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Solutions to Five Common Hiring Mistakes

How happy are you with your hiring process? If you aren’t signing the right superstars – or potential superstars — perhaps your process is flawed. You could be making the same mistakes many other companies make. Here are five of the most common hiring mistakes, with tips for solving them. Do that, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting and keeping the top-scoring team you want.

Clueless turnover

First of all, figure out why you’re losing the great people you already have. You’ve invested in each other, maybe for quite some time. So what went wrong? Retention is the ultimate “hiring” technique, whereas churn is expensive. It kills momentum and bogs down productivity.

Most people leave because they don’t like their manager. We’re talking style here, though personalities sometimes enter the equation. Employees may feel overworked, under-rewarded, stifled. They may not be getting professional development opportunities. No one’s listening to their creative ideas or giving them enough rein to be creative.

Do an exit interview with every outgoing employee. Try using a written survey in addition or as an alternative. Encourage the person to be honest rather than accepting a surface response. Then use what you learn to fix the things you’re doing that drive people away. Become the employer no one wants to leave.

 

Unprepared interviewers

You expect candidates to prepare for their interview with you. But are your interviewers as well-prepared? Asking boilerplate questions or not giving people time to answer intelligently offends top candidates.

Interviewers should be familiar in detail with the candidate’s prospective job, not to mention the company’s policies and culture, so they can answer questions. They should be familiar with the candidate’s qualifications, to get the conversation started. A well-prepared interviewer knows how to elicit deeper technical and personal information that makes this candidate a must-have new hire. Consider how they can contribute right away, but also how they can grow with your company.

Help the candidate to prepare better, too, so you can have a more meaningful conversation. Send an information packet about the company and the job ahead of time. Enlist the hiring manager to be part of the interview process, if possible. If not, give the candidate a chance to speak with them before the interview.

This could be the clincher in securing the candidate’s interest because the hiring manager can tell them about your company’s project management methods, challenges specific to the candidate’s prospective team, and how different departments interact and collaborate. Hearing about your company’s working environment and culture could be that all-important compelling reason to leave their current position and join your team.

Hiring yourself

We all naturally feel more comfortable with people who look or sound or think as we do. But companies that thrive these days are innovative and adaptable. That requires diverse skills and approaches to solving problems and seizing opportunities. Cookie-cutter employees bring nothing new to that process.

Besides, if everyone you hire is too much the same, you may give certain candidates the impression that you’re discriminating against them. That’s illegal.

Promising the moon but delivering a rock

When you find that shining star among candidates, it’s tempting to over-sell them on the job, the workplace and/or future opportunities. But that only sets up you and your candidate for failure if you can’t make good on those promises. Nothing is more deflating and demotivating than feeling you’ve made a terrible mistake taking a new job. It certainly makes the grass look greener elsewhere.

You expect candidates to be honest about what they can and cannot do for you, so you need to do that, too. If you can’t honestly say your company is the Land of Opportunity for employees, consider how you might improve your atmosphere or practices.

Making snap decisions

Especially if you’re short-handed, the pressure is on to hire someone as soon as possible. When you rush, you overlook important things. Likewise, hiring on your “gut instinct” short-circuits the interview process. You don’t learn things about the candidate you need to know.

You need the very best people you can find. The candidate and your company need to be a great match, so they will stick around and become a long-term asset.

Hiring the wrong person will be more costly in the long run than doing without those extra hands and minds a bit longer. That’s true whether you’re hiring for the production floor or a corner office. Don’t drag out your hiring process unnecessarily, but be patient enough to land the right player.

If you’re making one (or all five) of these hiring mistakes, it’s time for a new game plan. Correcting these mistakes will help make you a hiring superstar.

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