The 5 Deadly Sins Of Hiring

by Ryan Kohler

Hiring is something every company has to do, but it’s amazing how often this crucial process is run in a slip-shod, non-methodical fashion that results in major mistakes. Hiring mistakes cost your business a lot of money – not only in poor performance, but in the expense of finding, hiring, and re-training someone else. The best way to consistently hire the highest quality of employees is to implement a structured, process-based plan that removes human error as much as possible.

How To Avoid The 5 Most Common Hiring Mistakes:

1. Don’t Rush The Process

You wouldn’t be hiring if you didn’t have an urgent need to fill in your company, but when you rush, you’re likely to miss crucial information. No matter the urgency, you still need to cast a wide net. It might take time to find a pool of qualified individuals, but that’s better than considering only the people who happen to see your job post within a day or two. Also, you should never hire someone after a single interview. Snap decisions are based on impressions, not solid information.

2. Don’t Stick To Surface-Level Questioning

It’s important to put a concrete process in place, but this doesn’t mean you should ask every candidate the same questions. Hold specific, probing conversations where you examine the details of the applicant’s past performance. Find out the details of their best and worst decisions, their struggles and triumphs, personality clashes they may have experienced, the exact processes they used to accomplish goals, and their strategies for the future. It’s only through extended and careful discussion that you’ll get past the candidate’s “interview face” to the meat of their personality.

3. Don’t Headhunt

It can be very tempting to steal a top performer from another company. And, in some cases this can work – for instance, if you know the person has been looking to make a change for some time, or if the company is foundering and job security is shaky. But when you try to poach from a strong competitor, you’ll probably have to pay more than the employee is worth to convince them to make a switch, including guarantees for what should be performance-based bonuses. Plus, I wouldn’t expect an employee to stick around for the long haul if they jumped ship to come to you. It’s kind of like the girl who chases after a married man: if he’ll cheat with you, then he’ll cheat on you.

4. Don’t Rely On A Single Decision-Maker

It’s fine to have one person oversee the hiring process, but candidates should always be interviewed by more than one person. Whether you use a hiring panel or a series of phone and face-to-face interviews with different department members, the result is the same: you’ll get a much more balanced and reliable impression of the applicant. A single person may be swayed by charm or personal prejudices, but a group of examiners will see the whole picture.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Take A Chance

As much as hiring should be based off concrete information, it’s okay to occasionally “take a chance” on a promising candidate. This doesn’t mean you should hire based solely off a gut feeling, but you can think outside the box. For instance, you might have an applicant who has demonstrated drive, dedication, and a high level of production in a different field. Even if they don’t have years of traditional experience, if you see evidence of skillsets and personality traits that you think would work well at your company, then you are making an informed gamble that could pay big dividends.

A thorough hiring process may seem overly arduous, but each employee you hire is a significant investment. It’s worth taking your time to find the right people.

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