How to Prevent Hiring Mistakes

June 13, 2014

How to Prevent Hiring Mistakes

Making errors in judgment while hiring employees can cost you and your company dearly. Here are some common mistakes that are made during the selection of potential candidates.

Writing an ambiguous job description: Failing to write a detailed job description can draw a pool of individuals with irrelevant qualifications. Ensure that any prospective employees know what you are looking for by writing a description which includes educational requirements, skills needed, their ideal background and a summary of their duties and obligations. This will help clarify the role to job seekers and set expectations for the employee who will eventually be hired.

Asking the wrong questions: In hiring a person for a specific role, you should establish that they have the capacity to complete the job at hand. Asking general questions that are inapplicable to the position could result in making the mistake of hiring an employee that is good at another job instead of the one they are hired for. Instead of scouring the internet for interview questions, take some time to develop questions that are relevant to what you will want the candidate to do. Use experiences that they may encounter during the course of their employment to predict their future behavior.

Asking inappropriate questions: Inquiring about the reason for why they want to leave their current company or asking for salary expectations prematurely could alienate candidates and make them feel uncomfortable. Use tact in asking questions and suspend salary negotiations until later on in the hiring process or you may face the mistake of losing your best applicant.

Basing your decision on first impressions: A candidate’s personal appearance and mannerisms can make them likable but this is not a good predictor of how well they will perform in their position. If they can’t supplement their application with experience and quantifiable means such as exam results and samples of work, they are probably not qualified for the job. To eliminate bias, it may be helpful to create a ranking system for every answer and ensuring that every candidate is interviewed by more than one person.

Basing your decision on experience: While experience is important when determining whether someone is qualified for a position, simply hiring the person with the most amount of experience can prove to be detrimental. An overqualified employee can be damaging to company morale. Similarly, arbitrarily judging a candidate for their lack of experience makes the mistake of missing out on budding talent. Make sure you have a holistic perspective on the applicant before making a decision.

Waiting too long to offer the position: Follow up with all your candidates in a timely manner. Waiting too long after an interview to extend an offer is a risky practice as this could denote losing your top choice to another company. Remember, if you think they are the right person for the job, someone else could do so as well. Likewise, failing to follow up with the unsuccessful candidates will close the door on future potential employees and could result in a bad reputation for your company.