Have you ever been to a wedding and sat there thinking to yourself, “I give this marriage six months at most. What a shame they’ve spent all this money on something that will never last.”

Well, the same thought crosses my mind when I see the wrong person hired for a job. I think to myself, “What a waste of time and money; what a shame they didn’t get it right.

And it’s not just the cost of recruiting that worries me, it’s the cost of the employee becoming disengaged, which Gallup describes as someone who is “unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to co-workers.” Sounds exactly what happens after the “honeymoon” is over when you hire the wrong person, doesn’t it?

And as far as the cost of this, according to Gallup the cost of an actively disengaged employee is $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary, so for an employee making $50,000 annually this would cost the company $17,000 a year. Get it wrong for 10 employees earning $50,000 a year, and the cost is almost $200,000. Ouch!

3 steps to help get recruitment right

So what can you do to get recruitment right, and not waste your precious time and your company’s precious money?

How can you recruit employees who’ll have the perfect marriage with your organization, whether it’s for one year or five years, being engaged and thus productive throughout the entire relationship?

To answer this, let me share three radical steps that break the rules of traditional recruitment practices, and are performed by some of the engagement rebels we interviewed for our new book, Build it: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement.

  1. Obsess about the job ads and think only about the handful of characteristics that separate good candidates from exceptional ones. Focus sharply on the “deal breakers,” the ones you can’t live without and will truly make someone shine in the role. Also remember that assessing skills and qualities is hard, so remove everything you could live without.

  2. Go to extreme lengths to present the organization honestly. Go overboard in showing your organization’s nuances and flaws, and highlight things that could put people off, doing this humbly and with no vanity. Many people will be put off about applying – and that’s good, because they wouldn’t have ended up successful and engaged anyway. But, those that remain will run through walls to come and work for you.

  3. Don’t settle for someone who has the skills and ability to do the job, but doesn’t understand and commit to living your company values. If you hire people who don’t respect and commit to your values, they’re going to ruin it for everyone else and give you an inauthentic culture where you write one thing on the wall but everyone does something else.

Are you hiring people with “good ethical fiber?”

In an interview with Wade Roush at Xconomy, Dropcam’s CEO Greg Duffy said:

Our No. 1 hiring policy is our ‘no assholes‘ policy. I’ve found through my short time in the industry that there are lots of smart people in a place like Silicon Valley, and some of them are friendly, and some of the best people are not friendly and are not team players.

Many companies hire them. We do not. We artificially restrict the number of people we can hire by hiring people that we think have good ethical fiber. And we think that goes to how we treat our customers.”

So there you go — three (3 ) great ways to help you take your first step towards being a recruitment rebel and to get recruitment right.

I wish you all the best in challenging the status in how you recruit, and I can’t wait to hear what you do to successfully hire, engage and retain the “right” people in your organization.

Debra Corey

Debra Corey is a multi-award winning senior HR leader with more than 30 years’ experience leading teams at companies such as Gap, Honeywell, Quintiles, Merlin Entertainments and Reward Gateway. She’s an instructor with WorldatWork, writes blogs for a variety of publications, and speaks at conferences and events around the world on a wide array of HR topics. In addition, Debra is a successful author, having written two books, “Effective HR Communication: A Framework for Communicating HR Programmes with Impact” and “Build it: A Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement.” Follow her on Twitter @DebraCoreyRebel or connect with her on LinkedIn.