The WunderBlog

Top Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Judi Wunderlich on 8/6/15 1:19 PM

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A bad fit is costly, especially for small or mid sized businesses. Here are the top mistakes made when hiring. 

1. Hiring Because You Like Him

David interviewed very well. He seemed to have the right skills; he was outgoing, approachable, and showed a definite drive to succeed. Yet, three months later he was failing. Where did you go wrong? 

A common trap companies fall into is hiring the candidate who interviewed the best, instead of the person with the most relevant experience. It’s human nature to make a snap judgement about someone based on their personality and ability to speak well and be personable at a first meeting, but many of the top candidates are actually the people who interview worst; and likewise, many bad hires interviewed extremely well.

Why is that?

Think about it this way: Let’s say you have a marketing position you need to fill. A candidate with 10 years of experience is up against someone with 3 years. The person with 10 years of experience hasn’t had a job interview in 5 years and is out of practice, but the candidate with less experience has been interviewing for the last 3 months, and has had time to study up on the latest interviewing trends and techniques. She learned what interviewers want to hear and how to behave.

Who do you think will interview better? Yep, probably the less experienced candidate who has more experience with interviewing. Employers fall for this time and again.

The best way to prevent this is to accept that you might be favoring the friendlier, more engaging candidate, but not necessarily the one who is best for the role. Don’t go on automatic pilot and give high marks based on how good you feel with the candidate on a personal level.

2. Not Using Employee Referrals

Have good employees now? Then tap into their network! Employees can bring you qualified candidates who are already sold on working at your company. Another reason for tapping into your employees’ network is that referred employees are 15% less likely to quit, stay longer, and are quicker to integrate into a team, significantly reducing the costs associated with employee turnover.

3. Waiting Too Long to Begin the Hiring Process

Many business owners or corporate department directors wait until the last minute to start the hiring process. According to Glassdoor, “the average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S., and job interview processes are getting longer. Average interview processes have grown by 3.3 to 3.7 days since 2009. This trend remains even after controlling for differences in job titles, companies, industries and many other factors.”

If you waited too long or a sudden hiring need comes up, consider using a staffing firm. Niche firms (like WunderLand) have huge networks of pre-qualified talent with the specific skills and experience you need. Consider the real costs of leaving a position open. A staffing agency can help you identify a contractor who can start immediately. This person can be productive and add value from day one, and you might discover that you want to hire them as your full-time employee!

4. Failing to Train

You shouldn’t ignore this critical step. You can hire the most amazing person, but without proper training and support, they are destined to fail. Companies often hire someone new, introduce them around, take them out to lunch, and then leave them to figure out what their job is and how to do it. Employees can be a company’s biggest expense and SHOULD be their biggest asset, but without a training program in place, you’re not investing where you should. Take a close look at your new employee training and continuing education programs to get the most out of your hires.

Topics: Hiring Tips, Blog Post

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