The Three Most Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Person

Have you ever hired someone who did not live up to your expectations? Have you ever hired someone who greatly exceeded your expectations? How different were your hiring processes in each case? If you’re like most employers – the process used in each case was the same! (You just got lucky – or unlucky!)

What would it mean to your business (and your sanity!) if your company was chock full of great employees? Does this sound like an impossible dream? It’s not! So how can we increase the odds of hiring great people – every time?

We can start by avoiding the three most common hiring mistakes:

Mistake #1: The Company lacks a systematic, fundamentally sound approach to hiring that is used consistently.

Through the years companies have upgraded and modernized many of their business processes – such as inventory management, project management, technical design – but their hiring processes have remained static – run an ad, do some (unstructured) interviews, hire. The odds of getting the right person this way are about 14% – you could flip a coin and get better results!

A system designed to recruit and select top people should start with performance profiles and compelling job descriptions, with sourcing methods, screening processes, interviewing processes, assessment processes, and closing processes designed to attract the very best. Not only does this system need to be well documented, but all those involved in the hiring process need to be trained in its use. And because it’s a system, its consistent use will result in the hiring of great people time after time.

Mistake #2: Hiring based on emotion rather than objective criteria.

Sometimes a hiring decision is based on the warm body approach – we need somebody right away – you breathe, you’re hired! Hiring decisions are often based simply on whether or not the interviewer likes the person – I like you, you’re hired! And sometimes the decision to hire is made because the candidate was outstanding in the interview – wow! – You’re hired!

The problem with these emotional approaches is that the chances of hiring a great employee are very low. You may desperately need to fill a position right away in order to get the work done, but if you hire the wrong person, the time you saved in hiring that person immediately will end up costing you a lot more in time and money. Develop a process for hiring great employees and take the time to use it – it’s worth it!

It’s normal human nature to want to hire someone we like – even though the candidate may be far from the right person for the job – and that’s why it’s important to include objective criteria in your hiring process, such as structured interviews based on performance profiles and competency assessments.

And an outstanding interviewer is not necessarily an outstanding performer. The research shows that in general, the best candidates are not the best interviewers, and vice-versa, the best interviewers are not the best candidates! The interview is a critical part of the hiring process, so it is very important to use it to get the best information possible. Performance profiles and competency assessments enable you to do a structured, objective interview with your candidates, thereby improving the quality and impartiality of the information you gain. More and better information results in a more effective decision making.

Mistake #3: The position is not clearly defined and the job description is not compelling.

In order to attract superior people, superior performance must first be defined and built into the job description. This is done through a performance profile, which emphasizes what a person must do to be successful in the job. This differs from the traditional job description which is based on experience, skills, and education. Average performers have the right skills and qualifications – superior performers can do the job at a superior level! Basing your job description on specific performance objectives improves the quality of the applicants for your position, and improves the objectivity of your screening and interviewing processes.

We have a variety of applicant tracking, assessment, and hiring tools to help you consistently hire great people – superheroes rather than wolves in sheep’s clothing! Call for a complimentary consultation.

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