The 3 worst hiring mistakes to avoid

Employers should keep these three common hiring mistakes in mind as they look for new employees to fill key roles within their organizations.

As long as it has the resources, any business can reach out to talent and start the hiring process. An effective, carefully considered hiring program is something else entirely. There are many positives to keep in mind when it comes to building an effective talent pipeline and recruiting the best candidates, but there are also some common mistakes that hiring managers, HR professionals and other stakeholders should keep in mind.

Consider these three unfortunately common hiring mistakes:

1. Hiring without a specific need in mind

When a business does well, it often takes on an increasing amount of work. In many cases, that means a need for more employees across the organization. Faced with the pressure to meet rising demands and avoid overburdening existing staff, an expedited hiring process can seem attractive. This strategy is only effective if there's a clear need associated with each new position. Forbes contributor Deep Patel said a look at current processes, such as whether existing workers are utilized effectively and can bring all of their skills to bear, is an important step to take before hiring.

A clear understanding of what each new staff member will do and how they will contribute to the organization as a whole is vital. Without this context, it's all too easy to hire for a vaguely defined position that can't bring much value to the company.

A businesswoman reviews a resume at her desk.

2. Judging candidates based on personality or friendliness

A qualified employee with a great personality or outgoing nature can be an asset in terms of encouraging a positive attitude and building a team. But those attributes on their own, without the necessary experience and education, won't go very far. It's human nature to feel affinity toward someone who's personable and can build a connection with you, especially in a high-stakes situation like a job interview. However, Allbusiness said it's important to not react too strongly to a first impression. Instead, there should be a focus on the ability to excel in the specific job role with basic professionalism and courtesy. However, there's no reason that secondary attributes like friendliness can't be used to make a decision among a group of similarly qualified candidates.

3. Ignoring the value of a collaborative hiring process

Hiring managers, HR staff, managers and supervisors all play important roles in helping to guide the hiring process and define what qualities and qualifications are needed for a new employee. They can't always paint a complete picture in this context, however. Inc. pointed out that employees working in the same or similar roles to those a new hire will take on have some key insight. Because they perform related or identical work on a regular basis, current staff can identify areas where other stakeholders may have overlooked a major or even a minor need. While employees outside of the hiring and HR capacities shouldn't lead the hiring process, they have a lot to offer in terms of developing the best possible profile for a new employee.

In considering a collaborative hiring process, it is important, however, to look at the whole process strategically. In this way, it is critical not to equate "more" with "better."

"I have seen on too many occasions a manager becomes too concerned with making sure everyone is involved, and it results in a long day of repetitive questions and/or weeks of multiple interviews," says Maricela Ostrand, Regional Director for Beacon Hill's Pharma Division. "In such a competitive market, it is important to strategically identify a well-balanced group of evaluators who can make a fair decision and represent the larger team in an effective way. Instead of involving everyone, consider having a few key members field questions/perspectives from the team, that they then bring into the interview process with them."

"Interviews can appear unprofessional if multiple people are talking over each other asking questions," notes C.J. Parziale, Business Development Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Boston. "To avoid a candidate being turned off by a chaotic interview, set clear expectations and roles for each person conducting the interview, with one person leading the interview and answering any questions the candidate may have."

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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