7 common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them

7 common hiring mistakes and how to avoid them

Hiring mistakes

Hiring new employees is a complicated process. And there are several challenges that can trip you up if you are not careful. Here are the seven most common hiring mistakes you should try to avoid.

Hiring mistake #1: Spending too long on the hiring process

One of the hardest parts of hiring new staff is sifting through all of the applications you receive. This is especially true if you still rely on paper applications, it can take a long time to go over each resume as you shortlist candidates. But even digital applications take a lot of time to review.

It’s important to spend enough time on each application to determine whether you should give a candidate further consideration, but you’ll miss out on a lot of talented candidates if you spend too much time making decisions at this point. 

Almost everyone who is looking for a new job will apply to more than one company at a time. This means there’s competition for every applicant, and if your time-to-hire is too long, the best employees will likely have accepted offers from other companies by the time you are ready to make a hire. 

What to do instead

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, using online skills assessments (as opposed to reading hundreds of resumes or relying on resume screening software) will make your candidate selection process much more efficient. That’s because skills assessments show you who actually has the skills you need before you begin the time-consuming process of reviewing resumes.

Hiring mistake #2: Not considering internal candidates

Sometimes companies can have a valid reason for wanting to bring in new employees from outside the business. Perhaps there is a skill that is lacking, or they are looking for more experience. However, it is important that you are mindful of the employees you already have and know what they can offer. 

By not offering roles to your existing staff, current employees may begin to feel that they don’t have the potential to grow with your company. You may find that you lose frustrated staff as a result.

What to do instead

You can avoid this problem by offering positions internally. Some companies try to recruit current employees before they even post the job externally. This gives your team a headstart on the competition. But even if you simultaneously post the job internally and externally, your staff will appreciate having an opportunity to move up within the organization.

Hiring mistake #3: Asking for too much

Some employers will pack their job ads full of required qualities that they want in their employees. This can sometimes include attributes that are not essential for the job. While you want to have the best skills and people in your company, you can miss an ideal candidate by asking for too much. 

What to do instead

Be sure to write realistic job descriptions that take into account the skills needed, the seniority level of the role, and the compensation. This way, you’ll be more likely to find the best candidates while not missing anyone that could be the ideal fit. 

Hiring mistake #4: Not offering enough

Staying within your budget will always be a consideration when hiring new employees. Many companies walk a fine line between staying profitable and spending enough money to expand their business. But now more than ever, candidates know what they are worth, and they are looking for a job that will be realistic in terms of salary. Websites like Glassdoor and Salary.com make it easy for candidates to get a good idea of how a role is compensated on average.

What to do instead

It is worth looking at what other companies are paying their employees if you can. The same websites that candidates will use to research how a role should be compensated can help employers too. You don’t necessarily have to pay more than your competitors, but you should be competitive if you’re expecting to attract top talent.

If you don’t have the budget to match what your competitors are paying, then perhaps there are other perks you can highlight (e.g., an office gym, tuition reimbursement, 401k matching, etc.).

Hiring mistake #5: Searching for perfection

Some employers try too hard to find the perfect candidate, even when that candidate might not exist. For example, while you might want to find someone that can hit the ground running, you may need to accept that some learning will be necessary. 

What to do instead

Think about the role you are looking to fill. Are the skills required ones that you can expect many people to have? Will they be working with machinery or hardware that needs specialist training? If the answer is yes, but you’re struggling to find candidates who have that training along with other skills you need, then you might want to focus on candidates with the other skills you need while planning to train them up in other areas during their first months on the job.

Hiring mistake #6: Rushing to make a hire

Hiring someone quickly without doing your due diligence can be as bad as taking too long to hire. There can be a sense of urgency to hire an employee, especially if you have other staff covering the role and putting additional strain on them. But by trying to speed through the process, you may miss vital information that could prove costly later. 

What to do instead

Try to set a realistic timeline to send out the job ad and go through the hiring process. You can then relay this to the team so that they have an idea of how long it will take to find a new employee. 

Ensure that you are taking the time to do all the relevant checks, conducting online skills assessments, and contacting references. A checklist can help in this regard, by setting a timescale for each step, you can stay on track and not miss anything vital. 

Hiring mistake #7: Taking too long to close the deal

When you get to the interview process, it’s important to get all of your interviews done as quickly as possible. This will keep all the candidates fresh in your memory and allow you to make a decision without delay. It will also decrease the probability that your selected candidate will have already accepted a job somewhere else by the time you make an offer.

Get it right the first time

Hiring can be a time-consuming and expensive business, so you need to ensure that you are getting it right the first time. The hiring mistakes we’ve covered here can be costly to your business, damaging to your company’s reputation, and lead to missing out on top talent. By avoiding these pitfalls, you’ll give your company the best chance of finding the right individuals.

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