The 3 Most Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Business man with his palm on his forehead as if just hitting himself while having a "oh shoot" moment

Hiring is a process that can make any business owner cringe. It takes a lot of your valuable time and energy to screen and interview all the applicants. Do you know what’s worse than the hiring process? Making a bad hire and having to do it all over again!

Many employers simply don’t have a structured hiring process that prevents them from making the fundamental mistakes that lead to a mis-matched hire. Check out these common hiring mistakes and how to prevent them, so you don’t have to experience the pitfalls of a bad hire.

Mistake #1: A Generic Job Description

First impressions are important, and your job description is the metaphorical handshake of recruiting. Companies often make the mistake of writing job descriptions based off general expectations instead of qualities specific to the job. Here are a few tips to writing a job description that are guaranteed to attract top-performers.

  • Collaborate: Talk to your HR department and anyone else related to the position. Gather as much information as possible. Figure out exactly what your perfect employee would look like and be as specific as possible in your description.Illustration of business people, in gray suites, standing in a line next to boxes on the ground. A big red checkmark is beside the business person in a black suite.
  • Key Points: Things like daily duties, skills, education, and experience should be clearly stated in the description. On the other hand, you might want to list key points that would disqualify an applicant if you need to weed out people and save time.
  • Culture: State your company’s core values in the job description because candidates with similar values will be more likely to apply.
  • Test: Throw in a little test to see who is really paying attention. For example, if you’re looking for a web developer, give brief instructions asking candidate to create a webpage based on your expectations and see what they come up with. This is a fun way to weed out anyone who is mindlessly applying but will also set your job opening apart from competitors.

One last thing, it’s okay to sound like a human! Too often we focus on making sure we get those qualifications and details in there and we come off sounding like a robot. Let some personality show in your description.

Mistake #2: Thinking Attitude and Experience Equals Ability

Believing, “attitude is everything” can cause you to overlook real ability. Everyone puts their best foot (attitude) forward in an interview. The possibilities of a new job is exhilarating and can cause an applicant to feel that, “I can do anything!” This is a great attitude to have but when you’re the one hiring you need someone who has the attitude, and the ability to meet expectations.
Drawing of two men in business attire. One is holding papers with certifications hanging on the wall in the background. The two men seem to be conduction an interview.That being said, experience doesn’t always mean ability either. For example, you’re very excited about a candidate because they’re coming from a similar position with a competitor. Don’t forget to find out why they are leaving the current position. It is possible they didn’t posses the ability to meet your competitors expectations meaning they probably will not meet yours either.

A positive attitude and similar past experience often resonate as an ability to fulfill the job duties, however, sometimes businesses make the mistake of putting too much importance on one and overlooking other aspects.
Look for a balance of multiple qualities in your ideal candidate and always do some research to verify ability with references or past employers.

Mistake #3: Relying on That “Gut Feeling”

Intuition is important but is relied on too often. When hiring, it is just plain unprofessional. Don’t make the common mistake in thinking that chemistry between interviewee and interviewer will result in a good hire. These are good qualities to seek in a new employee for cultural fit but they alone will not result in success.

When you notice positive qualities in a candidate that are similar to yourself it is suddenly easy to miss red flags that would otherwise be deal breakers. Here are a few ways to keep you from honing in on general similarities and ensure you stick to the facts.

  • Prepare open-ended questions. Design these questions to learn about how the applicant thinks and behaves in tough situations. Make notes of their answers and body-language.
  • Listen more than talk. Don’t give feedback on their answers yet and try not to show signs of approval or disapproval in this stage. Your responses could alter their answers to following questions.

Pick the Ideal Employee Every Time You Hire

Hiring mistakes are plenty and most companies have recently felt the effects of a bad hire. You can prevent this by forming a structured hiring process and using things like this article to help prevent mistakes by you or your hiring managers. Subscribe to our blog for more helpful articles by clicking the button below.



Read Other Helpful Hiring Articles Here:

What You Need to Know About Hiring Millennials

Social Media and Hiring Practices: Are You Trying to Hire People or Robots?

The Employee “Test Drive” Could Improve Your Hiring Process

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