Hiring is one of the most critical tasks and challenges an organization faces. Yet, unfortunately, too many approach it as transactional or don’t allocate the proper attention, priority and resources towards it. Even with a gainfully employed talent acquisition staff, the struggle to keep up with today’s hiring needs promotes a rushed approach to the recruitment process.
When you rush through the hiring process, you make mistakes and miss critical steps. You may be in such a hurry, you hire “good enough.” This will ultimately become a problem. If you want a top performing team you can’t settle for good enough. Fortunately there are some common mistakes you can avoid if you are aware of them and slow down enough to address them.
1 – Failure to Clearly Define the Role
Rushing a hiring decision and overlooking a few critical steps can lead to a host of problems. One of the most critical steps is ensuring a clearly defined role description that contains essential functions, skills required to do the job, competencies required to be successful, and in some cases the environmental factors. Namely, the hiring decision is not based on the use of objective data such as a clearly defined role description. In the absence of clearly defined roles and responsibilities, candidate selection is left up to opinion and extremely subjective decision making.
2 – No Interviewing Plan
Failing to plan for making any business decision is not good. Failing to plan your interviews and questions will almost guarantee an ultimately adverse outcome to your hiring decisions. When you fail to plan your interview, you end up just having a conversation. Then your decision is based on whether or not you enjoyed the conversation.
3 – Asking “Yes” and “No” Questions
Typically this is a result of not having an interviewing plan as well as an untrained interviewer. Avoid, at all costs, asking questions that elicit a yes or no answer. It doesn’t tell you anything about the candidate and he/she will almost always give you the answer you want to hear. This is where a planned process will call for behavioral based interview questions.
4 – Asking Leading Questions
In an interview, you will naturally draw a 50% conclusion by the time your first handshake is over. Right, wrong or indifferent, it happens. If that initial conclusion is positive, you will want to see one succeed in the interview. Without knowing it you will actually help the candidate answer the questions correctly. In doing so, your subconscious will take over and you’ll begin to lead him/her to the answer you’re seeking. A savvy candidate will pick up on it and give you the answer you want. Thus, you completely missed an opportunity to objectively assess the candidate.
5 – Not Involving Others
Hiring is a team sport. As such, you’re bound to make mistakes if you go at it alone. You will miss things others will see. Not engaging a candidate’s potential peers in the interview could be costly. Not only do you want to verify the candidate has the right skill set, but also will fit with the rest of the team.
6 – Falling Victim to Interview Fatigue
Interview fatigue can easily take its toll if you cram too many interview sessions into a short span of time. This can cause you to only vividly remember the first and last candidates you interview. In fact, when coaching job seekers, most are told to seek the first or last interviews of the day.
7 – Ignoring Red Flags
This is one of the most common hiring errors out there. You’ll hear and see little things during the process of interviews that will make you take pause. They will stick in your head and you’ll try to push them to the back. They concern you, but you rationalize it and figure it won’t be a problem. Then the day comes and you say, “Well…I knew that when I hired him.” These are the red flags you noticed in the process.
Always remember this. A candidate is on his BEST behavior during the hiring process. If you notice red flags then, multiply it by 10 and that’s what you’ll eventually get. Don’t rationalize red flags. They will inevitably become a problem.
8 – Avoiding an Analysis of Facts
Similar to ignoring red flags, this hiring foul will cause you a headache later. Remember, interviewees are (should) be on their best behavior in an interview. They should be prepared and ready for what you may ask them. They will seem like a rock star during that hour conversation. However, don’t forget the facts. Does their past performance align with your needs? After all, it is the best predictor of future behavior.
9 – “I Can Teach Them That”
Although this may be true, you must understand what you are signing yourself up for. Do you really have time to teach them the basic skills they need to qualify for the job? If your company does not have a great training and development program to support this, odds are it won’t happen. You can probably get away with teaching them the nice-to-have skills, but don’t think you’ll be able to teach them the core critical skills. Note, this is different than teaching them the job or teaching them how to use the resources and tools to do the job. You’ll have to teach anyone you hire how the job is performed at your company. You just want to avoid having to teach them the core skills needed to perform the job.
10 – “Maybe They Will Change”
In a rushed hiring situation, you will tend to overlook potential issues that you’ve identified in the hiring process. Due to time constraints, desperation, or whatever else the scenario may be, you may be tempted to assume they will change a behavior or environmental clash. If you’re concerned about it, and think they will change it, think again.
Staying disciplined to a sound recruitment process, avoiding too much subjectivity and focusing on a candidate’s verifiable qualifications will help you avoid these common mistakes and attain better ratios of hiring success.