The Most Common Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

August 17, 2016 Pete Jansons

As a small business leader, you undoubtedly realize the importance of selecting the right employees to help your company succeed. This pressure to make a good hiring decision can turn the hiring process into a stressful venture. 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 common mistakes such as the following can increase the odds of your next hire being a winner:

Hiring too quickly or too slowly

When you know that your small business needs workers immediately in order to keep up with growing demands or to fill vacancies, standards have a way of falling. But hiring based on availability over talent can end up haunting 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 flipside, some leaders take way too long to hire anyone. Small business owners can be particularly prone to this problem. With such a limited staff, they feel they must choose the “perfect” person. While searching for a great match is necessary, endlessly holding out for an ideal applicant who may or may not exist can stifle the company’s productivity.

Creating a hasty job description

Finding the talent you want starts with knowing what you want. 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. You’ll attract a more focused candidate pool, and you’ll have a solid basis on which to judge applicants.

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 quite adept at making a wonderful first impression with a confident handshake and an arsenal of well-rehearsed responses but don’t have the expertise you truly need. To find a gem 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.

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. This additional feedback can be especially important in a small business environment where staff members interact frequently and heavily depend on one another. Extra examination beforehand may prevent hiring a “bad apple” that can end up spoiling the whole bunch.

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