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Common Hiring Mistakes Employers Make & How To Avoid Them

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Finding the right talent for your business can be complicated and time-consuming, with the hiring process about more than just choosing the right candidate for the job – it’s also about attracting the best candidates, who in today’s competitive job market may have their pick of roles to go for.

With statistics from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation showing that businesses fail to hire the suitable person for two out of five roles, it can be a costly mistake to make, so it pays to make sure you’re bringing the right talent on board. Visit us here for more blog.

So how do you refine your hiring process? We look at some of the most common mistakes employers make when hiring, and what you can do to improve your own recruitment process.

  1. Not reviewing the job description. Hiring managers may seek recruiters’ help in hiring for a new role without checking if the job description has changed – this can happen if there’s been an internal restructure, or if certain formal qualifications are now required for the role. Go through the job description carefully, and ensure that the hiring manager and HR have reviewed it too. Discuss any updates with the recruitment consultant and provide them with key information such as a description of the ideal candidate, the reporting structure, and salary range. This will help to improve and speed up the CV and job application screening process.

  2. Not setting a deadline for applications. Setting and sticking to a deadline helps you better organise your hiring process and can create a sense of urgency among potential candidates. Job-seekers viewing your role might also be less inclined to apply if the same listing has stayed open for several months, so set a deadline for applications and remove the advertisement after this date. Having a time frame can also help manage candidates’ expectations about when they will be hearing back regarding their application, and it allows you to set aside the time for interviews well in advance – this is particularly helpful if there are several people on the interview panel.

  3. Not preparing for the interview On average, candidates spend about three hours preparing for an interview, compared to less than an hour spent by hiring managers. While it can be difficult to find the time, it’s well worth doing so, in order for you to get the most out of the interview and really assess if the candidate is right for your business. Especially if you are leading an interview for a role not directly in your team, brush up on the job description and go through the candidate’s CV and application beforehand. Make a note of anything you need more information on, such as a gap in their work history – this might be easily explained by a period of travel or study, but it’s best to clear up any potential red flags at this stage.

  4. Not asking the right questions. Aside from asking any queries about their CV, use the interview to ask the kind of questions that will give you a good insight into how the candidate works, how they like to be managed, and what they bring to a team. You can probably skip abstract questions such as "If you were an object/animal what would you be?" or "Who would play your character if there was a movie about your life?", although a couple of light- hearted, more general questions at the start can work well as an ice-breaker. Try “Tell me about yourself” instead, to open up the conversation and help the candidate get past any initial nerves. Read our blog on the top interview questions to assess a candidate for culture fit here.

  5. Having too many people on the selection panel. The phrase ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ definitely applies to interview panels. Although having several people involved brings the benefit of different perspectives, too many conflicting opinions can make the decision-making process more difficult and much slower. It can also leave you doubting your own observations and intuition about a candidate’s suitability for the role. Before the interviews are arranged, decide exactly who should be part of the selection process. There should be a designated panel leader and assigned roles for each member based on their expertise. Not sure who to include? Along with the hiring manager, a member of HR should ideally be there, and it’s also worthwhile having a colleague with expertise on the role attend the interview.

  6. Not doing background checks. Don’t overlook the importance of checking a candidate’s employment references and background. A reference check can help you learn more about a candidate’s employment history, educational background and qualifications, providing you with the reassurance that they are the right person for the job. It’s also normal for a candidates’ social media profile to be checked before they are hired, in order to identify red flags or discrepancies. Social media screening can help recruiters and employers assess a potential candidate for cultural fit, to see if their profile and online activity are a good match with the company’s values and to check they have a professional image.

  7. Poor communication during the hiring process. Aim to keep in touch with candidates throughout the recruitment journey. Regular communication should keep your employee to-be engaged and excited about starting their new job, and it can also allow you to get some of the admin out of the way before their first week. You could even invite them to an informal social with their new colleagues, so that they can start getting to know the team.

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