Benchmarking is the first secret to hiring well, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore this important step.

To say Jackie was excited about the Fail Proof Hiring Program is a bit of an understatement, but she had her reservations.

“I’m afraid that hiring will take more of my time than doing the work myself,” she said. A classic fear.

With her growing business, I told her she had to hire someone soon. We began by benchmarking the job and putting out ads. At first the results were discouraging. We didn’t really understand the job and weren’t getting the right people. So we dove deeper and tweaked the job description to match. We started to attract the right candidates. Eventually we found the near-perfect match.

You can’t expect to find the right person for the job if you don’t really understand the job. This understanding goes beyond the basic job description and includes understanding why the job exists, why the job serves you and your customers, and how you measure its success.

Studies show that up to 80% of job turnover is on account of bad hires. Bad hires are not bad people. They are good people in the wrong job.

We can save our money and our sanity if we learn to properly benchmark the job first. In turn, once we’ve hired the right person, we create better job productivity and satisfaction.

Benchmarking allows you to hone in on the details of the job. By focusing on how the job should be done, you set up the ideal job first, not the ideal personality.

First, you need to define the job’s criteria:

  • Key accountabilities
  • Personal skills
  • Required behaviors
  • Desired attitudes and motivators

After the criteria are defined, you can begin to rank them in order of importance and time allocation.

Once you have completed this process, you create the benchmark. It’s really not that hard, it just takes time and thought. And it’s time well spent if you consider the fact that turnover costs a company up to 1.5 times the annual salary of that job.  A mismatch costs countless energy lost in coaching and in trying to make a bad hire fit.

Benchmarking sets you and your new hire up for success from the beginning.  No match will be perfect, but you can get as close to the benchmark as possible. It’s not about luck; it’s about forethought. You can have happy, productive, and successful employees if you prepare for them.

It’s time to start planning. Find the right people for the right job. I created The Fail Proof Hiring System to help you. Come learn about it and get your free ebook: Hire Your Dream Employees: The Four Secrets to Hiring Well.

Ruth Schwartz

Ruth Schwartz is the author of "The Key to the Golden Handcuffs". She is a high performance business consultant and leadership coach. Connect with Ruth to participate in the conversation. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube .