How NOT to Hire: 8 Ways You Might Be Your Own Worst Enemy During the Hiring ProcessHave you ever felt like you were taking a huge risk when you hire someone new, or even felt in your gut that you were making the wrong decision? Not to worry, most employers have felt the same. Hiring is not easy—as a matter of fact, it’s downright difficult. You hire someone, and then a few months later you are back in the same spot with an open position, feeling like you are your own worst enemy.
With so much at stake, it’s critical to do everything in your power to take the risk out of your next hire. To help with this, here’s a list of common hiring mistakes our HR advisors hear about over and over again. Dodging these mistakes will give you a far better chance of bringing in great talent, without getting hurt in the process.
Mistake #1: Not casting a big enough recruiting net. Searching only for people in need of a job could make you overlook a lot of qualified applicants who may already be working, but are open to new opportunities. Maybe the ideal candidate already works for you and could move up—or maybe someone on your team could refer a perfect match for the position.
Mistake #2: Playing “mirror mirror.” It is only natural to want to work with people who are mirror images of yourself. If you hire an entire staff of people under this notion, however, you are bound to create an imbalanced organization. A staff that already shares your strengths could also share your weaknesses.
Mistake #3: Hiring headaches due to poorly written job descriptions. Each job description needs to be clearly written, including precise duties the individual will be responsible for, plus competencies and personality qualities an ideal candidate should have.
Mistake #4: Being desperate when it comes to filling positions. Don’t rush the process and do not compromise your hiring standards. Take your time so the best person for the position is brought on board, and don’t skip steps. It’s normal for your first impulse to be, “let’s just get someone in here,” but forcing yourself to slow down will product better results.
Mistake #5: Interview questions that are overly black-and-white. In an effective interview, you aren’t looking for yes or no answers or a recommended response your candidate has memorized. Ask questions that require “scenario-based” answers about how they’ve demonstrated relevant skills, traits, or behaviors in real life. This will make it easier for you to see their true colors.
Mistake #6: Mostly talking instead of mostly listening. By sharing everything up front about yourself, your company and the details of the job, you are setting applicants up to tell you what you want to hear—plus, you’re shifting the focus of the interview uselessly. Start by asking them to share a little about themselves and why they are interested in the position, and move on to questions that prompt them to do most of the talking.
Mistake #7: Not realizing that every step in the hiring process is a test. Each and every step, even the most tedious, is important. If the application form is not filled out completely, or a specific request you made was skipped, then the applicant failed the “follows instructions” test. Those who are late for the interview just failed the “dependability” test. And so on. (Don’t neglect skills tests, where applicable, either.)
Mistake #8: Not being a team player. The final hiring decision may be yours, but it’s always wise to consider input from key team members. Others may spot things you missed, or have good ideas about the positions and applicants.
Remember, staying away from these eight hiring hazards will make you much more likely to find people who will adapt to your practice more quickly, perform better on the job, and stay longer with your company. These are lasting benefits that will help keep you safer AND save you time and money in the long run, justifying the sometimes lengthy and complex hiring process.
Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and is not intended to replace good counsel about a specific issue with either your attorney or your favorite HR expert.