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Top 11 Hiring Mistakes

If you talk to most business owners what their most significant problem is, they will say that it is hiring the wrong people. It is difficult to successfully find employees who can think independently, solve problems, and expand the company. Making mistakes during the hiring process can be costly for the business and waste a lot of its time and resources.

By moving forward with a candidate, you are placing your trust in them. You count on them to share your vision and work hard. You believe he or she will contribute to the culture of the company. But how can you make sure that you are conducting an effective hiring process? It starts with making yourself aware of the common mistakes that are made by a lot of companies today.

After gathering thorough systematic research, we have narrowed down a list of actions and mindsets that cause companies to hire the wrong person for the job.


Short Interview Time Slots of 30 Minutes

According to Lou Adler, a company often misjudges the character of an applicant when scheduling 30-minute time slots for individual interviews. Evaluating a candidate in such a short period like this introduces the possibility of first impression bias.  It forces the interviewer to place a distorted value on an applicant and his or her presentation skills. You do not fully get to know the person because of the surface level questions chosen.

One way to prevent this is to make sure time slots are at least 45 minutes long. Also, adding interviewers to the conversation allows for multiple perspectives on the candidate. Avoid the surface-level questions, and dig deep into what motivates the candidate. Ask open-ended questions that facilitate discussion about specific learning experiences and goals. This strategy will enable you to connect more intimately and get a better feel about an applicant.


Voting by “Yes or No” Instead of Focusing on Specific Factors

Voting by necessary is simple and straightforward, but it can also introduce bias into the hiring decision. When deciding by this method, the higher-ranking individuals in the company often carry a weight opinion and have the final say. Instead, delegate members of the hiring team to analyze specific factors of position. When sitting down for the last steps of evaluating the candidate, have them share their evidence.


Hiring for Short-Term Goals Instead of Long-Term Passion

It is crucial to figure out the candidate’s motivation for applying for the job. Is he or she using this as a stepping stone opportunity, or do they have long-term aspirations to grow with the company? When listening to what is said, do not accept a vague or compensation-based response. Make sure that is a valid career move for the person.


Bringing Up the Topic of Compensation in the First Discussion

How much an employee gets compensated for his or her work is a significant incentive, but it should not be the ultimate reason for applying for a job. If it is the right move that will advance someone’s career and knowledge, salary should not be a top priority. It is not a good idea to discuss the topic of money in the first discussion. By addressing salary expectations, you focus on the transactional component and not the whole opportunity.


Not Writing or Updating a Job Description

Joshua Sophy at Small Business Trends ensures that not writing or updating your job description can attract bad applicants. Putting time and effort into communicating an exciting opportunity will invite like-minded people to approach your company. You want the candidate to have a full understanding of what the vision for the position is. That way, when he or she sits down with you, an intelligent discussion takes place, and appropriate, thoughtful questions get asked.


Sugarcoating the Job and Its Responsibilities

As a company, you always want to say that your company is the best and has all the optimal opportunities for everyone. But try not to ignore the challenges and not educate the candidate on both aspects of the position. Overpromising an applicant on the scope of a job could leave him or her disappointed when first beginning, and that can hurt morale. You want to make sure the candidate knows what he or she is about to experience.

Encourage the candidate to talk to people who have worked at the company. It is also an excellent strategy to schedule additional interviews with people who have experience with the associated role or team. Hearing the benefits and advantages from different perspectives will allow you as the business to be transparent and honest with the candidate.


Neglecting to Consider Internal Candidates

In the book, It’s Mom and Pop, Stupid! by Steve Bryant, he explains the “Avis Theory.” It states that any time you have an opening at your company, look around at the current employees you have. If you think someone contains 50% of the skills and personality that you need, give them a shot first. Today, companies often have incentive programs for employee referrals for internal job positions.

Looking outside of the business first can cause you to miss out on key people who would excel in a new, refreshed role. By hiring someone who already works at your business, it can save you the time to train someone new on the company and its processes, systems, and other onboarding material. It is best to post a new job on the internal job dashboard for several weeks, then look to external sources.


Not Casting a Wide Enough Net

Throughout the digital age, competition among hiring sites has increased tremendously. You need to take advantage of these different options so that you can capture a wide array of candidates. Sites like Ziprecruiter, Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn are all great places to start. You should always post the job on your company website, and make it navigable and easy to find for the people who are curious about your business.


Doing a Majority of the Talking in the Interview

You need to set aside time in the interview for you to answer questions from the candidate, but make sure you are not doing a large share of the talking. The conversation is supposed to be about the candidate, not you. The ideal interview leverages the opportunity to sell your company, but give the candidate plenty of time to share his or her story and motivation to earn the position.

Psychologically, if you are around a person who allows you to talk about yourself, there is a higher chance of you liking them. If you, as the interviewer, talk more, you might have a distorted point of view about the candidate. Because the applicant did not speak that much, there is a high chance you did not learn everything you needed to know about him or her.


Failure to Check References

The things that other people say about the candidate mean a lot more than what they have to say. You want to have a good idea about how this applicant interacts with other people. Failure to check references can distort your view of the person because you are placing full trust in what they have to say. It does not always mean that he or she is lying, but checking on references adds another level of credibility. Utilize these references to gather all the necessary information, including work styles, personality, motivation, and communication style.


Hiring without Understanding Out Why the Last Person Left

Before publishing the job posting and description, you want to have a full understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of the position. According to Cheryl Stein from Monster, discovering why the previous person departed will enable you to improve the role for future employees. When speaking with the candidate, sharing why the last person left the job will add another level of transparency. You should ask the candidate how he or she will handle similar problems that were present with a previous worker.


Conclusion: Be Detail-Oriented Throughout the Entire Process

Bringing a new person on to your team is a crucial decision for the long-term success of your business. It starts with fully understanding what you want to achieve from the role, what you can improve, and who the ideal candidate is for the job. Communicating these aspects from the very beginning will allow you to have a transparent interaction with any person who wants to join the company.

When choosing between the final candidates, be sure to gain accurate analysis from a diverse collection of minds on the hiring team. Do not focus on a single interaction. Pay attention to how the motivations and personality of the candidate will translate to the job. Gain even more insights into how this person has interacted with people from different experiences.

By keeping the issues discussed in mind, you can put a sound hiring system in place. You can then be confident that you are hiring the best people to expand your dream as an organization.