Common hiring mistakes to avoid 

We have talked to many startups and SMBs and here are the common mistakes they make in a recruitment and selection process that prevent them from getting the qualified candidates.

1. Over complicating the job description

Candidates spend on average 14 seconds1 deciding whether to apply after reading a job post. By making the ad lengthy, complicated and throwing in unnecessary requirements, you’d scare away many great candidates because they feel like they do not meet your requirements. 

Over complicating the job description

2. Not having a structured process

We often see companies over relying on referrals, asking random and irrelevant interview questions or making a decision based on the first impression. They do not have a proper method on how to evaluate applicants, assess their skills and competencies and determine whether applicants are suitable for the hiring position. By not having a structured and thorough process, you’ll increase your risk of hiring the wrong person. 

making a decision based on the first impression

3. Not prepared to set aside time for the process 

Hiring and selection takes time. Many do not realise that it requires time and dedication to screen applications, interview candidates, provide them feedback and follow up. If you do not properly follow through your hiring process, you’ll be most likely to create a bad experience for the candidates and a poor impression of your company. 

Not prepared to set aside time for the process

What you as a hiring manager can do:

1. Conduct a thorough analysis of the position you are hiring

Before you take a decision on hiring a new person and publishing a job ad, take a look at the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the role and which goals will the new role achieve? 
  2. What are the tasks and responsibilities required in order to reach these goals? 
  3. Which skills, competencies, knowledge and personal qualifications are required in order to be successful in this new role? 
  4. Can the new role be filled already internally by upskilling or reskilling your existing employees?

2. Prepare how you would measure and evaluate candidates

Once you are clear on the skills, competencies, knowledge and personal qualifications required, see how you can evaluate to make sure candidates meet these requirements. There are several methods – the most reliable ones are structured interviews (asking the same questions to all candidates) and job knowledge tests according to research. Number of years of experience has little indication of future job success, as research has shown2

Selection procedureValidity estimate
Employment interview – structured0.42
Job knowledge tests0.40
Empirically keyed biodata 0.38
Work sample tests0.33
Employment interview – unstructured0.19
Job experience (years) 0.07
Sackett et al. (2021)

3. Block a time only for the recruitment and selection process

If you decide to hire a new person, be prepared to spend time on the recruitment and selection process. Decide whom in your team will participate and block out the time you and your team would need during this process. If you don’t have enough time, consider outsourcing part of the process to someone else. 

Last but not least, treat candidates as potential talent investors! You want to attract the best people to invest their talents into your company.

Need help with the process? We help you with the job analysis and screening process so you can save your time while ensuring candidates get the best experience. Contact us today. 

Written by Mai Phan, Founder of propL and a certified recruiting personnel  

1 McLaren, S. (2029). 6 Stats That Will Change the Way You Write Job Posts. https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-acquisition/stats-that-will-change-the-way-you-write-job-posts

2 Sackett, P. R., Zhang, C., Berry, C. M., & Lievens, F. (2021). Revisiting meta-analytic estimates of validity in personnel selection: Addressing systematic overcorrection for restriction of range. Journal of Applied Psychology, No Pagination Specified-No Pagination Specified. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000994

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