Talent Acquisition:

The 10 Lessons I learned from evaluating, testing and selecting over 56,000 applicants in the last 10 years.

Lesson 9


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Through the evaluation and selection of almost 60,000 candidates in the last 10 years, we at Hirebox learned many hard lessons. These became practical tips that we would use on a daily basis to separate the real performers from the talkers, and the honest applicants from the liars, the pretenders, the unscrupulous and the criminals. 

As a professional recruiter, I keep reminding myself that over 30% of all bankruptcies in America are due to employee dishonesty. Don't believe me, check the FBI statistics. It has always been for me a moral duty to ensure or at least to make everything possible so that my clients would avoid being part of that sad statistic.

Here you go!

  1. Hiring is Marketing
  2. The deadly power of social media
  3. The biggest mistake in hiring
  4. The second biggest mistake in hiring
  5. Dealing with candidate ghosting
  6. Why business owners must be great headhunters
  7. Never trust what they tell you
  8. Never offer the job before doing these 3 things
  9. 51% of hiring failures occur… AFTER the hire
  10. Hire for happiness: THE key to success.



So, you hired your best applicant and now you hope it will work out well for all. Well, your job as a recruiter/employer is not finished – in fact, it just started. Although the subject of onboarding is not new, the recent years (COVID-related times) have dramatically transformed the recruitment landscape, and the onboarding factor has never been so crucial in rating the success of your hiring campaigns.

Here are some shocking statistics: 

  • Forbes Magazine reports that the lack of effective onboarding is a major reason why companies lose 17% of their new hires within the first three months and why 20% of all staff turnover occurs within 45 days of employment. (Source)
  • Only 12% of employees consider that their organization provides a good onboarding process. In fact, a negative onboarding experience can make new hires 2x as likely to look out for another job before the end of the trial period. (Source)
  • A great onboarding experience leads to 69% of employees sticking with their employer for at least three years. (Source)
  • Research from HR Dive revealed that 28% of employees said they left their job within the first 90 days of starting due to an unsatisfactory onboarding process. (Source)

Why new employees leave


  1. False expectations

A new employee comes to your office or calls you after 2 or 3 weeks on the job and announces their departure. When asked for the reason, the reply is almost the same each time: “It is just not what I was expecting, really.”

The problem? Most often a lack of transparency or lack of proper information on the position. The job description either did not exist or was utterly incomplete. This is why you must have a complete job description and the applicant should know its content PRIOR to deciding to join your group.



  1. Lack of attention 

Although it is a good indicator of ability, being left alone from the start can open the door to many drawbacks. Our experience has shown that, when having to handle the job difficulties by themselves without anyone’s help or support, they react differently:



  • 20% of new employees find their way through and quickly develop a work pattern that fits well with your expectations.
  • 20% of them lose control within less than 6 weeks and show unacceptable performance.
  • 60% of them spend more time and energy trying to find out what needs to be done and how, rather than actually doing the job. They waste a lot of time, as well as their direct supervisor’s and yours.


  1. Lack of appreciation

According to a Gallup survey, almost 70% of all employees in the US feel disengaged at work. (Source)

Disengaged employees will search for an organization that will engage them, and the major reasons given for disengagement and departure are:

  • Poor management
  • Poor communications – not listening
  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of training
  • Excessive workload
  • Lack of tools and resources
  • Lack of teamwork

When employees feel their contribution is appreciated and valued, that the organization cares about their well-being and is ready to offer help when needed, this is referred to as “perceived organizational support.”

Simply stated, it should be a natural management attitude to appreciate a job well done, to acknowledge employees’ intentions to contribute and to recognize their willingness to make things go right. Yet this is exactly what the majority of employees complain about: their leaders don’t care enough!

  1. Lack of leadership

What is the first reason why new talented players leave a company? The simplest and most condensed answer probably lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called “First, Break All The Rules,” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. (Source)

The findings: if you’re losing good people too fast, look to their immediate supervisor. More than anything else, the direct manager is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. They are also the reason why good people quit.

A recent Fortune Magazine survey revealed that managers impact employees’ mental health more than therapists and as much as a spouse or partner. Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees. (Source)

If you lose good people during the onboarding period, look first to your managers in charge. Are they driving your new players away? Employees’ primary needs seem to have less to do with money and more to do with how they are treated, appreciated and valued. Much of this depends mainly on their supervisor.



51% of your success in hiring depends on what you do (or don’t) during the onboarding period – which can go from 4 weeks to 12 weeks. You need to consider that period as the last step of your hiring process. Do not think that the job is filled until that new employee is happy on the job, doing well and giving you a strong desire to keep them busy in your company.

When we hire for you, we always develop a posting which approximates your job description, so that the unknowns are minimum, and the expectations are well formulated. Visit www.hirebox.com to find out how we can help you hire the best fit. 


Best success!

Patrick Valtin,

CEO Hirebox