5 Hiring Mistakes Even the Smartest Small Business Leaders Make

Pete Jansons

How to recruit and hire new employees for your small business is something they don’t teach you in school – or on the job, for that matter. And yet, whom you choose to help run your business is one of the most important business decisions you can make. While hiring is a skill that many perfect over time, no one is immune to hiring mistakes. Take a look at some of the common hiring and recruiting mistakes even the smartest, most experienced small business owners make, and how to avoid them at your own company.

Mistake #1: Skimping on background checks. When the pressure is on to hire and bring someone on board quickly and budgets are already tight, it can be tempting to skip the employee background checks. But the money you invest now in a thorough background check will save you from making a potentially and costly hiring mistake in the long run. Make sure you find a reputable background check service provider that is NAPBS accredited and ISO 9001:2015 certified to ensure the highest level of compliance. Make sure your provider can turn results around quickly - so you can get new hires on board right away.

Mistake #2: Taking too long to make a hiring decision. While you want to give yourself enough time to make a well-informed hiring decision, taking too long to make a hiring decision could backfire. The most in-demand candidates won't be around too long before a competitor snatches them up. Of course, there are times when the hiring process gets delayed for reasons beyond your control. In that case, let the candidate know there’s been a delay. Otherwise, they will think you are simply ignoring them, and there are few things candidates hate more than being left in the dark.

Mistake #3: Not taking advantage of your greatest asset. If you don’t have an employee referral program yet, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Employees referrals are one of the best sources of quality candidates - especially at a time when quality candidates are hard to come by. Encourage your employees to refer people in their network and offer cash bonuses for referrals that lead to hires.

Mistake #1: Putting too much emphasis on skills. These days, finding a candidate who ‘checks all the boxes’ is getting harder and harder. If you’re having a hard time finding qualified candidates for your open positions, consider doing what 59 percent of small business owners are doing this year, and hire candidates based on their potential and willingness to learn. Take inventory of the qualifications you’re looking for and ask yourself, “Which of these skills are must-haves and what can I teach this person?”

Mistake #5: Only recruiting when you have an opening. If you only wait until you have a hiring need to look for quality candidates, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Making time throughout the year to build your talent pipeline will ensure you don’t have to scramble to find a replacement once you have a hiring need - you already have a pool of interested, engaged candidates to contact. Not only does continuous recruiting help you cut losses associated with hiring time and productivity, you’ll also decrease the chances of making a costly hiring mistake.

Check out the hiring mistakes to avoid in 2018.


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