that these are numbers for your business:

·70% of users are dissatisfied with the process

·50% of customers regret their buying decision

·46% turnover among new buyers

·46% failure rate from the process

·Less than 20% of transactions ate successful

If these numbers were related to customer satisfaction, a business could not survive. It is clear how these numbers would have a dramatic impact on the profitability and viability of the business. However, these numbers are not about customer satisfaction, but rather come from a study of recruiting and retention processes by Dr. John Sullivan. What is interesting is that many businesses do not even measure the effectiveness of this key business process. According to Sullivan, less that 30 percent of companies measure the quality of hires, and less than this measure key elements of the  talent management process.

In one survey, 70% percent of applicants and 28 percent of hiring managers (Source: were dissatisfied with the hiring process. The biggest complaint that I hear from job applicants about the hiring process, is that they are left hanging throughout the process. The company doesn't follow up or fails to get back to the candidate when they it promised to do so. As a rule of thumb, the company should put closure on every solicited resume or application it receives. I don’t think it is necessary to put closure on unsolicited resumes. As soon as a candidate is eliminated from consideration they should be told, with email being a very efficient and low cost way to do this. Keep applicants who you are interested in informed of the status of the selection process. I know a friend who took a less desirable job since he never heard back from his primary interest weeks after an interview. Two months later the company called to make an offer.

The failure rate of new hires is significantly high according to many studies.·25% of new hire regret taking the job (Source: Challenger, Gray)

·50% of hiring managers and new hires later regret their decision (Source: The Recruiting Roundtable)

·46% of new hires leave their job within one year (Source: eBullpen, LLC)

·50% of current employees are actively seeking a new job (Source: Deloitte)

·46% of new hires are categorized as failures within the first 18 months on the job (Source: Leadership IQ)

·40% of newly promoted managers fail within 18 months of starting a new job (Source: Manchester, Inc.)

The cost of this failure in the selection process has incredible economic implications. According to McKinsey & Co., top performers increase productivity, revenue, and profit by 40 to 67 percent over average performers. Businesses are leaving lots of money on the table as the result of making poor hiring or internal selection decisions.

The principles of  process improvement used for years in manufacturing can be applied to improving the selection process. The first step is to have a clear definition of job requirements. Think about trying to deliver a product without knowing what the customer wanted. The same is true of selection. Job requirements go beyond skills, knowledge, and experience—they must include behavioral and attitudinal factors as well.

Once the job requirements have been clearly defined, there needs to be a system in place to match candidates to the requirements. The primary reason for poor selection decisions after the job requirements have been defined, is inaccurate or incomplete information about the candidate. If we knew exactly what type of person we needed and knew everything about a candidate relative to those requirements, there would be very few selection mistakes.

To improve the accuracy of information, these elements need to exist:

·A formalized process for seeking all public information about a candidate which includes background checks. An underutilized tool is to Google a person’s name and see what comes up. I found out someone I knew was a convicted felon by simply “Googling” his name and found a newspaper article about the situation.

·A highly trained and skilled group of interviewers who know to ask the right (and legal) questions to learn as much as they can about a candidate. Interviewers should be required to independently evaluate candidates using a formal system.

·Assessments provide valuable information that is very difficult to get through other means. Properly designed and validated assessment instruments are instrumental to improving the selection process.

Even if the job requirements were clearly defined and the best candidate chosen for the job, there is still more to the process. The popular term for this is “on-boarding”. For most employees, the most exciting day of their career was their first day on the job. Then it goes downhill from there.

Companies should have a formal on-boarding process for new employees. There are a number of resources available that provide ideas and structure for such a program. One particular aspect of on-boarding that I get involved in is helping new supervisors and managers hit the ground running in their new job. Many new managers have never received any form of training  and I find that the first 90 days are essential to the long term success of a manager.