12 Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Adam Robinson,
May 23, 2014

Every hiring manager or CEO remembers their first bad hire. Whether it was a “forehead slap” bad hire or a long drawn-out grueling bad hire, chances are one of the 12 mistakes below led to it. Take a look at the different hiring mistakes that even the best hiring managers make and review the suggestions on how to avoid them.

12. Calling your job something trendy

You’ve seen the titles on LinkedIn or received a business card from one of them. But cheeky or not, titles like Software Ninja, Marketing Maverick, or Sprinkler of Sunshine (true title!) are not going to get you candidates. Why? Because candidate’s aren’t going to search for cheeky titles in job board and job board aggregators (Like Indeed.com)

Instead, crown your current employees with quirky titles, they will appreciate the creativeness.

11. Taking too much time on the job description

A job description is like a Maid of Honor’s speech at a wedding. Keep it short, sweet, and straight to the point. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy in the world, but you get the point.

Think of your job description as a hook that catches the candidate, brings them in, and doesn’t let go.

10. Not posting to job boards

Many hiring managers make the mistake of announcing their new job opening to their company and internal circle, and expect the candidates to flood in. 

Unfortunately, without posting to a job board, there is a large chance many qualified candidates won’t see your job. Increase your candidate pool by promoting a post on Indeed, SImplyHired, or LinkedIn.

9. Having an email address as a resume collector

Are you collecting resumes and applications with an email address like resumes@hireology.com or jobs@hireology.com or even worse using your personal/company email address?

If you are using an email address as your applicant tracking system, you can expect a cluttered inbox, multiple issues downloading files, and tons of spam. Instead, invest in an actual ATS that organizes your hiring process and allows you to worry less about a full inbox.

8. Not sending rejection letters

It’s the worst impression you can put on a candidate. Expect candidates who don’t receive a rejection letter to never apply for another one of your jobs again. The candidate experience is a crucial part of the hiring process and shouldn’t be ignored.

Always take the time to send candidate’s who don’t make the cut a simple rejection letter. It will encourage them to apply for more positions in the future.

7. Not sending any candidate communication emails

Even worse then not sending rejection letters, is not sending any candidate communication notifications. Keep candidates updated on the process, if you haven’t reached out to them in a week, send an email out to all candidates letting them know you are still working through the hiring process.

6. Winging an interview

Walking into an interview with a candidate and not preparing beforehand is a recipe for disaster. Your process is now technically illegal, since you will probably not be asking candidates the same questions, and you might end up asking illegal interview questions.

Prepare a solid interview process and stick to it to ensure a good hire.

5. Googling good interview questions to ask

We see it all the time. Hiring managers on Google before interviews and furiously scribbling down good questions to ask. This increases your risk of asking illegal interview questions or asking weird interview questions.

Do yourself and your hiring process a favor and construct an interview guide for all of your positions.

4. Not scoring the interview

Quantifying a candidate’s interview performance is crucial to the selection of a good employee. By not scoring your interviews you are at a risk for hiring a candidate based on “gut feel” which is the ultimate reason for making a hiring mistake.

There are several ways to construct an interview score card. Read our interview scorecards ebook for more details.

3. Not running background or reference checks

Do you want a convicted scam artist working at your office? I didn’t think so…

There is simply no excuse for running background and reference checks on your future hires. It eliminates legal issues, protects you from fraud, and helps you identify the right person for the job.

2. Ignoring a candidate’s needs

Pretending you didn’t receive a candidate’s email about needing a higher salary, additional benefits, a car for travel, etc then you can pretty much guarantee that your new hire is going to turnover in the next 6 months.

Listen to your candidates and ensure all of their needs have been handled or atleast addressed.

1. Not hiring the right person

The ultimate hiring mistake is simply not hiring the right person. Stop making gut feeling decisions to hire candidates and start using data to hire.

Read about these mistakes in more detail below.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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