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Common hiring mistakes – A costly and avoidable problem

There is a lot written about the stress for the candidate when it comes to the employment process, but we tend to forget that there is a great deal at stake for the employer as well. A bad candidate choice can result in a cost with little or no return, a disrupted team, a delay in development or efficient working methods, a loss of morale in the workforce and ultimately a further employment cycle to once again fill the post. Hiring someone is quite a major decision, and done wrong it can be a costly mistake, both financially and in terms of the overall business plan.

Some of the common, and in fairness easily made, mistakes are:

  • Not making the company culture and ethos part of your specification. The person is just as important as the skill set for a successful team. When you are filling a role within a team, the right person is just as important as the right skill set.
  • Rushing the early process. We will always encourage you to move as fast as possible once the decision is made to employ your candidate of choice, but there are some areas where the process has a natural pace. If you want to attract the best candidates, then you really need to take the time to make sure the job spec, the person requirements, the potential offer and all the other pre-action work is well considered.
  • Doing it all in-house. At the risk of blowing our own trumpet a little bit here, we have years of experience of recruitment. The reason recruitment companies exist, is because the chances of making a costly recruitment mistake narrow considerably by using a good one.
  • Waiting for perfection. While you should always be looking for the perfect candidate, some flexibility in what is acceptable variation from your ideal may be a big asset. Sometimes you can make the perfect person by hiring the closest fit and training them.
  • Too much or too little gut feel. This is a bit of an odd one because the truth is that sometimes your instinct says ‘this person is the candidate we need’ and it will be the right choice. However, you will still need to make sure the candidate stacks up in terms of other areas, and beware of allowing gut feel to override the job specification.
  • Over-reliance on the interview. The interview is a great way to meet the candidate, ask questions, get to know them a little and so on, but it isn’t the whole story. Some people interview well, and others don’t. You need all the data to really see the full picture so, while the interview is important, remember to treat it as part of the wider process not the be all and end all of the process.
  • Leaning too much on your existing network. It is easy to fall into the trap of hiring from your pool of friends and acquaintances at the cost of missing out on meeting other potentially more suitable candidates.
  • Casting your net in the wrong place, too small or too wide. One of the reasons you really need a recruitment specialist is because there is a real art to where you look for candidates.

It would make life a lot easier if recruitment were a less important process, but as anyone who has ever hired the wrong person will tell you, it isn’t, and it is costly when it goes wrong. We are happy to help with the process of hiring staff from initial need through to the final decision to hire, so why not call us to discuss your options.