Avoid these 10 hiring mistakes

Hiring is hard. And sometimes you make the wrong decision, which is terrible because acquisition costs you more than retention. The cost of hiring, training, and onboarding a new hire only to have them not turn out to be what you’re looking for can be more than significant.

Mistakes happen. But they can be avoided.

Don’t make these 10 hiring mistakes that you’ll regret later.

Not properly defining the job. Don’t go with a vague idea of what you need someone to do, and just craft a job description that sort of fits. Be specific. Know what you are looking for and what you need, so you’ll know it when you see it. Many hiring managers cram their job postings with “nice to haves” rather than “must haves.” Have the wisdom to know the difference. Does the candidate really have to have an MBA and speak four languages? If not, leave it out.

Hiring a friend. You want to help your friends, and that’s nice. But how are your friends going to feel about working for you? Are they going to expect special treatment? Are they going to take kindly to you telling them what to do? And what do you do if they aren’t living up to expectations? Could you fire a friend? Also, are you overlooking better-qualified candidates in favour of someone who won’t do as good a job? Hiring friends is perilous.

Hiring someone you don’t want to hire. This may be because the boss is pressuring you to hire her niece/husband/best friend, and the person isn’t qualified. Or because you feel rushed to make a decision even though you haven’t found the right person. If you can, keep looking until you find them.

Casting too narrow a net. Knowing what you want is good but not if the search for the exact person you think you want causes you to miss out on ideal candidates. A tech startup, for example, might – even subconsciously – be looking for a young male candidate, and miss out on that perfect older female. Make sure your pool is diverse. This will serve your business well in the long run.

Hiring solely for cultural fit. Companies are all about cultural fit these days. But, similar to the previous point, don’t immediately dismiss the candidate who doesn’t quite fit in with your super-casual skateboard culture or your all power-woman office. Another type of person might bring some fresh perspective and new ideas.

Hiring for skill over attitude. Never hire a jerk with all the right skills and qualifications. A person with an excellent skill set and an attitude problem will always have an attitude problem, while someone with a good attitude who needs to learn some skills will soon have a great attitude and the skills. Hire for attitude. Train for skills. Or you will regret it.

Not doing your research. Look at the candidates’ social media profiles. See what they’re like. Make sure that what you see fits with what they are telling you. Also, check the references. Do not skip this, even if you’re in a hurry to hire.

Ignoring red flags. No matter how pressured you are to fill the role, don’t hire someone if there’s a voice in your head telling you that you might be making a mistake. Take the time to do your due diligence, and be sure of your decisions.

Not doing a post-mortem on the last person in the position. If someone recently left the position you’re now filling, be sure to note why they left and what, if anything, went wrong on your end. So you don’t repeat the same mistake/s.

Not providing proper training and onboarding. Once you find the right person, don’t leave their success to chance. Make sure they know how to do their job, what is expected of them, and everything else they need to know to do a great job.

 

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