By the Numbers

10 Ways to Guarantee You Hire the Wrong Person

Hiring the right candidate at the outset is becoming more critical than ever. (DTN photo illustration By Nick Scalise)

Turnover on many large-scale commercial farms remains a chronic issue. Low unemployment rates compound the problem, since your applicant pool may be shrinking as the nation's economic recovery continues to grow. That means hiring the right candidate at the outset is becoming more critical than ever.

Mel Kleiman, president of Humetrics and a member of the faculty of The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP), teaches human resource management. This article focuses on the advice Mel wrote about in his most recent blog. Mel has graciously allowed me to pass along his observations about how employers hire the wrong people.

10. You don't have a clear picture of what you need to hire. (You have not spelled out the specific capacities, attitudes, personality traits, or skills and talents required.)

9. You look for people who are looking for a job instead of all the proven folks who are busy working and open to a new opportunity.

8. You hire the employees you need instead of the employees you want. (You're desperate to put a body, anybody, in the position rather than maintaining your hiring standards.)

7. You make it difficult for the best people to get into your hiring system and be interviewed because it has been designed to make it easy for you instead of easy for the applicant.

6. You don't realize that every step in the hiring process is a test. If the application form is not filled out completely, the applicant failed the "follows instructions" test. The person who is late for the interview, just failed the "dependability" test.

5. You set the applicant up to tell you what you want to hear by sharing all the details about the job and exactly the kind of person you're looking for at the beginning of the interview.

4. During the interview, you do most of the talking. (No one ever learns anything while they are speaking.)

3. You use the same, canned, interview questions everyone else does and the applicant responds with the canned answers that are plastered all over the Internet.

2. You don't use your best people to help screen applicants because "they are too busy working on other things." (Nothing's more important than who gets hired.)

1. Your managers don't realize how critical it is to the success of your organization to ensure you hire only STAR employees. (STARS are: Self-motivated, Talented, Accountable, Responsible, and Stable.) And last but not least having a good attitude is essential.

I hope you came through this brief check-up with a clean bill of health. If not, you can get a complimentary copy of Mel's "Special Report: Why the Wrong People Get Hired" by emailing Having the right people in the right jobs is one of the biggest differentiators between the best-managed businesses and those that continuously struggle.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Danny Klinefelter is an agricultural finance professor and economist with Texas AgriLIFE Extension and Texas A&M University. He also is the founder of the mid-career Texas A&M management course for executive farmers called TEPAP. Access information TEPAP as well as DTN scholarships….

To read all of Klinefelter's recent DTN columns go to….