Here's how to hire the wrong person every time, guaranteed:
1. You only recruit when you have an immediate need, so you don't have a list of pre-screened candidates to call. You're in desperation hiring mode, and feel pressured to hire the first warm body that walks in the door.
2. Your recruiting ads attract people who are looking for a job—any job—rather than people who really want to do the job you're offering.
3. You haven't identified the particular capacities (mental and physical), attitudes, personality traits, and skills the person needs to be successful on the job (also known as CAPS). You can't hit the target unless you know what it looks like.
4. You don't ask your employees, vendors, business network, family, or friends if they know anyone who would be a good fit for the job. Referrals are the best source of new employees.
5. You don't pre-screen applicants by phone to ensure they meet your minimum hiring requirements. (They have reliable transportation, are willing to work the hours needed for what you are willing to pay, etc.) This is a guaranteed way to waste time in interviews with unsuitable applicants.
6. You don't test applicants for the needed CAPS. You just take their word that they will be able to do the job, or assume they can do it well because they did it somewhere else before.
7. During interviews, you rely on gut instinct. If you like an applicant, you look for reasons to hire him, and if you don't like the applicant, you look for reasons not to hire him. This way, you get to be right. But, you also often hire the wrong person for the job.
8. You tell applicants about the job and what the ideal candidate looks like before you find out who they are and what they can do.
9. You don't plan for the interview. You wing it, and the inevitable result is that you hire the person with the best presentation skills rather than the person who is the best fit for the job.
10. You don't check references because you assume none of them will tell you anything useful.
There you have it—the formula for frustration and failure. When the new hire doesn't work out you can do it this way all over again, or you can reverse the process and hire tough so you can manage easy.
Mel Kleiman, CSP, is president of Humetrics , and an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting and hiring hourly employees. A version of this article previously appeared on TLNT.com.