horrific hiring

9 Horrific Hiring Mistakes

Hiring is a science and an art if you approach the process properly. Here are 9 common mistakes made by large and small companies, and how you can avoid them.

JOB DESCRIPTIONS: Poorly written job descriptions will yield poor results. “Poorly written” could be defined as grammatical errors and misspellings, but I am referring to generic job descriptions or unspecific, misleading job descriptions. Investing time in the writing of accurate, unique job descriptions will help job-seekers determine if they are a job fit for the position.


INTERVIEW TEAM: Depending on your industry, the interview process will vary. Just remember: if the team of employees interviewing the candidates are not on the same page, the candidate will know, and you could lose the right candidate. Take time to prepare for the interviewing process as a team. This will keep everyone on the same page and ensure that necessary topics are discussed.


BAD BEHAVIOR: The interviewer must be on best behavior. The candidate’s time is important too. Don’t expect a highly qualified professional to wait an exorbitant amount of time for you–especially if they arrive early. The interviewer should be conscious not to: speak poorly of the company or other employees; take personal or professional calls during the interview; or multi-task in any fashion while conducting the interview. It is also important to dress appropriately for the interview and please, for the love of Human Resources, don’t eat lunch while interviewing potential employees.


FOLLOWING UP: It’s simple. If you are not following up with candidates, you are getting a bad reputation in the world of job-seekers. Applicant Tracking Systems like HireCentric make it easy to send a customized email to applicants that thanks them for their interest and lets them know if the position is a good fit for them.


RESPECT: Another simple thing that can easily be forgotten by interviewers is to respect others. Repeating the same questions can be monotonous,  a particular trait of the candidate could be one of your personal pet peeves, or perhaps you just have stress in your personal–none of that gives you the right to look down on candidates. Don’t treat candidates poorly. You will likely be interviewing some time again in your professional life, so remember the Golden Rule.


COMMUNICATION: During the pre-employment screening process, you may find yourself engaged in conversations via phone, email, or face-to-face. Use these opportunities to assess the candidate’s communication skills. You will likely discover how this person would fit your company culture–before the final hiring stage. Ignoring communication skills, or lack thereof, can be detrimental to your current work environment.


IGNORING WARNING SIGNS: Similar to ignoring queues on communication skills, ignoring a candidate’s negative tone or personality traits can ruin your work environment. During the prescreening process, you should take notes on personality traits that will enhance or spoil your current environment. A candidate with less education and experience may be a better fit than an experienced “Mr. Negativity”. Job-shadowing in the final stage can also help to ensure that you hire the right person.


REFERENCES: Not checking references may be a time-saver today, but it could prove to be a costly mistake. Checking references will verify the dates of employment and daily tasks indicated by the candidate on their resume. Getting insight on work ethic, weaknesses, and attendance can also be helpful when making a final decision between a few, seemingly great, candidates. References that don’t say much versus a reference that raves over a past employee can be a tell-tale sign of who you want on your team.


SKILLS TESTING: Making good hiring decisions is all about having the best data. From cognitive and skills-based assessments to behavioral and interest-based evaluations, hiring managers can gather enough data to get a strong sense of an applicant before they even meet for an interview. Applicants fill out these assessments on their own, and the software automatically scores and evaluates the assessments, providing an in-depth picture of every candidate without adding any work on the shoulders of hiring staff. Assessments can be administered as part of the application process to serve as an early round of evaluation. This can help flag potential employees who may be a poor fit and identify “good fit” candidates based on criteria not typically gathered through a traditional application.


Image credit: Panama Bussiness 2 (desaturated) by Think Panama (contact)

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