Survey: 5 Mistakes when Hiring and Promoting for Top Positions

June 12, 2006 ( - More than four of 10 companies said that inadequately defining and evaluating the roles most critical to successful performance is the most frequent mistake companies make when making promotion or hiring decisions for top positions, a recent survey found.

According to a press release from career consulting firm Right Management, other top mistakes its survey of 273 companies found included:

  • Insufficient grooming of high-potential employees through coaching, mentoring, and training programs, 41%.
  • Using overly subjective criteria and unreliable assessment tools, 29%
  • Too much focus on the basic requirements of the jobs to which people are being hired or promoted – such as managerial and interpersonal skills – and not enough emphasis on less apparent talents, such as morale or team building, 27%
  • Giving inadequate consideration to people from outside the organization, 20%

“Formal assessment methods provide a broader picture of candidates under consideration, more consistency in management development, and people who are the best fit for the challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Rick Smith, senior vice president at Right Management, in a release.

Another study released last week found that employers are increasingly turning to screening tools and assessment programs to aid in the hiring process. The survey by Spherion Emerging Workforce Study showed that 60% of companies have stepped up their use of assessments in the past five years and 51% have increased their use prescreening programs like background checks (See Study: Employment Pre-Screening a Growing Trend ).

According to a previous survey by Right Management, it costs an average of two and a half times an individual’s salary to replace an employee who does not work out (See Bad Hires a Big Cost to Employers ).