on 13 June 19
Hiring decisions can make or break a company. We probably all have had at least one bad hiring experience as employees. I’ll never forget arriving to a highly anticipated interview with a boutique marketing firm downtown only to realize I wasn’t the only one there. I’d stumbled into an unexpected group interview for a position that definitely deserved a one-on-one interview. As the hiring manager stumbled through the questions for the group, I knew that wasn’t a place I wanted to be full-time.
My experience is just one of many. Hiring mistakes can not only hurt your prospective employees, but they can really impact your overall company culture. In the age of the internet, finding the right employees isn’t as simple. Gone are the days of classified newspaper ads and mailing resumes. Now, there are so many job sites it’s hard to even keep track of them all, and you might be struggling with a similarly complicated group of applicants. When you add the stress of recruiting the best employees for your organization and the need to build a strong company culture, this process is downright intimidating.
If you want to foster a great company culture, you need to avoid the common hiring mistakes. You might not even realize you’re doing some of these things! That’s why I’ve outlined them all below so you can review your own hiring strategy to ensure you’re getting the best employees and making the right choice for your company.
Why Is The Hiring Process Important?
The hiring process is becoming more and more complex every year. With the rise of internet job boards and digital CVs, who knows where the job market will be in just a few years? The first step to making the right hiring decision is understanding why the hiring process is important. This isn’t a job you can take lightly, and it isn’t something you can figure out as you go.
The process you choose to hire new employees impacts the entire company. My experience in the surprise group interview is a prime example of a hiring process gone bad. That single experience was enough to taint my entire perception of that company. Even though I was so excited to come in for an interview, I knew immediately they lacked organization and respect when it mattered most.
How you choose to proceed with the hiring process reflects on both you and the company. If you create an organized, well thought out system for hiring that focuses on finding the right employees, you’ll bring success to your business. If you treat the hiring process like some kind of cattle call where you just get as many potential applicants as possible and go with the first one, you’re doomed to fail.
Now that we’ve established why the hiring process is so important to your company reputation and culture, let’s discuss the most common mistakes to avoid when hiring new employees.
As we’ve already discussed, there are a lot of places to find candidates nowadays. With so many different job sites, how do you know you’re using the right ones? Think back to the candidates you’ve been receiving through these websites. Are they a good fit? Do they have the right qualifications?
All job sites are not created equal. Some are better for different industries while others have more entry-level employees than senior professionals. The job site you choose should reflect your unique needs. There are no rules about how many you can use, so it might even make sense to use more than one to reel in as many potential candidates. Here, The Balance shares the top 10 job search website to post your listings.
Just because there are so many job boards doesn’t mean you can’t still use the tried-and-true methods of recruiting. Job fairs, advertisements, and even industry publications are still an excellent source of new candidates. Research what works for your industry and start there. Don’t be afraid to try different methods of searching until you settle on the best one.
One of the biggest mistakes seen on job websites today is misleading job postings. It’s natural to want to build the job up as much as possible when you’re looking for the best candidate. Why wouldn’t you want someone who has the top-level of skill necessary for the job or the most experience? While this does make sense to a certain extent, you’re probably don’t your company more harm than good.
Be upfront and clear in your job postings. Outline the position clearly using terms from that actual position. Don’t be misleading and don’t exaggerate. Don’t include any benefits or extras that you can’t personally guarantee. Misleading postings lead to mistrust between employers and employees, and they’re not a good way to foster good company culture. Create a written hiring policy with detailed descriptions and benefits that have been approved by someone from that position. If you’re not receiving the right candidates, odds are you haven’t written the right posting.
Focus on Potential
When hiring for a position, you want to choose the best-qualified candidate. No matter the position, it’s natural to select someone who has more experience over someone who doesn’t. While this might be a great move in many cases, it isn’t the rule. Experience and potential are two different things. A candidate with ten years of experience in an industry might still be the wrong fit compared to a recent graduate with an advanced degree and two years of experience.
To make sure you’re focusing on quality instead of quantity, evaluate the individual experience. Ten years of poor experience might indicate there’s a bigger problem. Different candidates have different strengths and in an ideal world, you want to fill your position with the person who will be passionate to be there every day.
If you’re hiring for sales, for example, you need a passionate salesperson, not just someone with experience in sales. Expertsure.com reports there are over a million PDQ machines in the UK, so what will make this candidate perform better than an automated machine with sales? Look for this passion and value it wisely, remembering that experience isn’t everything in many cases.
