We have all done it at some time in our careers. You have a position opening, develop a slate of qualified candidates, interview, select the ideal candidate and then find out that everything was not as it seemed. I did an informal survey over the last couple of weeks asking trusted colleagues if they had ever made a bad hiring decision. If they had (and they all had), the thing that caused a problem later would have been discovered during the due diligence and selection phase.
I was quite surprised how many colleagues admitted that their error was as simple as not talking directly to the prior manager when hiring an internal candidate. Others shared stories of not evaluating past performance reviews, development plans and salary adjustments. Of course it is somewhat more challenging for external hires, but the best interviewers I spoke to felt far more confident than those that treated the interview as a “meeting” to get to know the candidate. The Wall Street Journal stated that “thirty-four percent of all application forms contain outright lies about experience, education and ability to perform essential functions on the job.” (Source – Wall Street Journal). Today, there are thorough background screening companies to assist with this (yes, a shameless plug for HireRight).
What techniques have you successfully used to improve your candidate success rate?