The 4 most common hiring mistakes

As a small business leader, you know hiring the best employees is a key to helping your company succeed. But the pressure to make a good hiring decision can quickly turn the process into a stressful one. A bad hire can damage your company’s progress and force you to waste valuable time and money recruiting a replacement.

Unfortunately, even the most seasoned business professionals make hiring errors. But being aware of the most common mistakes can improve the odds of your next hire being a winner. Is your process working for you?  Check out these four common hiring mistakes and see how your process compares.

1. Hiring too quickly or too slowly

When your small business needs workers immediately to keep up with growing demands or to fill vacancies, standards have a way of falling. But hiring based on availability over talent can haunt you down the line. Likewise, don’t be tempted to skip steps such as performing background and reference checks, conducting multiple interviews and probing deeply into qualifications.

On the flip side, some leaders take way too long to hire anyone and small business leaders can be particularly prone to that problem. With a limited staff, there's often pressure to wait for the perfect person. While searching smartly for a great match is necessary, endlessly holding out for an ideal applicant can stifle your productivity.

2. Creating a hasty job description

Finding the talent you want starts with knowing what you want. Learn how to create a job posting that outlines desired qualifications and experience, presents a clear portrait of what the position entails and gives an accurate sense of workplace culture. Ask for what you want and be transparent about your needs. You’ll attract a more focused candidate pool and you’ll have a solid basis on which to judge applicants.

3. Neglecting to look beyond the surface

Someone who appears outstanding on paper may lack the soft skills necessary to thrive in the workplace. Similarly, many job hunters are adept at making a wonderful first impression with a confident handshake and well-rehearsed responses, but may not have the expertise you need. To find a great new hire for your small business, you’ll need to dig deep. See how job candidates respond to real-life scenarios: hit them with some unconventional questions or a problem to solve. Look for reasons not to hire someone who initially strikes you as awesome. If you can’t find any, you’ve probably discovered your next employee.

4. Failing to involve your team

The ultimate decision rests on your shoulders, but seeking input from others can help you spot potential problems you may have missed. That additional feedback can be especially important in a small-business environment where staff members interact frequently and heavily depend on one another. Extra eyes may prevent many of the woes that come with hiring the wrong person for your business.

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