Most Common Hiring Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)


Hiring Mistakes


Companies make mistakes all the time. From employees to executives, no one is exempt from making mistakes now and then that could have a negative impact on the business in one way or another. Hopefully, most of these mistakes are not too costly and will teach lessons that will help the staff avoid similar mistakes in the future. But one area where companies often make mistakes that could end up being especially troublesome is hiring.


Recruiting and hiring employees is often more difficult than anyone realizes, and because of this, mistakes are fairly common in the hiring process. As a highly experienced staffing agency, we’ve seen companies make these mistakes many times, and we’re here to help you avoid the same fate.


Here are some of the most common hiring mistakes we see, and how to avoid them.


Failure to nail down the job that needs to be done. As with most things, a little preparation goes a long way in hiring. We have seen too many companies place vague or confusing job ads that do not clearly define the parameters and expectations of the candidates and of the job itself. As a result, they get too many applicants that are not qualified in skill or experience. Or, even worse, they end up hiring someone that did not clearly understand what the position entailed and is unable or unwilling to fulfill those duties.


How to avoid it: Take the time to do this right. If you already have a working job description for the position, review it and make sure it is still accurate. If you don’t have one, write one up, making sure to be as clear and as detailed as possible. Also, write up a list of qualities and qualifications your applicants should have, and make it clear that anyone who doesn’t meet those expectations will not be considered. Be deliberate, be clear, and communicate well.


Bad timing. This might mean rushing the process and hiring the first person to apply. It might also mean holding out for months as you wait for the “perfect” candidate to come along. Either way, it’s a mistake. You need to set a realistic amount of time to find the right person, but you should also recognize that you might not ever be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. The important thing is to find a competent person to fill the position as quickly as possible.


How to avoid it: Make decisions ahead of time about your timeline. Accept applications until a certain date. Then set a date to be done with interviews. Then set a date to make your final decision. When creating this timeline, think about how your company will be affected over time as the position goes unfilled. Think about your last hiring process: how long did it take, and were you satisfied with the result? Taking data points such as these into account will help you create a schedule that makes sense for your specific needs.


Putting on rose-colored glasses. As you’re screening, meeting, and interviewing candidates, it’s likely that some of them will stand out more than others. You will be immediately drawn to some and more hesitant about some. This is fine—and your gut can be your friend when it comes to hiring—as long as you don’t put on rose-colored glasses about your “favorite” candidates. It can be way too easy to ignore warning signals or red flags about the candidates at the top of your list, just because they made a good impression on you or have other qualities you really like.


How to avoid it: Repeat this mantra in your head: “No one is perfect.” None of the candidates you meet or interview are going to be perfect—not even your most favorite ones. With this in mind, look for the flaws in each candidate, and weigh them against the job description, required skills and experience, and your company’s culture. Keep track of any red flags that pop up during interviews or reference checks. You won’t be able to hire a perfect candidate, but you can find the best one for your open position.


These three big hiring mistakes can cost you significantly if you don’t take steps to avoid them. Take it from the experts: hiring is something that you don’t want to mess up.


Speaking of experts, one of the best ways to avoid hiring mistakes is to use a staffing company to help you fill your open positions. EDI Staffing can help fill a variety of positions in a variety of industries, and we’d love to help make your next hire a little (or a lot) easier. Contact us today, and see the difference a staffing agency can make.  

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