The 5 Most Avoidable Hiring Mistakes

You’ll never hit the mark 100% of the time, but it is important to always look back and reflect on your hiring successes and failures to identify their common traits. We have been in the recruiting and hiring business for a while now and have identified some common hiring mistakes that are totally avoidable.

Stop hiring resumes and start hiring people.

How a person looks on paper is only part of the equation, yet many recruiters rely solely on CVs and resumes to base their hiring decisions off of. For starters, this in no way allows the recruiter or hiring manager to gauge cultural fit. When you consider that 89% of hiring failures are due to problems fitting the company culture, as revealed by, it makes a whole lot of sense to shift the focus from paper, to person.

How’s that wider net working out for you?

Recruiters were hearing it from all angles --in blog posts, articles and conference sessions, “Cast a wider net”. They got darn good at social recruiting, mobile recruiting and all different types of tactics to get the resumes rolling in. Then they started coming in by the dozens and hundreds, and no one knew what to do with them all.

Stop biting off more than you can chew. This isn’t just about finding the right candidate in that huge stack of applications. Each candidate expects to be followed up with and communicated with in a timely manner. You are more likely to be able to offer a great candidate experience and decrease your time-to-fill with fewer applicants.

Don’t ignore your internal talent pool.

It’s so easy for recruiters and hiring managers to forget about the talent pool that they see everyday. Sometimes a company hires for more hands on deck, but sometimes they just need a skill gap bridged. Look internally for those positions. An internal hire has already established their cultural fit, work ethic and ability to learn. It will be more cost effective to move employees internally, than to hire new ones. Dan Schawbel (@DanSchawbel) author and consultant said:

“At companies large and small, the hunt for top talent never ends. Lately, amid efforts to cut costs and increase the odds of employees being successful in their positions, many businesses are finding talent in a place that may have been overlooked in the past — within the company itself.”

Stop going with your gut and start looking at the numbers.

Trust your gut in a dark alley way or on bad date; not in hiring. There are so many tools with built-in analytics and metrics that there is simply no reason not use that information to make more sound hires. Hiring is no longer an intuition game; it’s a science.

Embrace the idea of trial periods or consultant options.

While time-to-fill is an important metric, stop rushing into the solid hire. Instead, offer trial periods for the benefit of the organization as well as the candidate. This sets up a transparent relationship in which both parties can be honest about their satisfaction. Candidates have the opportunity to gauge their own fit and employers aren’t locked into a bad hire. This also gives both sides the opportunity to prove themselves.

Hiring mistakes are so costly, but many of them are totally avoidable with a little reflection on current practices. Identify your bad hires and find out what and whom they had in common. You can find out the weaknesses and strengths in your hiring team and processes.

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Photo Credit: le temple du chemisier via Compfight cc

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