Common Hiring Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Woman and Man shaking hands at job interview in an office

Common Hiring Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

We’re all human. Therefore, we’re bound to make mistakes. When you’re a new manager, these mistakes can easily come back to bite you. You’re taking on a lot: you’re managing your team, you are recruiting, hiring, and training. With a workload like that, you’ve got an uphill battle.

In any HR environment, there is always a lot of pressure to get it right the first time. Any missteps cost the company in more ways than you can count. Managers can be particularly susceptible to hiring mistakes because they are often the sole contact throughout the process.

It’s always a good idea to take a broad look at what you’re doing. Consider how your actions will affect all stakeholders and don’t just think about yourself. Granted, getting the job done quickly is the ultimate goal, but the best hiring managers take their time and involve others at every point in the process.

Here are some hiring tips from the pros for new managers:

1. Don’t believe everything you read on paper

Your first point of contact is going to be a candidate’s cover letter, resume or CV. While these items are an important part of the introduction, they can be deceiving. You simply can’t make an accurate judgment about somebody based on their CV. In fact, more than 46 percent of candidates pad out their CVs or even outright lie. Even if you see some big names and big claims on the resume, don’t just take them at face value. Let the candidate prove their worth through your discussions.

2. Shortlist your applicants

Having a larger pool to choose from might be tempting, but if you’re interviewing a lot of people who you know probably won’t work out, cut your losses. After all, your time is valuable too. Some dangers to the “more is more” philosophy include that you might simply forget who’s who after 30 interviews and start relying on resumes to remind you – and it won’t help you find the right person any faster. Shoot to interview no more than eight or nine candidates at a time. That will make it easier for you to refine the process if indeed you didn’t find your ideal hire in the first round.

3. Be aware of the eye-glaze factor

Any good hiring manager should be able to articulate a company’s mission and vision, it’s values, its goals and where it’s headed in the future. You need to be able to get this point across to the candidate, but keep in mind that when you’re talking, the candidate isn’t. The interview should be a chance for you to get to know a potential new hire. While you are engaged with them, take the opportunity to walk them around the office. Introduce them to people and let them get a better understanding of what they might experience when working there. Not only will you become more aware of how they interact with other people, they will get a good feel for the culture and their place in it. Letting your interviewee do the talking will always reveal more.

4. Ask the right questions

You’re going to ask a lot of questions, so make them count. Broad questions lead to broad answers, so if you really want to learn more about a person, think about what you want to ask in advance. Think about the experience and skills they need to have. Think about soft skills that every applicant in every position will need to possess. Instead of asking direct questions, ask them to describe scenarios that demonstrate skills you require. For instance, you might set up a scenario and ask them how they would handle it. Or, ask them to describe a technical situation where they were able to turn a negative into a positive.

5. Trust your gut

In retrospect, with regard to most of the bad decisions we make, we can say that we “knew” it wasn’t going to work out. This is true in about 99 percent of situations. Trust your first instinct, it’s almost always dead on. While it’s never a good idea to make snap judgments about anybody – if you have an instinct that somebody is not going to work out in a job it’s better to act on it sooner than after you’ve already committed time and resources to the hire. However, if you have made a mistake and you know it, don’t hesitate – try to make it right as quickly as possible. Everybody makes mistakes, we are all human, after all.

In conclusion, if you are in charge of hiring for your small company, you might feel a lot of pressure to get the job done quickly and rush through the process. Keep in mind that this is never the best course of action to take and it may cost you more in the end.

Have any questions or comments about the hiring process? Contact Pact and Partners today.

Pact & Partners

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