Learn How to Interview
You’ve probably heard that candidates should practice interviewing, but you probably haven’t heard the same for hiring directors. Interviewing isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, and it’s easy to spoil an experience for a candidate with a bad interview. It’s just as much an interview for the employer as it is for the candidate.
The first part of learning to interview is respectfulness. Everyone has come to an interview before and had to wait for the hiring manager to be ready even if they were early. Avoid being late, whenever possible, and choose one-on-one interviews. Group interviews might seem like a good way to evaluate a large number of candidates at once, but they’ve proven by mightyrecruiter.com to be ineffective. Also, don’t interview candidates on holidays or during other events that could impede your selection. Check them here to make sure you’ve chosen the best interview time.
The right interview strategy goes a long way to bringing out the best in candidates. Knowing what questions to ask and how to evaluate answers will show your skill at recognizing good fits for your company.
More Than The Interview
Some people are naturally great interviewers. These interview stars might seem like the best fit for your company on their interview skills alone. He was so upbeat and excited! There’s no way he won’t be a great fit here! Unfortunately, it’s not that black and white. More often than not, the interview stars are the first to fizzle out soon after the interview process is over.
Making a good first impression is about more than knowing how to smile at the right times or answer rehearsed questions. During the interview, look for candidates who seem to possess qualities you look for in a long-term employee. Ask questions that evoke deeper responses like who inspires them or when was a time they needed to be assertive. These questions go below the surface and are had to prepare for, thus bringing candid responses.
At the end of the day, it’s about more than the interview. Some candidates just do not thrive in the interview while others do. Remember candidates are more rounded than your one interaction with them, and the best interviewer might not be the best fit for the position.
Your company has a unique culture that sets it apart from other companies in the same industry. Finding the right employees means more than just filling a particular position. It means finding people who will work well within your pre-existing office environment. How well do you understand your current company culture? Is it an open office space? Do you have activities you all do together? Is it a friendly place?
This all comes down to personality and preferences. Some candidates will thrive in an outgoing, open space, while others need more time for themselves to work alone. Failing to pay attention to cultural fit during the interview will lead to a clash in working styles and preferences down the line. One of the most common reasons employers let employees go is because of a lack of fit culturally.
It’s your job as a hiring manager to find the right employees to suit this culture of your office. While the qualifications and prior experience of candidates are important, it doesn’t make up for a lack of fit. The best way to recognize a candidate who fits your office culture is to evaluate past experience. What were these companies like? Are they comparable? Did the employee thrive in these past roles?
You can also observe the candidate during interviews. What is his or her personality like? Can you picture him or her in the office environment already? Think of current employees at your company and imagine your candidate as a colleague. Will they get along well? Will this person interact with customers or higher-level management? Inc outlines 13 questions to assess cultural fit in this post. These questions should be a priority during the hiring process to ensure you hire the best candidates who contribute to your company culture.
The hiring process doesn’t end when you finally hire the right candidate. Failing to have a strong onboarding program is an easy way to turn off a new hire to your company. You don’t want to waste company time and resources by losing a new hire to your onboarding process.
The best onboarding programs include a clear timeline, orientation procedures, and training plan. Research shows that those who receive more training at the beginning of their time with a company are more likely to be successful than those who don’t. Being new to a company is hard enough without feeling lost and confused about next steps. Help new hires integrate into the new office culture through a clear onboarding program.
Making the right hiring decision isn’t something you can take lightly. Whether you’re new to hiring or you’ve been doing it for years, it’s still easy to make mistakes that prevent the right candidates from joining your company. In the age of internet job searches, it’s becoming more challenging to find the right candidates and stand out from other companies. It’s your job to be proactive with your search and to take your job seriously.
Though it might seem like your role ends as soon as new employees are hired, your legacy actually impacts the entire company. The right employees fit with company culture and contribute to the overall success. The wrong employees don’t fit in with others and feel out of place. They will likely get let go soon or will voluntarily move companies. The right strategies can keep you from hiring the wrong employees for your company.
Be innovative in your hiring strategy. Finding the right candidates isn’t a black and white process. There are no clear right and wrong choices, most of the time, and it’s up to you to decide whether a candidate really is the right fit. The right fit might not be the same as the most experience or the most education, and that’s okay. Make sure you aren’t making any of the mistakes above to improve your hiring practice today and create the strongest company culture for your organization!
This blog is listed under IT Strategy & Management Community
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