Getting off the Hiring Treadmill


As a recruiting professional or a small business owner, you may feel that you spend all your time hiring new employees and you might be right. The cycle is endless, just as you get someone up and running, the employee finds another opportunity, or you both realize it is just not the right fit.

Here are a few key questions and steps to follow to get you off the hiring treadmill.

Why is the job open?

If the job is open because you have grown your business to the point of needing more hands to do the work, that is wonderful news. However, if the job is open due to turnover, take a moment to assess the key components of the job before you post the opening again!  Having the discipline to take this time might be the hardest part of the recruiting process, but it’s really worth it. The cost of turnover is 30% of the annual salary for the job, according to the US Department of Labor, so getting the right person hired goes directly to your bottom line.

What are the key components of the job?

Hiring managers usually know the work they need to have done right now, but they may not think about what the job will look like in a month or two let alone a year from now. If you have other employees in that job that are doing really well, ask them what the key duties and responsibilities of the job really are (not what you think they are). Ask them what they needed to know day one and what they were able to learn on the job. This will help you sort out “what the job does” balance that with any changes you know are coming to the job.

Now you need to know “who the job needs”. We each have our own behavioral styles and jobs do to. Think of it this way, “If the job could talk, what would it say?” The job might say I need someone who follows the rules and likes to do repetitive work. Knowing this before falling in love with an outgoing, fast paced applicant, is vital.

How can you identify the behavioral style of a person?

Including a behavioral assessment, such as the Predictive Index in your recruiting process is a great investment. Behavioral assessments will identify people who are behaviorally suited to do work in the way your job requires. Consider this, if you have a job opening for someone to jump all day, would you rather train a snail to jump or hire a frog? Yup, the frog is looking like the winning candidate.

How can you find the right person? Too often job postings focus on the core responsibilities of the position. Sometimes they may add the degrees or certifications required for the job, but they aren’t written to appeal to the type of person who will be best at the job. If you are looking for an extrovert to work in a fast-paced, client-focused position, be sure to write postings that ask: “Do you like meeting new people? Do you like face-paced work? Do you delight your clients no matter what?”

How will the new employee fit with the team? How will the new employee fit with the manager?

Behavioral styles can significantly impact employee satisfaction and engagement. A fast talking extrovert on a team full of quiet introverts will likely feel like a fish out of water. Likewise, a take charge new employee who reports to a wholly collaborative, people-pleasing manager will be frustrated. Behavioral assessments can bring a team together and can provide actionable insights to managers on how to lead in an employee-centric personalized way.

So, as a hiring manager, HR professional, or business owner, taking time to ask yourself these few key questions will save you miles in the end. Get off the hiring treadmill and create time to grow your business or work on those big picture projects you’ve been putting off.

By Christina Sarabia, Ph.D.

Christina Sarabia, Ph.D. is an Industrial Organizational psychologist with a successful track record promoting and contributing to business success. She partners with clients to create the people related strategies that drives your business. She is founder of Celesios (, a Gainesville-based firm providing customized professional coaching, training and leadership development.

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