Hiring new talents for vacant positions can be exhausting and stressful. Recruiters are often pressured to hire hastily to serve the manpower requirements of various managers and avoid delays in their business operation. As we know, rushed decisions lead to bad hires which can be extremely costly for the company. Take the time to avoid these common hiring mistakes and get the right person for the right job at the right time.
1. Lack of Preparation
Recruiters should live by the motto, “It’s all in the prep.” Before placing an ad, make sure that you have an up-to-date and accurate job description that outlines the work, not the worker. What are the most important duties and responsibilities of the job? What are the skills, abilities and knowledge, required? If you do not have the fine details of the role, responsibilities, and milestones you need, you’re not ready to start recruiting. A clear job description also helps the job candidate decide if the role is right. Meet with the hiring managers to review the job description and ask for qualities that they believe a job candidate will need to be successful in performing his tasks. Then, plan your hiring strategy together. This can include using methods for selection such as testing, interview and reference checking.
2. Casting a Narrow Net
Expand your search and cast a wider net to get a broader pool of recruits. What happens when you post your jobs in the same old sites? You will get the same candidates applying over and over again. Using various employment websites and popular social media platforms to post job openings will be helpful in sourcing for diverse slate of talents. Jobseekers today are rarely looking in the local newspaper. If you are looking for highly-skilled employees, post in trade schools and magazines they read. Reach out to community, industry and professional groups, or engage in career fairs. More choices of applicants are always better than fewer.
3. Unclear Hiring Policy
Do you have a concrete knowledge and understanding of your hiring policy? If not, you will be in for trouble! Before beginning an employee search, recruiters must be able to define the company’s hiring policy to avoid confusion among hiring managers and candidates as well. The company must likewise have an HR Operations Manual and an Employee Handbook to serve as a legal shield to potential liability in the future.
4. Sugarcoating the Job
In your desire to “upsell” your company, you could be tempted to sugarcoat the job. You want to convince the candidate to choose your company by letting him/her see all the beautiful features of the job, but failing to point out the challenges it contains. It is better to inform the candidate of the key challenges ahead of time so there will be no surprises, false hopes and disappointments when he/she finally assumes the job. Transparency is key to keeping your new employee onboard.
5. Neglecting to Phone Screen
Optimize your actual face to face interview time by engaging in pre-interviews, like a 10-minute phone call or Skype interview to check some crucial information like salary history, availability and interest to work in your company. It saves time by narrowing the list of candidates whom you will be selecting for in-depth interview or test during the screening process. The resume may look great; it indicates an “excellent command of the English language” for a call center job, but only a phone interview can assure it’s true.
6. Talking More than Listening during Interview
Most interviewers and recruiters talk too much and ask too many questions the wrong way. Get the applicant talking by asking open-ended questions like “What did you like most about your last job, and why? This requires a thoughtful answer and will give the applicant the opportunity to talk about and reveal himself. By listening you will learn more and get glimpses into the applicant’s personality and character. To hire the right candidates, it’s important to ask the right questions. This is a challenge for many interviewers because they usually talk more than the job applicants, or they just ask questions which only review their resume. On average, talk about 20 percent of the time, and listen 80 percent.
7. Failing to Do Background and Reference Check
A lot of applicants look great on resume and interview very well. But are they really who they say they are and have done what they say they did? In my 25 years of HR practice, I have always adopted this HR dogma, “Trust but verify.” Sure, everyone deserves a fresh start but we need to know fully the people we are bringing into our company. Before any job offer is made, I make sure that I have done a background and reference check on prospective employees. Former supervisors, managers, teachers, peers, and neighbors of job candidates are my typical source of feedback and information. I also look into red flags such as long and short gaps in work history, discrepancies in education, training, salary, etc., and I seek further explanations until I see some authenticity in their application.
By avoiding these common hiring mistakes and using your own instincts and expertise, you will likely attract, retain and engage top talents who will grow together with your company.