5 Common Hiring Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

When hiring, you want to get the best possible person for the job. In some cases, you want to get the best person within your budget too. The pressure to fill a role can be high. Between the pressure from the manager and the grumbles from the other employees holding the slack for the vacated position, the job of getting someone into that role is critical.

Unfortunately, a poorly handled recruitment process will result in getting an ill-fitting candidate, which becomes a bigger problem than having an empty role.

The effect of a bad hire can be very costly. Lots of money can get lost due to the wrong hire. This is why it is critical to understand the job role and what it entails. Being detailed during the hiring process is also vital.

The bottom line.

What is the goal here? To hire the best candidate for the vacated role. The candidate does not only have to be qualified professionally for the position but should also fit in with the team.

It is important to keep the bottom line in mind when hiring. This helps you sieve through the numerous candidates and zero in on the right one.

Chances are; this is not your first hiring rodeo (if it is, then welcome) and you have probably made your share of hiring mistakes. Some you do not realize are mistakes.

You can avoid making further hiring mistakes with these 5 steps:

Put out a clear description of the job

Whether you are a hiring manager within the hiring company, a human resource officer with a recruitment company or an employer, knowledge of the role requirement is critical.



How can you describe the job requirement accurately if you do not have a basic understanding of what that role will deliver? You do not necessarily have to get formal training about the position.

The best way to understand a role is to speak to the persons who work closely with that role. The organization will most likely give you standard requirements for the position, but you will get specific requirements from the team the hired candidate will be working with.

Talking with the team will also help you understand the personality of the candidate required for that role. The person has to fit into the team. Secondly, be clear on what remunerations are, do not sugar coat it.

Fall in love with technology

You might have an affinity for doing things hands-on, or you might get a better feel of the candidate when you have their resume in your hands, but using analogue sorting process will slow you down.

Thanks to technology, several applications that will help you sort out the resumes are available. These applications allow you to set conditions that will help in sifting out the candidates that fit your role profile.

Technology is also an excellent way of putting the word out there that you are hiring. Between social media and job boards, you have a better opportunity of reaching a more extensive range of potential candidates. 

Listen and listen again

You have sorted the candidates, done your phone interview (you should do this!) and now it is time for a face-to-face meeting. What you should not do is to dominate the interview conversation.

An interview is you weighing the candidate to see if they are the best fit for the role. In some cases, you might be selling the role to them. Try not to oversell the position; try not to do all the talking or use it as an opportunity to steal the spotlight. Listen to the candidate.

Tune your ears for bogus words. Watch their body language. Take note of their reactions and expressions. When you are the one doing all the talking, you will fail to get vital information from the candidate.

Do not disregard the need for a thorough background check.

The interview went great; they tick all the boxes. They have an impressive resume, they fulfil not just the professional requirements for the role, and they also seem like a great fit for the team. You should hire them. Right? Not yet.

Some smart and cunning candidates can be great on paper and charm the socks off any hiring manager during an interview. They will most likely bank on you not to carry out a background search.

Every system that wants to succeed must have control points. The sorting, phone interview, face-to-face interview and background checks are control points. Control points help to filter whatever is going into the system.

The candidate might have gone through all the stages down to the final interview, but a background check can turn up some facts that disqualify the candidate. Background checks will also help avoid any future surprises with the hired candidate.

Avoid having a narrow view.

Yes, you have an idea of what the ideal candidate should possess. The mistake will be to expect them to come in a certain way. Ever heard the phrase “diamond in the rough”? The ideal candidate might not have specific “features”, and if you are only looking out for those “features”, you might miss the best hire of your life. Except where necessary, try not to use a degree or class of degree as a yardstick.

Let skills, experience or learning ability take precedence over degree. Avoid looking for a mini-you. You are not looking for someone who can do what you do or who approaches work like you, that will be a clone. No workplace needs two copies of a person. The variety of personalities and work approach is what brings life to the workplace. Broaden your mind when hiring. Look for the unexpected and do not narrow your options.

Hiring someone new is not just about filling a role, it is about bringing in someone new to join the organization and the team, and you cannot afford to bring in someone who will become a clog in the wheel. Hire wisely.

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