7 Common Hiring Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them

| HR and Management Tips

common hiring mistakesHiring a new employee for your organization requires careful planning and a proven process, even if the situation warrants urgency. Which it often does.

Whether it’s an emergency or not, rushing to hire someone just so you can quickly fill a vacant position is a big mistake. In fact, there are lots of hiring mistakes that many employers commit on the regular.

Here are 7 common hiring mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

Weak Job Description
A bad job description can lead to bad hire. If the description lacks detail and doesn’t clearly define the role you’re hiring for, you’ll end up attracting unqualified candidates.

Remember these job description best practices and you’ll have a strong foundation for hiring success:

  • Always include the basics. Include job title, job summary, duties & responsibilities, skills & qualifications, salary/benefits and contact information for submitting a resume or job application.
  • Consider adding a purpose statement. Think of it as an “About Us” message that summarizes your company’s mission and culture.
  • Your job description shouldn’t imply that the outlined duties are the only ones that the employee is expected to perform. Make your job description flexible enough in its wording so additional duties can be taken on when needed.
  • Don’t use outdated job descriptions. Always maintain current language that includes the accurate job title, who the position reports to, primary job duties and required skills/qualifications.

No Pre-Screening
Applicant pre-screening is a must for any organization. Just a brief phone call with a potential candidate can tell you a lot about the person before you bring him or her in for an interview.

Pre-screening also gives you the opportunity to ask about the candidate’s salary requirements and the specific skills and experience they have that are valuable for the job they’re applying for.

Small Candidate Pool
Merely relying on job ads for your recruiting efforts significantly limits your talent pool. Sometimes the best candidates are passive candidates – people who are already employed but are open to the possibility of switching jobs if the right opportunity presents itself.

Working with a staffing agency gives you access to a larger talent pool, including passive candidates. So, if you’re not happy with the quality of candidates that are coming your way, consider connecting with a staffing agency. 

Working with a staffing agency gives you access to a larger talent pool, including passive candidates. So, if you’re not happy with the quality of candidates that are coming your way, consider connecting with a staffing agency. 

Bad Interview
Just like a bad job description, a bad interview can lead to poor hiring decisions. Don’t make these interview mistakes:

  • Not prepared. Make sure the interviewers are familiar with the resume/background of the person they’re meeting with.
  • Talking too much. If the interviewer is doing all the talking, he won’t learn much about the candidate. Having good listening ears is a must during any job interview.
  • Shallow, short interview. A short 20- or 30-minute interview only allows you to skim the surface and not learn a whole lot about your candidate. Of course, interview lengths will vary depending on the type of job role being filled. But conducting a longer, thorough interview gives you the opportunity to gather more details and get a better feel for the potential hire.

Choosing Personality Over Experience
It’s human nature to be drawn to a job candidate who is just like you – charming and witty (right?!) But don’t let your personal bias get in the way of a hiring decision. Just because you like the person doesn’t mean he or she is the best candidate for the job. 

No Fact Checking
It pays to be a fact-checker during the hiring process. Don’t necessarily believe every tidbit that is presented on a resume or discussed at the interview. Always conduct thorough reference checks with the candidate’s current or former employers and verify the accuracy of their skills and experience.

Poor Training/Onboarding
Don’t expect a new hire to show up on the first day of work and expect to understand all the ins and outs of the organization and new job. Proper onboarding is necessary. With the right amount of training and mentorship, new employees are better positioned for long-term success with the organization.

If common hiring mistakes are plaguing your organization, connect with the experts at A.R. Mazzotta. For nearly 50 years, our firm has delivered personalized recruiting services to employers throughout the state of CT. Contact us today!