Hiring Wisely – A Study of the Abbott Government

Abbott pic

The Abbott Liberal Government is facing a storm of criticism over what it said pre-election and what it is saying now. There have been many, many discussions about this and I’m not about to enter into a debate into if they lied or broke promises.In a hiring sense, though, it is a fascinating parallel to how getting it right is vital. If we consider that the pre-election is equivalent to the hiring process, with the election itself being the final decision on which candidate to choose, we can draw some interesting conclusions:

  1. Interviews are a  great way to find out information about candidates, but if you rely on it solely, the candidate can lie their pants off, and you as the hirer will be none the wiser.
  2. If you fail to conduct any background / reference checks, you will not be able to qualify those statements made in the interview.
  3. If you fail to ask the right questions in the interview, you will get the wrong information to base a decision on.
  4. Those with a dispensation to lie will often suck in the inexperienced interviewer, as they will say things that they will want to hear…not what they need to hear.
  5. A candidate that makes some grand promises about how they will improve the business, without understanding the nature of the business they are looking to join, will almost certainly rescind on those promises, or at the very least put off staff trying to implement them
  6. If you allow a candidate to be hired based on one interview, don’t be surprised if this candidate ends up being the exact opposite of what you were wanting.
  7. And don’t surprised if that happens almost immediately.
  8. It may be wise to gain an understanding how the candidate will back up their claims. Sometimes, testing (psychometric / skills-based) may be needed to quantify statements.
  9. Bad hiring decisions are a major cost impediment (just go through some of my past articles to garner exact costs), so getting it wrong can mean a serious hit to the finances, with staff, productivity and customers potentially suffering as a result.
  10. Make sure you have gathered every possible information available about the candidate BEFORE you make a decision. Even just one piece of missing or unverified detail can prove vital in the wash-up.
  11. Bottom line: put together a clearly defined, quantifiable, planned hiring systems to avoid these bad hires, and to allow the right information to be given and verified.This is the only way a decision can be made.

To fully complete the analogy, did the Australian people make a decision based on all the verified information available?

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Budget 2014 – How Does It Affect Businesses and Hiring?

Joe Hockey handed down his first budget Tuesday evening, under the guise of repairing a mess that, according to most, evidently didn’t exist and preparing for a downturn that in all likelihood was not about to happen.

Regardless of reasons, it seemingly has a sting of brutality in a number of social reforms and assistance, yet how does it translate to improvements in employment and how businesses hire?

Firstly, it was announced that as part of the push for the lifting of the retirement age, a $10,000 payment will be made to businesses that hire a mature-aged worker. This seems fair, given that a lot more of these workers will be flooding the market over the course of the next few years. However, as anyone in hiring understands, a payment is fine, but if the skills and environmental fit do not match, that payment will be only a band-aid to the overall loss due to a bad hire. Investment in re-skilling and retraining is probably a better investment.

Conversely, people under 30 who find themselves unemployed will have to wait 6 months before receiving unemployment benefits. In one of the most controversial aspects of his budget, Hockey told ABC Radio that he wants to ‘foster a working attitude, not welfare dependency’. This is admirable, but when you consider that people under 30 have potentially started families, or are already living below the poverty line, this adds further burdens to those who could least afford it. Additionally, Hockey commented that these people will have to go into training or ‘find apprenticeships – there are plenty out there’ is significant in its complete unawareness of the real world. Apprenticeship places are amongst the most highly sought after and many, many candidates are left out of gaining one. Coupled with this is the decreases in funding for further education, and the belief that those unemployed can quickly fall into an apprenticeship or training is little more than fanciful.

Costs, too, will eat at a business’s capacity to hire. Increases in petrol excise, increases in company tax and a woefully prepared Paid Parental Leave all have lead on costs to businesses that could easily discount hiring, leave staff anxious and unhappy, and generally see businesses pushed close to the edge.

It remains to be seen if the hit to business is severe or merely a small bump on the road to prosperity. Though on initial views, there is little to improve hiring, business costs or fostering improvements. It is a tough budget, and whilst arguments as to if this toughness was indeed warranted will continue, the fact is it is here, and businesses must perform with this new paradigm.